Children this summer will be able to step back in time to learn about characters from the Bible, discover what the Bible says about God's creations, become defenders of their faith, learn how to trust God, learn what it's like to be a firefighter, visit an "island" or take a trek into the wilderness.
Across Hernando County, churches will offer vacation Bible school programs that promise fun and learning. All of the programs include Bible lessons, games, music and snacks.
Here's a list, in chronological order:
The fun starts for free at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville with "Mission Possible: Adventures in Faith" from 9 a.m. to noon June 16 to 20. Children ages 4 through sixth grade will visit the Faith Academy as cadets to learn how to become "agents of truth" through energetic music, Bible stories and interaction with heroes of the faith Noah, Abraham and Paul.
"Through their real-life experiences, cadets will be inspired to have a deeper faith in God," said Marilyn Clark, director of children's ministries.
The church is at 200 Mount Fair Ave., Brooksville. Register at faithepc.net or call (352) 796-4969.
Spring Hill Bible Church, 15440 Spring Hill Drive, has a free program for children entering kindergarten through sixth grade from 6 to 8:30 p.m. June 16 to 20. "Babylon" will allow children to step back in time to explore Daniel's adventures as a captive in a foreign land and collect Bible Memory Makers along the way.
Call (352) 544-5644 to register.
"Weird and Wonderful" will be offered from 9 a.m. and noon June 23 to 27 at First United Methodist Church of Brooksville, 109 S Broad St. Children from age 3 through those entering sixth grade are welcome; the cost is $20 per child (scholarships are available).
Parents may register older children at the door, but preregistration is appreciated at tbtim.es/3kd. There is a limit of 30 preschoolers, and they must register by calling (352) 796-3363.
First Baptist Church of Brooksville will offer "Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend" for free from 9 a.m. to noon June 23 to 27 to children who have finished kindergarten through fifth grade.
Call the church office at (352) 796-6791 or register at 8:30 a.m. June 23. The church is at 420 Howell Ave.
"Colossal Coaster World" is the program being offered free to children pre-K through 12th grade from 6 to 9 p.m. June 23 to 27 at Calvary Chapel Hernando, 5055 Commercial Way, Spring Hill.
"Children will enjoy crafts at Scissors and Stuff, meals at the Cotton Candy Cafe, Bible studies at Coaster Alley, games at Adrenal Zone, missions at Global Expo Hall and music at Tune Town," director Mary Moses said.
Call (813) 470-0085 or visit cchernando.org to register.
Children ages 3 and older are invited to "Salvation Station" from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 23 to 27 at Mariner United Methodist Church, 7079 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. The cost is $10 per child, with a $25 family maximum, which includes lunch.
"We will have firefighters, talking dogs and more fun than you can imagine," said Michelle Barrett, director of children's ministry.
Register at the church or visit marinerumc.org/page4_1.html by June 20. Call (352) 596-0080.
Children age 3 to seventh grade will visit "Arrow Island" for the free program being offered from 8:45 a.m. to noon June 23 to 27 at Spring Hill Baptist Church, 3140 Mariner Blvd.
"Vacation Bible school is my favorite time of the year, because you spend a week bonding with children and parents," said Pastor Chris Wheeler. "This year we are going to share with them what a great God we serve and how we need to follow his arrows of direction in our lives."
Register at springhillbc.com; call (352) 683-5685.
Ridge Manor Community United Methodist Church will present "Weird Animals" free to children ages 4 to 12 from 9 a.m. to noon July 14 to 18.
"Kids will learn about some of God's most creative creations," said Guy House, children's minister. "(They) will join an international mission effort to share God's love by providing water for school children in India."
Register at rmcumc.net or call (352) 583-3770. The church is at 34350 Cortez Blvd.
Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee, will offer "Wilderness Escape" for free to children from age 3 to 12 from 9 a.m. to noon July 14 to 18. Children will travel into the wilderness with Moses as he parts the Red Sea and receives the Ten Commandments.
Call (352) 597-1456.
Registration begins Sunday for "Agency D3: Discover, Defend, Decide," at Northcliffe Baptist Church, 10515 Northcliffe Blvd., Spring Hill. It's being offered for free to children age 3 through fifth grade from 8:45 a.m. to noon on July 14 to 18. Call (352) 683-5882.
"Weird Animals" is also being offered at First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill, 9344 Spring Hill Drive. The free program is for children age 4 through fifth grade from 8:30 a.m. to noon July 28 to Aug. 1.
Register at the church or call for registration forms to be emailed. Call (352) 683-2600.
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 14236 County Line Road, Hudson, will also offer "Agent D3: Discover, Decide, Defend."
Children ages 2 to 18 are welcome from 6 to 8:30 p.m. July 21 to 25. Registration is required for the free program and is available at the church office from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. Call (727) 856-8336.
First Baptist Church of Spring Hill will also offer "Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend" to children of all ages for free from 6 to 8 p.m. July 28 to Aug. 1.
Call (352) 587-1982 Monday through Friday or visit the church office at 7279 Pinehurst Drive, Spring Hill.