"Vacation Bible School - Early 1950's, Winchester Virginia"

8 January 2013



From 1950 until 1960 I lived on Woodland Avenue in Winchester, Virginia and each summer me and my brother would attend the vacation bible school at the church on the corner of Woodland Avenue and National Avenue (route 7).

Our family was Presbyterian and not a member of the church on the corner but did not matter.

Since the whole world was safe at the time, used to walk from my home to the church and back every day. Maybe 10 blocks.

Vacation Bible School lasted 2 weeks, I think, and started at 10am or so and ended at 3??

An Internet search today indicates that the Good Shepherd Church is in the location I mentioned but seems to me, at the time, it was a Baptist Church. No matter, what is important about my vacation bible school memories include:

- There were about 40 children in school each summer although I do not remember any of the kids right in my neighbor ever attending.

- All met in the church sanctuary before "classes" or activities began and the 40 was divided equally in the pews on each side of the alter.

- Every day, "students" were to bring some sort of money offering in pennies and when all collected by divided sides, were weighed on a scale and which ever side had the most pennies, by weight, was properly saluted as the best of the day.

- So one day, a girl I did not know on the side of the church I was a member of, brought in this paper shopping bag full of pennies. I mean pounds and pounds of pennies! Amazing and of course my group won the challenge of the day! Pounds and pounds of pennies.

- At the end of school, the treat was popsicles and what I remember from this is the first time I saw dry ice. Was fascinated by it.

- Other than above, sorry to say, do not remember much else like activities or classes. Now I wonder what sort of activities there were or what was taught in class.

From my travels during the summer, I see signs for pending Vacation Bible Schools here and there. I wonder if they still collect pennies and give out popsicles?