More than 400 youth from Zachary and surrounding areas attended Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church in Zachary June 1-5.

The boys and girls, ranging from 3-year-olds to sixth-graders, were led by 125 adults under the direction of the Rev. Stephen Byrd in learning from the Book of David, participating in arts and crafts and learning songs. This year’s theme was “Journey Off the Map.”

The children participated in a fundraising competition throughout the week to see whether the boys or the girls could raise the most money for Operation Christmas Child, which sends shoeboxes filled with gifts to needy children during Christmas.

During closing ceremonies June 5, the money was weighed in buckets, and the girls were named the winners of the competition.

“In all, the children raised close to $2,000, and it was mostly pennies,” church volunteer Laura Ladnier said.

A casualty of the contest was church intern Clayton Hand, who agreed to become a human hot dog if the boys lost.

Hand had mustard, ketchup, relish, chili and cheese dumped on his head to the delight of 405 youths.

Byrd would have been the human hot dog if the girls lost the competition, Ladnier said. “It was a super fun day for everyone,” she said.