Throughout the week, children learn about Jesus’ love through song, dance, Bible stories and games.

With 10 years in the making, Bay Life’s Kidapalooza has become THE summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) to attend. It merges the merriment and excitement of the television network Nickelodeon with the hope and love of Jesus Christ.

Kidapalooza will run from Monday, June 11 through Friday, June 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Bay Life Church with doors opening at 6 p.m. The free fun is for children entering kindergarten through those entering sixth grade.

“Every year we create a place for kids that is different from other VBS experiences,” said Wendy Stough, Elementary Director at Bay Life. “It [Kidapalooza] started with about 150 kids, and now we have close to 900 kids and 350 volunteers.”

Kidapalooza is a slime-filled, high-energy experience featuring bouncy houses, obstacle courses, indoor and outdoor games, live music, crazy dancing, and of course, time learning about Jesus.

Stough is the brains behind Kidapoolza. Each year Stough conceives an overarching theme and then writes the curriculum. This year’s overall theme is ‘Look Up’ with each day’s teaching corresponding to different reasons why they should look up to God.

“We’re trying to get kids to look up from themselves and see God as their leader,” explained Stough. “We want them to look to God in their circumstances because He is greater than all their circumstances.”

As Stough oversees the outreach, the rest of the church comes alongside her to execute the operation. Stough noted that many middle and high schoolers that enjoyed attending Kidapoolza also return as volunteers.

Throughout the week, children are given an opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior. According to the Stough, witnessing these children choose to follow Christ is what makes all the long hours and work worth it.

“When you work in children’s ministry, you plant these seeds, but you don’t always know if their lives have been changed. So when we see a child choose Christ, it is worth the time, and it is worth the exhaustion,” she said.

To register, visit If registered by the end of May, children will receive a free t-shirt.

For questions, contact Wendy Stough at 661-3696 Ext. 230 or Bay Life is located at 1017 Kingsway Rd. in Brandon.

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Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.