Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Surviving the Wilderness

I ended up being a co-director for Vacation Bible School at church this year. There was no conversation in which I was asked to do this. At least not one I remember.

I think it was my curiosity that got me. For the past several years I've wondered in the summer months how every church ends up with the same VBS. Pandas, Sky, Kingdom Rock... every church in our area had the same exact signs, the same exact program. So when the big unveiling of themes happened, I mentioned that I'd like to go.

I was unaware this would cement my position on the leadership team.

It did and I really enjoyed planning our program with its theme specifically chosen to break out of that same track the other churches were using. I met with a team of three other women, fabulous dedicated people, monthly and then weekly and eventually daily. We made each other laugh and sometimes talked about other stuff more we planned for our bible school.

It took a considerable amount of effort to tweak Wilderness Escape VBS (where God guides and provides) to our church's proven time schedule. Last week we successfully executed five evenings of crafts, games, Bible stories, dancing, and experiments for about 80 children. We capped off the festivities with an unprecedented family fun night where families joined their kids to explore an Israelite Camp complete with more crafts, experiences, and a full-on petting zoo. They could sample fresh baked bread, make a harmonica out of craft sticks, create a hand print camel, make rope and help "clean" the camp. Every tent had a steady stream of kids eager to get their hands on the activities they'd been able to view only from a distance during the week. It was something to see.

I'm feeling a bit euphoric in these post-VBS days. It went well, that family fun night. I had a glowing happy moment during the event when I overheard someone say, "this is really nice" and the Wilderness theme was playing in the background and kids were clambering to pet a goat. I didn't feel tired or stressed. I just felt good. It was nice and I had a hand in making it so.

The gleeful bit does have a great deal to do with having it just be over. It is a great weight lifted to have it done, cleaned up and put away. We have pictures and memories to sort through. The hard work is over for the foreseeable future. It's taken many months, but I am finally on break, completely unencumbered by volunteer obligations. No Girl Scouts. No church stuff. Just complete relaxation.

And thinking about next year.

***I poached these pictures from the church youth director's facebook page as I was too busy enjoying the night to get out my own camera.***