When I was a kid my mom sent me to every Vacation Bible School (VBS) our town had to offer. I went to the Methodist church for VBS, the Baptist church, the non-denominational VBS held in the park and hosted by a traveling evangelistic group, and even the Mennonite VBS. I think the only one I didn't go to was the Catholic VBS and, truthfully, that may have only been because they didn't have one. I don't know. I loved VBS. We did super-fun crafts and had super-fun lessons about Biblical figures like Noah or Joseph and, of course, Jesus. We sang songs and played games, we ate cookies and drank red Kool-aid, and I made lots of new friends and was exposed to multiple approaches to God. My mom's a smart lady: she knew the same ol', same ol' summer activities would get boring and VBS was a great way to keep me occupied through the summer.
A couple of weeks ago, our church advertised a need for volunteers for their Vacation Bible School. I saw the ad and I thought, "I really loved my VBS experiences, maybe I can do something to help the kids in our church have a great VBS experience too". Last night was the first planning meeting for VBS. First, I was shocked at how few people were there. Just 4 people, not including the Youth Ministry coordinator! Goodness, how on earth are they going to manage all the kids with only 4 adults? Ah, well, sadly only 10 kids have been signed up to participate so I guess VBS isn't such a big thing in the big city like it is in my small hometown. I'm helping to organize and run the evening event, an Intergenerational service to "close" the VBS day program. They have it in the evening to give the working parents an opportunity to participate with their kids who've been attending VBS for the day. Unfortunately, I'm in working parents camp (even though I don't have a kid) because I'm not able to volunteer for the day program (M-R 9:00 - 11:30am). I did volunteer to help with an necessary preparations like decorating the church for VBS or making snacks ahead of time. I even volunteered to make Jell-O jigglers, which Urban Cowboy seemed excited about so I guess he's going to help me. ;-) Overall, I'm really happy I volunteered because I am getting the opportunity to get to know a few women in my church and I have been wanting to get involved in church activities (outside of just going to service on Sundays). That said, I'm a bit worried that the coordinator is not very organized and she's got a lot on her plate so I'm not sure VBS won't suffer from her inattention but it seems like the other ladies volunteering have a lot of time (one is retired, one is a teacher, the other is a SAHM) so I think they'll be able to step up and help a lot. No matter what, I think the VBS experience is a great opportunity for kids to celebrate God and to get a break from their normal summer routine so I'm sure the event will be wonderful for everyone.