Central Carroll: Zion UMC gets ready for 136th Sunday School Picnic

Central Carroll: Zion UMC gets ready for 136th Sunday School Picnic
The Salem Bottom Boys perform bluegrass at a Zion United Methodist Church Sunday School Picnic. The group will perform again this year, at the 136th annual Zion UMC picnic, set for Saturday, July 14. (Courtesy photo / Dolores Bankert)

A lot of things have changed since 1882 when Grove A. Shipley and his wife gave the Methodist Church land to build Zion Chapel in Shipley.

According to the church website, members met in the tiny Morgan Run Schoolhouse while waiting for the church to be built. A little more than a decade later, five ladies of the church began the Ladies Aid Society, now known as the United Methodist women. This group still fundraises and organizes events to supplement the church budget, maintain the building and donate to local charitable needs.


Those ladies are at it again, working with the congregation to present Zion United Methodist Church’s 136th annual Sunday School picnic on Saturday, July 14, and all are invited.

Church member Dolores Bankert said Zion picnics have been a summer tradition in the Village of Shipley since 1883, and fried chicken dinners or platters have always been a highlight of the event.

Beginning at noon, the picnic will feature fried chicken platters with choice of vegetables or salads. Look for sandwiches, too, and Hoffman's ice cream, sodas and baked goods.

Kids will have fun on a moon bounce and children’s games, while all will enjoy the entertainment that begins at 1 p.m. with the Mosley Family and will continue at 4 p.m. with The Salem Bottom Boys. Music will continue through 7 p.m.

“Entertainment through the years has included speakers, bands, talent shows, country, gospel and bluegrass music,” Bankert said.

She spoke of the importance of the church picnic.

“In this day and age when old traditions are disappearing, Zion strives to continue its 136-year tradition by bringing to the community good food and good entertainment in a relaxing atmosphere,” she said.

Zion is located at 2716 Old Washington Road, south of Westminster, just off Md. 97 at Nicodemus Road in the Village of Shipley. For more information, call 410-848-9080.

Food Truck Nights

When you know something is good, you bring it back, even if it didn’t fully catch on the first time around. The Gamber and Community Fire Company Auxiliary has done just that, bringing back their popular food truck events, twice monthly. Look for the next one on Thursday, July 12, from 5 to 8 p.m.

“This will be our second year doing food trucks at the carnival ground,” said the fire company’s public information officer Clay Myers. “Last year was our first and the turn-outs were modest. We hope to see a great turnout this year as word of mouth spreads [the news of this event] and also by social media as well as publicity from the press.”

Five or more food trucks will be at Gamber’s carnival grounds for each food truck event, to be held on the second and fourth Thursday of the month through Sept. 27. These events offer an opportunity for visitors to try many food and dessert options, with beverages provided for sale by the fire company auxiliary.

“All proceeds will go to the Gamber and Community Fire Company Auxiliary,” Myers said. “They are coordinating the events this year and also, they are selling beverages. The trucks are making a donation to the Auxiliary and we will be selling drinks as a fundraiser as well.”

Some of the food trucks expected to turn out include Mike’s Gelato, Carnivore BBQ, Dizzy Cow Pizzeria, Taste of Aloha and the Bistro Lunch Box.

Myers said the fire company has lots of picnic table style seating under roof at the carnival grounds and a rest room available as well. He hopes their Food Truck Nights catch on.


“There are several reasons for people to join us at our Food Truck Nights,” he said. “Amazing foods, a variety of food for everyone, no cooking and a fun night out. [This is a] fun and yummy fundraiser for the Auxiliary of the Gamber and Community Fire Company.”

Gamber Fire Hall is located at 3838 Niner Road in Gamber. For more information, call them at 410-795-3445.

Canine Search and Rescue

The Finksburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library will hold a Canine Search and Rescue Presentation on Monday, July 9, at 11 a.m. at the library, located at 2265 Old Westminster Pike in Finksburg.

Ages 8 through adult are invited to come out and meet trainer, Susan Bulanda and her Border Collie, Babs. At this free program, Bulanda will present a brief overview of canine search and rescue. She’ll explain the different types of searches, how the dogs operate, and offer tips about staying safe when you are hiking in the woods.

Bulanda has over 20 years of field experience in K9SAR. Her book, “Ready! The Training of the Search and Rescue Dog,” will be available for sale and her Border Collie may do a few tricks.

All attendees must register online at or call 410-386-4505.

Fourth of July fun

Things may be crazy across our country, but I am still proud to be an American. I hope, on this day — the anniversary of the birthday of our nation — we all find time to think about how well off we are in comparison to so many other nations and to celebrate, even if just a little.

You can celebrate Independence Day at the Carroll County Farm Museum. Gates open at 3 p.m., with fireworks at dark —– approximately 9:30 p.m. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the grounds.

General admission is $10 for families, $5 for adults and $4 for seniors to those entering the grounds before 5 p.m. After 5 p.m. there will be a $5 donation per car, with all money going to the Westminster Kiwanis Club.

The Carroll County Farm Museum is located at 500 S. Center Street in Westminster. The rain date is July 5 for fireworks only.

My wish for all of our loyal readers is that you stay safe today and find time to enjoy family and friends. Whether you are watching fireworks or roasting marshmallows over a firepit, swimming or picnicking, I hope you find time to rejoice in all that we have and all that we are.

For more information, visit the Farm Museum online at or call them at 410-876-2667.