Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Wrap-Up: Vacation Bible School

I was going to wrap up month by month, but June was really all about VBS and nothing else for me, so here's VBS, and by extension June, in a nutshell.

I taught Sunday School last year, which was really fun, and at a SS meeting, I mentioned that sure, I could help with VBS.  Some how "help with" became "run" and now the ongoing joke is if I don't show up to a church meeting, they just put me in charge.  At this rate, I'll be running the whole show in 6-8 months.

So, the theme was Amazing Desert Journey.  We covered the Garden of Eden, Manna from Heaven, the Temptation of Christ and the Resurrection.  We did a four day, evening VBS instead of the traditional five day.  Four days was perfect, not too long or short, and we were blessed with pretty good weather-only one really hot day.  We did lots of passive activities like a giant coloring poster, a sandbox and sidewalk chalk.  As always, there was lots of music and games, and silliness.

Here I am, awkwardly digging in my bag-o-fun for the day's object lesson.  Since each VBS session was only 2 hours long, I just treated it like a big storytime.  Everyday we opened with music, did the object lesson, the main lesson, craft, then snack, a game or some type of odd silliness then close with music.

Our crafts were simple.  Every night we had four stations:  Poster coloring, greeting cards for the nursing home, a recycle-old-craft-materials station, and a special station where we made a theme-following craft.  

The snacks were amazing!  I owe my left arm to Diny for doing such a great job.  I really should have taken pictures.  She had the kids make an edible mini-Garden of Eden with apples, pretzel sticks and grapes and cherries.  It was crazy.  We also made sand pudding complete with little camel animal crackers to roam the desert.  We also did a simple trail mix and travel blankets, which were tortillas and cinnamon.  

Part of the fun of VBS is making up stuff on the fly.  The first night we had a little extra time, so I had to improvise a game.  Luckily, our church sits on a huge lot, so we have a crazy amount of room to run around.  I grabbed a couple paper plates and some apples and had an instant relay game.  Above, I have a child demonstrating.  Now, it wasn't the most organized or conventional game, but the real point was just to run the kids a little and burn some energy.  

This game was fun!  This is called the Walls of Jericho.  Have all your kids line up, pick one to jump as far as they can, then ask everyone else to jump and try to keep a straight line (hint: you can't-the structural integrity of your wall will be compromised).  

We didn't have a huge VBS group-only about 18 kids ages three to twelve, but we did have fun.  And I have some advertising ideas for next year, so hopefully we'll consistently hit 25 per night.  I'm all about small, attainable goals.  Also, since I kinda know what I'm doing now, I hope to be more prepared and organized.  

Included in this be-more-organized-for-next-year goal is actually saying thank you!  Right after VBS I took off on an impromptu trip to Georgia to be there for Anthony's adoption, then summer just got crazy busy, so I've never said a proper thank you to all of the people that helped with VBS.  I need to send a big THANK YOU to my teachers, Melinda, Amy, and Kathy.  Another thank you to Pastor Burdick, not only for the music leadership, but also the pictures, which I took from his facebook page.  As I said before, Diny and Mariam did an amazing job on the snacks, and I had several other volunteers that kept the chaos to a minimum, so thank you.  And to everyone at Immanuel Lutheran Church for supporting VBS with prayer and donations. 

So, that was my long overdue VBS wrap-up and thank you all in one package.  I'm all about efficiency.  Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow to recap all things July and later to recap August, although I still have one more fun event planned for this week.

Happy Reading (or VBSing).

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