Two local churches announce their vacation Bible schools[Marriottsville Sykesville Woodstock]

Vacation Bible school has traditionally served as a fun summer activity for kids, and this year, two local churches are offering VBS programs.

West Liberty United Methodist, at 2000 Sand Hill Road, in Marriottsville, will help children explore God's welcoming love and learn how to be great neighbors at the Everywhere Fun Fair: Where God's World Comes Together. This program takes place Monday, July 29, through Friday, Aug. 2, 6 to 8 p.m. Call 410-442-2969 or email with any questions.

At Friendship Baptist Church, Vacation Bible Week will begin with a kickoff celebration and meal for all ages on Sunday, July 14, 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. The program will run Monday, July 15, through Thursday, July 18, 7 to 9 p.m.

All children, infants through grade 12, may participate in the musically based program Praise: Where Kids Get Down and Lift God High. Meanwhile, a separate Bible study will be available for adults. All activities are free.

Friendship Baptist is also offering a free Power Kidz Kamp for Grades K-5 every Wednesday, now through Aug. 21, 6:45 to 8 p.m. The evening includes music, recreation, puppets, and age-appropriate Bible lessons.

To register for Vacation Bible Week or the Kidz Kamp, call the church at 410-442-5506, or go to Families are also welcome to show up at the Bible week kickoff without advance registration. The church address is 1391 Sykesville Road (Route 32), in Sykesville.

Neither St. James United Methodist nor Chapelgate Presbyterian will host VBS programs this summer.

Who wants to cook inside on a hot summer evening? Instead, stop by St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2892 Route 97, in Glenwood, on Thursday, June 27, 6-8 p.m., for the popular community feast.

This month's meal will feature Italian favorites, all donated by Smokin' Hot Bar & Grille. Eat in or carryout; the cost is $9 per person or $30 maximum per family, and proceeds will benefit the church's Godly Play Sunday school program.

Questions? Email, or call 410-442-5445.

Another cool meal alternative for summer is a picnic. Pack up your favorite food, your family, and lawn chairs or blankets, and come on out to the Howard County Conservancy for Fiddlers and Fireflies on Thursday, June 27, 6 to 9 p.m. Steve Hickman will delight visitors with live bluegrass music, and as dusk falls, fireflies will join in with their festive twinkling. Children will have an opportunity to dance with the fireflies, create a firefly craft, and learn interesting facts about these fascinating insects.

The cost is $10 per vehicle at the gate only, 10520 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Woodstock. For more information, call 410-465-8877 or go to

Once schools close for summer break, neighborhood events typically slow to a trickle.

However, summer is the perfect time to share news about your vacations, activities, special occasions and accolades. Remember to call or email me with the details, so I can recognize you in this column.

Enjoy your summer!

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