Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fantastic VBS Vacation Week

Marmot (image source:  Wikipedia)

Last week I took a vacation week to help in our Vacation Bible School ("VBS") and had a fantastic week!  It is such a blessing to be a part of this ministry outreach into our community!  We had around 750 children attend and 77% were from outside of our church.  I helped in grades 5 and 6 again this year just because I like working with that age group best. Personally, I think the older kids are easier than the younger ones and like the competition.  We used Gospel Light's Sonrise National Park material which featured a different animal to go with each day's verse.  The children each got laminated verse cards with the animal of the day and verse on one side and the lesson connection on the other.

Each age group was a different animal for their name tags.  The 5th and 6th graders were Marmots which are like a big ground squirrel.  They live in mountains and burrow among the rocks during the winter when they hibernate.  Each day, the 5th and 6th graders were challenged to bring in facts about the animal of the day.  Very few knew what a Marmot was.

I chose to be the green team this year because it is a color easy to spot and gave my group tickets each day they wore green which promoted a bit of team unity and also helped me find them easier.  The tickets were given to the kids by their group leader and had prize drawings at the end of each day. 

I was encouraged when several of the boys I had last year signed up for my group again this year.  Our whole group was cooperative and fun.  My small group memorized the five verses without much nagging encouragement from me and we had a come-from-behind 1st place finish!  We had rec time outside, snacks, crafts, skit presenting the lesson each day and small group time to take care of points, review the lesson, verses and play some games.

In our small group, we played the following fun games:

Match game--in groups of three they talked to find out what things they all liked and the point went to the group that came up with what I liked best such as TV show, sport to play, etc.

Fact or fiction. Each one gives three facts about yourself--two true ones and one false one.  The others tried to guess which one was false.  The one guessing most right got a ticket and if they could fool everyone, they got a point.  My facts were as follows--see if you can pick the false one:

  1. I like animals and have 2 cats, 1 dog, a rabbit and a bird..
  2. I never liked reading when I was in school but read a lot now.
  3. I don't have a stove.
I fooled them all! I don't have a rabbit or bird. The last day I offered the kids in my group a copy of My Funny Dad, Harry, the book I wrote and was pleasantly surprised that most of them actually wanted a copy! I only had four though so told them I'd order more and mail it to them if they sent me an email.

Basketball review using a small ball and a wastebasket with review questions.

Animal charades giving a point to both the correct guesser and the actor if someone could guess what animal they were acting out.

It was also a blessing to see boys I taught in Sunday School when they were in 5th grade be helpers in VBS. They are in Jr. High and High School now and my heart rejoices when I see them serving our Lord Jesus Christ with me.

It was hot every day except Friday and rained Thursday so had to have most of the rec time indoors.  The kids and staff were flexible and no one complained.  Here is a picture of some of the kids enjoying the big puddle in the parking lot as they were leaving to go home.

Wading in church parking lot after VBS on Thursday.

Over $2400 was received in offering during the week that will be used to provide milk to kids at the Chain of Love orphanage in Brazil.  The video below gives a brief overview of the whole Bible School. 

Did your church have VBS yet?  Do you remember going as a kid?  Do you help in yours now?  Although none of the kids in my small group received Jesus as their Savior last week as far as I know, I did give them each a personal Bible Reading Record to encourage them to start reading their Bible.  Hope they use it!

(We are donating 50 cents for each legitimate comment we receive on all our blogs during June and July to The Wounded Warrior Project which helps wounded warriors and their families returning from current conflicts.)

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Karen said...

This is so awesome! You may never know what impact you made on someone's life. Woo hoo!

Rebecca said...

TERRIFIC!!! Your VBS sounded like it was great, and I love your ideas. I once helped with VBS, long ago, as a young person. It was mostly very young kids whose parents were more interested in free babysitters, so it wasn't very enjoyable. But you just never know what kind of an effect this kind of thing can have on a child. Very cool!

Pierro said...

lovely post!
I went to VBS as a kid. We were raised Presbyterian.
I did indeed volunteer every single year when the girls were in elem school. Then they took the reigns and volunteered.

That is a huge puddle. I love puddles :-) kind of like wading in a little lake.

It has been a very warm and humid summer. I am ready for Fall!

blessings and bonks

Lin said...

My kids always loved VBS and I am very appreciative of people, like you, who help to make that week so much fun for the kids. :)

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

My experience with VBS has been very like Rebecca's. Our church does UPWARD SPORTS all summer long, into fall. Our community finds these programmes relevant and enjoyable. We have just purchased the 10 acres beside our current location so the sports field will be "on-site". Non-churched families involved in the sports will be able to make the connection and be encouraged to visit on Sat and Sun when services are in progress. We have welcomed new visitors to our congregation directly thru this ministry, as people are seeing Jesus at work in and thru their childrens' sports programmes.

MarytheKay said...

I love that you take a week off to work with your church's VBS!!! I have such fond memories of going to VBS as a child. Our church also has a VBS every summer--and it's always such a highlight!

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