Please join us this summer as we travel to the Fort Peck Reservation in Northeast Montana for our annual Mission trip, July 10-17, 2021. This intergenerational trip is one that First Pres has been leading for many years. We invite you to join us, participating in the Vacation Bible School, sports camp, church construction work, and fellowship with friends on the reservation.
We arrive on Saturday night so we can worship at the two churches on the reservation on Sunday morning. The first service is at Macaicu Church overlooking the Missouri River, where Louis and Clark travelled. There’s nothing like hearing the church bell toll, announcing the start of the church service.
Then we go to Ft. Kipp for the Red Eagle Church service. Both services offer an opportunity to see friends from years past and announce VBS for the upcoming week.
Sunday afternoon free time includes swimming at the local Culbertson pool and meeting to go over last minute VBS details.
Vacation Bible School
VBS takes place Monday through Friday, 1–3:30pm, after the government- subsidized hot lunch has been served, at Black Dog Hall in Ft. Kipp, 20 minutes west of our hotel in Culbertson.
Each year it varies, but we usually have 30-50 kids attending VBS, from preschool/kindergarten though high school age. Black Dog Hall is a large, one-room space, and we set up sections for each age group. Our VBS opens with the whole group, then we break out by age and the kids enjoy Bible time, crafts, games, and snacks, much like we run VBS at First Pres. We use the same VBS curriculum as First Pres and bring all materials with us. We bring bags of donated toys as a special gift to the children at the end of the week.
Our own younger children participate in VBS along with the children on the reservation. In other words, “my children may be too young for this kind of trip” may not be the case. We have had children as young as 2 or 3 fit right in to the VBS week. Our older children, from 2nd grade on up can help in a variety of ways. They can plan and lead outdoor games, assist with crafts, serve snacks. Younger children come to VBS who enjoy the extra attention – coloring, playing ball, reading, running around – just the thing our kids are good at! Every year our children leave Montana having experienced a new culture and having new friends.
We also offer a sports camp similar to the Victory Sports Camps here.
We work with the elders of Macaicu and Red Eagle churches to determine what repairs and renovations are needed on their churches. In years past we have completed projects as big as building a new steeple, a new Sunday school room, and pouring a concrete church foundation. Often we are painting, repairing roofs, doing electrical and plumbing work, whatever is needed for the churches. Any teen or adult can participate, handy or not!
July 10-17, 2021
We leave Glen Ellyn on Friday, July 16, to allow two days to get to Culbertson, Montana on Saturday night. Travel options include caravanning and staying in Alexandria, Minnesota on Friday night, driving out on your own, or taking the train to Williston, North Dakota and renting a car. Flying is also an option.
Over the years we have found that driving is one of the best ways to go, as we bring VBS materials, tools for construction, and toys, books, and snacks for the children.
We stay at the Hi Line Inn and Suites in Culbertson, Montana, about 20 minutes east of the Ft Peck Reservation. I am able to book a group rate for us. All rooms include a kitchenette with a full size fridge. Rates are about $75-100 a night.
Breakfast – there are a couple of diners in town, walking distance from the hotel. Some families like to stock up at the local grocery and have breakfast in their room.
Lunch – the reservation has a government subsidized hot lunch and the more kids they serve the better it is for them. So our kids eat with the kids at Black Dog Hall in Ft. Kipp each day. The food is great – tacos, mac and cheese, corn dogs, sloppy joes – our kids enjoy it. The rest of us usually make sandwiches to bring each day.
Dinner – we really like to eat as a group and we have a few options. Bethel Church, up the street from the motel, has kindly allowed us to use their space. We have grilled hamburgers and hot dogs there, we have also gone to the restaurants in town for pizza, burgers, etc and we try to place our orders as a group. It makes for a great fellowship time!