Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: VBS edition

This was the week of VBS (Vacation Bible School to the uninitiated).  Our little church has one every year.  I will say straight up that VBS is not my favorite activity.  I don't know what my favorite church-related activity is, but I don't seem to have much of a heart for children's ministries.  There, I said it out loud.  Still, we participate because we love the church and thus we support the programs.  If I could not support the programs, I guess I would need to find a new church! 

Two years ago I ran the crafts, the seminarian helped with games and sound, my boy also helped with the games, and my girl was a student participant.  That was a harrowing week for me. 

Last year we had other things going on and just skipped it.  I felt a little guilty - there are never enough volunteers - but got over it.

When it was time to sign up for this year, we decided it would be a family event.  Both kids could be teen helpers. The seminarian could do sound again.  And I found myself saying I would teach pre-k and k.  It had to have been the Holy Spirit speaking through me because there is no way I would volunteer to teach the four- to six-year-old group on my own.  None. Ever.

Of course the week turned out to be fun, exhausting, annoying, boring, exciting, too loud... all together.  I received lots of hugs, had some nice talks with a little girl who is nervous about her new school, watched a sweet little boy run crazily around the play area yelling "my brakes are out!" so the big boys would chase him, and drank a lot of coffee,  Oh yeah, and presented the Gospel. 

And even though VBS was only from nine till noon, the rest of the day was shot.  We came home, ate lunch, washed the t-shirts, got ready for the next day, and vegetated.  I'm sure my kids will never recover the brain cells lost to VBS songs (Game Day Central, where heroes are made! - if you know that one, feel free to leave a comment thanking me for getting it stuck in your head again) and the hours of Xbox they played to decompress.

Want to hear a bright spot, though?  I decided to go to Costco to buy some drumsticks (the ice cream kind, not the turkey kind) for the volunteer staff. And they were on special!  A box of 16 ice cream treats for $5.99 instead of the usual $7.99!  That is an amazing price and I thank God for His providence in this small thing.

My kids were also thankful that we ran out of our usual breakfast food so they got bread pudding this morning.   It's not so very different from French toast, right?  Maybe a little more sugar.  And among the stale bits of bread in the freezer there was some whole wheat, so it's healthy!

See more Weekly Wrap-ups at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.   Post one of your own!


Kerri said...

Our church hasn't had a VBS yet and they sent me out on a stealth mission (ok, maybe they wouldn't put it that way) to chack out other VBS's in the area... Now how do I report about this? (I'm supposed to write up a page report this week.)

On one hand, the unreached children that actually do get pulled in by VBS (and that is the obvious heart of those putting it on) and on the other the expectation that church is supposed to be fun, fun FUN and oh yeah, SUGAR...

I share your ambivalence..

See Jamie blog said...

Yay for the ice cream drumsticks!

Marbel said...

Kerri, our church in Beaverton didn't do VBS. One year we had "catechism camp" wherein the kids learned as much of the Shorter Catechism as they could. It was hugely fun and not packaged. We sang out of the hymnal, not the inane VBS songs designed to crank the kids up.

This was my 4th exposure to a packaged VBS. We had 30 kids total (our church is small), probably ~1/4 of them unchurched. The kids mostly enjoyed the songs, crafts, and other activities. I had one boy in my group who couldn't handle the loud music and chaotic environment very well. I have to wonder why VBS music has to be so loud. He reminded me of my own boy at that age who couldn't handle that stimulation either. My kid was a helper this year and wore earplugs during the music time - he still can't handle it.

Time will tell if any of the families come to church. One mom seemed very interested. But that seems to happen every year and no one has ever come back. Maybe they go to other churches, though.

One good thing did come out of it for my family - the middle school boys all helped and they had a great time and really seemed to bond. Mine was a bit of an outsider till this week. Tomorrow they are all gathering at one boy's house for video games. This is the first time my kid has been invited to a social event by any of the kids he's gone to church with these last 3 years.

Elaine said...

VBS is always so much more fun to simply participate in than to actually help put on!!!!

I love a deal! WooHoo on the ice cream drumstick special!

Anonymous said...

My kids did a VBS once. They enjoyed it, but for me it was a waste. My well-churched kids got nothing out of it. And they had a couple of unchurched friends who came (the main reason we did it was to get them to come along too) and I am not sure they got anything out of it either. I really don't think they drove home the message for those kids either. As I listened, I could often see what they were getting at but they just didn't connect any dots so the kids didn't get the message. We are not big fans of either VBS or a lot of other kids' ministries.