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The Potter's Shed!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

After a week of early rushed mornings, days filled with paint/glitter/clay/ giggling/running/singing, and tired, hobbled-together dinners, VBS (or VBC - Vacation Bible Camp as it was re-christened this week) is OVER.

**Satisfied, tired SIGH**

I've not always been a huge proponent of VBS (I'm not necessarily, still). There are issues of expense, laying more work on already busy moms/volunteers, stewardship follow-up with attendees, and some concern with the "amped-up", crazy-fun mentality. But, growing up I had two particularly meaningful experiences at VBS (really the only two I attended), so I still think some great stuff can occur during these wild weeks!

All that said, this was the best VBS we've had at our church. Yes, it was hectic and draining...and a bit "amped-up", but it was really wonderful - all-in-all.

The question is, "Why was this week so successful?" And secondly, "How can we 'top' it?"

The first reason this week was so successful is, of course, that the Lord blessed it. And we could certainly stop there - what more needs to be said? But there were some definite aspects the Lord used to bless our VBS week.

  • Dads: Our VBS leader didn't just wait for the Dads to volunteer, she specifically asked a few dads to come serve in a very specific way. Realizing that most dads work during the day (we still do mid-day VBS), she found dads that were able to take off a few hours just one morning during the week. Each morning the "dad of the day" served as our Science Lab leader. Of course doing a simple science experiment is right up a dad's alley - and having the added authority of a "DAD" kept the science room under better control than it might have been otherwise. The dads seemed to really enjoy serving in this way and it was so valuable for the kids to see the example set by them!

  • Having an energetic and gifted drama leader: 'nuf said.

  • Volunteers from the "older" set: We had a number of volunteers whose children are all grown (many with grandchildren) join us to serve as group leaders, time-keepers, kitchen crew, and set-up/take-down. This has been something we've done in the past as well, but this year the number of volunteers from the "older" set was quite a bit higher. I'd say half our volunteers had no children of VBS age - or even close!

  • Keeping it SIMPLE: We do not have our own building any longer, so we were at the mercy of our kind church hosts (and very kind and gracious they were). This necessitated that we keep the decorations pretty simple, which many of us discovered was a GREAT blessing. We also kept the craft room simpler than ususal, too. The kids had so much fun, I doubt they noticed any difference!

  • Sharing resources: Wisely, our VBS leaders struck a deal with our host church to share some of the VBS expenses by sharing a curriculum package (which allowed us to also share the expense and work of making decorations, too). This left money to have a family pool party after the close on Friday for all the attendees' and volunteers' families. It was a great way to meet some of the parents of kids who were visiting our church via VBS and it gave them a chance to get to know our church family. And it was just plain, FUN!

I was asked at the end of the pool party, "So, how do we top this next year?" To which I replied, "We don't have to top it, we just have to do it again!"

See, this is how much fun we had:

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