Anyone driving past Pawleys Island Community Church late last month might have noticed nearly 300 children romping around covered in chocolate syrup, mustard, ketchup, cereal and whipped cream.
It’s all in good fun, but there’s a method to what may seem like madness: bring the children closer to God.
Instead of a traditional vacation Bible school, the church hosts Nick at Nick every July. The three-night event is modeled after a Nickelodeon television program with a similar name.
This year’s theme was “Adventures on Promise Island: God is Our Lifeguard.”
“He’s always watching and listening and paying attention to what we need,” said Ginger Beasley, who has been leading the program for five years.
Before all the messy fun begins each night, the children are listening to praise songs and Psalm readings, and learning life lessons. This year’s Bible themes were: I will answer you, I will give you what you need, and I am with you.
“For us that’s the most important part,” Beasley said. “Not only do we want to teach them something out of the Bible, but we want to teach them how to make good choices.”
Volunteers are on hand if a child wants to have a one-on-one talk about God, religion or the church.
After the first part of the evening concludes in the sanctuary, the kids head outside where the messy fun begins.
On this year’s menu were a hamburger theme, with ketchup and mustard, and a breakfast theme, with syrup and cereal. Games included mashed potato dodge ball (using grits to make the dodge balls thicker), and shaving cream tag.
Beasley said about 260 kids were registered on the first night, and another 40 signed up for the closing night.
There were also about 70 volunteers.
“The adults have as much fun as the kids do,” Beasley said.
Now that this year’s event is finished, Beasley and her crew will take a break and then in February, they’ll start planning for next year’s Nick at Nick.
By Chris Sokoloski
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