Eighteen hundred children are expected at First Baptist Concord’s one-of-a-kind vacation Bible school in June. The church calls the event “ConcordQuest” and goes all out to make it exciting. Registration is open for the free event from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, June 19-23. Children ages 5 years old through seventh-grade can still enroll the morning CQ begins June 19.
“You never see a kid without a smile on their face,” said Tiffany Roy, communications director at the church. “To see them on the edge of their seats throughout the whole show, to see them coming out with the crafts they’ve made that day, to see them excited about what they’ve learned and the friends they’ve made and the see them excited to come back the next day makes it the best week of the year. Grandparents bring their grandkids from out of state to stay with them for a week so they can be here for this.”
In addition to classroom time, crafts and snacks, each day children will see a performance in the sanctuary, a play that builds on the previous day’s performance.
This year’s production is called “Legend of the Vita Lights,” said Tim Paul, director of instrumental music, arranger and executive producer. “It’s based on John 8:12: where Jesus said ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
“‘Vita’ is Latin for ‘life,’” Roy said. “‘Vita Lights’ are the lights of life.”
“It’s talking about just being the light,” Paul said. “We feel like that’s a good thing to talk about in the world now because there’s so much darkness. Jesus said he’s the light of the world.”
CQ has become famous for zip- lines across the sanctuary and other stunts, and this year will live up to its reputation. “Legend of the Vita Lights” is set in a mine that has been shut down in West Virginia, and for the first time, CQ will feature a conveyor belt and quicksand.
“We have such a large target audience — K-7, and adults on family nights,” Paul said. “We try to put something in there for all age groups, like the life-sized puppets and explosives. This year one guy gets caught on a conveyor belt and we have quicksand and mine cars.
“We write our own curriculum to do everything from scratch to make it totally unique,” he added. “It’s a play we write from scratch and we don’t have the cast speak in churchy lingo.
“We want regular kids learning Biblical truths. We spend a lot of time on CQ. There are guys in the sanctuary working on the set who take a week vacation to do it. We’ve been working on it since September.”
The cast of about 30 had tryouts in March. An additional 15 to 20 people form the tech team and stagehands and about 500 others serve as volunteers during the week.
“CQ is something that’s hard to explain,” Roy said. “It’s something you have to experience for yourself. It’s unlike anything you’ve done before.”
The community is invited to see the entire play on family night starting at 7 p.m., Friday, June 23.
To register, go to concordquest.com or call 865-966-9791.