Friday, July 15, 2005

VBS --It's a Wrap

It's the last day of VBS. Here are the Mission Zone kids taking a break from their labors with a food fight. We had barbeque sauce, watermelons, mayonnaise, mustard, Cool Whip and ketchup everywhere.

The weather cooperated by sending us some showers to finally break our heat spell so the kids were rinsed off by rain as well as our garden hoses!

This was our best year ever for VBS. Several years ago we didn't have VBS We due to construction and expansion of our Christian Education Building. We just couldn't use it that summer and had no other facility. So we have been rebuilding the program since then and this year we finally ironed out most of our logistical problems.

Here are some things that worked well for us:

* Decide in advance what your ratio of adult volunteers to children needs to be, then use that as a guide for capping enrollment.

* Enlist high school youth to assist teachers, lead playtime, run the audio/visual equipment, work in the nursery with adult supervision--they were the best! We couldn't have VBS without our youth.

* Instead of using one-age-fits-all curriculum, use a different curriculum for the 3 year old group and the 4th-6th graders. Their needs are different.

* Set a deadline for registration a month to two weeks before VBS opens so that you can place accurate orders for supplies and craft items.

* Have some volunteers available first thing in the morning to stay with the children of teachers so they can meet with the VBS Director to get last-minute instructions and for prayer time. Show a video or have some games or music to entertain the teacher's children during the meeting.

* Work out a system that keeps the parents out of the main gathering area for drop-off and pick-up of the children. Parents coming into the sanctuary during opening and closing exercises are very disruptive. We had volunteers taking roll and teenagers escorting the kids to their groups.

* Get cooperation from the pastors to acknowledge VBS in worship the following Sunday. Our kids are going to sing The Lord's Prayer at both services (with some backup provided by the adult praise band and choir) while a slide show of pictures from VBS is projected behind them. This will take the place of the Children's Sermon for the day.

And now, praise God, VBS is over until 2006!


SpookyRach said...

Glad you survived!

the reverend mommy said...

most of your observations are pretty universal.
we had a big blow-out celebration at each of the three services this year (as we always do) inviting all the parents to participate in the worship service. we usually get several families to join that way.

we have a different curriculum for the little guys and for the 6th and 7th graders -- you are right, their needs are really really different.

I'm trying to ramp up Sunday school around here -- any suggestions?