Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Boredom Busters - Don't Forget About VBS!

Vacation Bible School (VBS) season has officially started, and is already in full swing (the pictures above represent just a few being offered around the country, this summer). 

Depending on the size of your town, you could conceivably keep your children (ages K-6th grade, in most cases) busy for at least half the day for every week (with the possible exception of the week of the 4th) from now until the end of summer - for free!

I like free.  And, I love Vacation Bible School - with the crafts (these are a few from our summer so far)...

...the songs...

...the snacks (I get to be the "snack lady" at our churches VBS this year, so I'm especially psyched about the snacks)...

...and best of all the stories and verses (which are different from VBS to VBS, so children can attend several without repeating stories during the summer).

If you're not familiar with Vacation Bible School - think church based day camps. 

They run one week, usually from 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning to around noonish, or for a couple of hours each evening, depending on the church. 

You will get a little different teaching from church to church - you can check out a churches website to see the particular things they believe (and teach) if you're unsure - and you can find sample lessons and songs on the publishers' sites, by searching for a VBS by name.  For the most part though, if you stick with the major denominations - Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Faith Evangelical Free, Assembly of God, Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA), Mennonite Brethren, or Evangelical Mennonite (this is not a comprehensive list), you'll get pretty much the same style of teaching - Bible stories, such as those above, with a simple salvation message, something like the one below.  You can also check with individual churches to find out about how they screen workers (most have very good policies in place, to keep children safe).

You do not need to attend a church regularly to send your children to their VBS - they are open to the community - and generally very welcoming. 

At the end of the week, there might be a parent night, to show off the songs and verses the children have learned through the week, often with an ice cream social, or swim party thrown in just for fun. 

You will probably receive a flyer with information about that church's children's programs for the fall - but you won't be on any type of "please bug me" list.

There is no cost (usually, and if there is - I'd say skip that one), but there is often a missionary type offering during the week, where the kids are giving money towards a school in Africa, or a local homeless shelter, or something along that line.  Children do not have to give money - but there is often a competition between girls and boys, to see who will raise the most for the project by the end of the week.

To find a Vacation Bible School, check out church websites (just google "churches and your town's name), their Facebook pages, your local paper (under summer day camps),  or watch for flyers on bulletin boards around town at grocery stores, the library, or ice cream shops.

E (age 11, and in her last year for most VBS's) and C (age 10) have made it their personal goal to attend as many Vacation Bible Schools, this summer, while they still can.  Their currently on week two, with hopes of hitting several more - and making lots of new friends from all around town, before school starts back up in the fall.

1 comment:

Ticia said...

Both my Mom's church and mine had their VBS on the same week, so my kids were in two VBS' the same week. It was rather busy, so this past week Jeff and I just collapsed.