One of my favorite memories from preschool and early elementary school is attending Vacation Bible School at St. John the Divine. I remember coming with my friends, sitting on the floor in Sumners Hall while Zach led worship on his guitar, watching our Bible story told on an animated DVD, doing fun rotations in the scout room, and eating snack! I was a happy camper. Jesus, singing, and snacks – these are some of my favorite things.

When I started attending VBS there were about 100 young kids there. Over the years, the mission of VBS changed to connect with a broader audience. As VBS grew, I remember it being the best part of the summer. I wanted to be there, even as a tween. High energy worship, Bible points that spoke to me as an older kid, actors, costumes, student leaders who invested in me, and seriously, who doesn’t love The Lads? Or Zach with a full band?

Once I aged out of VBS, I began to serve. I was able to spend time with the “team” – the SJD staff, the band, Zach, The Lads, Jenna (our current worship leader), and high school students who were my leaders when I was younger. I was amazed at the amount of work, time, talent, and prayers that went into something like this. I wanted to be one of those leaders, like I had when I was younger, to the kids who would be coming.

There’s a group of us who grew up coming to VBS at SJD, continued to serve, and then became the student leaders for the program. It is one of the best things I have done with my time as a student. It has strengthened my faith, and given me lifelong mentors, friends, and an opportunity to go at something hard and give back to the church that raised me.

by Kat Maykopet - grade 12

For more information about Vacation Bible School at St. John the Divine and how to volunteer, visit