The Chel & Riley Adventures were first conceived when Matthew along with others within his church decided that it was time to create some new vacation bible school material. In years past, they had used canned or purchased materials, but it seemed like it was overused and every other church in town would be doing the same thing.
So, Matthew and others got together and came up with the idea of putting a series of sketches together based upon some characters called Chel – short for Michelle – and Riley. These sketches would not necessarily be scripted by performed impromptu style by Matthew and his pastor’s wife who excelled at off-the-cuff dialog. Outlines would be created and then bible lessons would be built off of the general theme for the story. Crafts and activities would follow and before long an entire program was formed.
The skit which was the last thing of the evening, would be used as the hook to get the kids to return the next night. Chel & Riley performed every summer for over ten years and became very popular with the kids and the adults of his home town of Morgantown.
Matthew remembers after the second year of doing Chel & Riley, that the adult who played Chel came up to him and suggested that the skits – while not entirely scripted – would make great kids stories. Later that fall, Matthew took it upon himself to review the outline that they had used for the week and built out the first chapter book for Chel & Riley, “The Mountain Adventure.”