Monday, June 21, 2010

My First Vacation Bible School

Last week I spent five nights immersed in a mock ship wreck.  It was my first trip to Vacation Bible School (VBS).  Each evening I rotated through interactive bible stories, songs, crafts, nifty themed snacks, movies, and outdoor tomfoolery with a group of seven to nine-year-olds.  I was amazed.

Being that I am so old and wise, I was struck by the sheer enormity of planning the thing.  The kids were organized into age groups with volunteers to keep them moving in the right direction.  Then there were five stations throughout the church staffed by people that would perform a precise routine five times in a row tweaking it for kids as young as 4 all the way up to 12.  One night the snack was blue jell-o with cool whip "foam" topped by a Nilla wafer island and a gummy worm "snake".  Cute and delicious for over 60 kids.

I spent a good bit of time with my crew of roughly nine-year-old VBSers.  There were as many as 14 of them and they talk every bit as much as my five-year-old.  While I was with them I pondered the difference between these church kids and a similar group of school children you might encounter outside of the Christian environment.

The boys were still talking of blowing things up with bazookas.  We had to ask them to refrain from saying "dang" because we were in church.  They seemed pretty ordinary, except for how they all got along.  Clearly there were some groups of closer friends than others, but they didn't pick on each other.  There was no outcast.  They were nice kids that want to blow things up with bazookas.

It was a friendlier crowd than I remember being among in my days as a 9-year-old.

Though I wish I could get the "Vast Voyage" theme song out of my head permanently, VBS was pretty cool.  Julia got to stay up way past bedtime for five nights straight.  I got even more assurance that church is a good thing, bazookas and all.