Thursday, July 17, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} VBS 2014

Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life.

Last week was VBS week.  I switched VBS programs this year so the new changes and additions made my job as director a bit more challenging than years past, but it all came together nicely.  Our theme this year was Living in God's Kingdom from Loyola's Catholic Vacation Bible School book.  I was so pleased with the way the program turned out this year that I'm already looking forward to using the other two themes that are in that book for the next two years.

One of the crafts the kids made at VBS was a prayer card holder.  Each day the kids received a new holy card to color and take home.  The color your own holy cards seemed to be a hit with the kids.  We laminated all of the cards each day which made them look really nice.

I have some amazing friends who help me out with VBS each year.  I'm convinced that the program wouldn't be as great as it is without their help and passion for teaching.
I think I also have some of the best student volunteers.  This year I was the only volunteer with kids young enough to need a nursery so I scrapped the nursery knowing that my little ones wouldn't stay in there and instead had two awesome assistants who not only helped me a ton with relaying messages for me and delivering things to classrooms, but they also spent most of their time holding Katie and Anthony while I ran around doing all the things that I needed to do to make sure everything was running smoothly.  

Ever since last year, I like to tease Deacon Al about what costume I'm going to have him dress up in for VBS.  Originally I wanted him to be a jester to go with the medieval kingdom theme, but I never got around to ordering him a jester costume.  I was delighted when a friend of mine came in with a monk costume.  We were all amused to meet "Chip Monk" as he went from class to class with his Italian accent talking to the kids.  I have to start thinking about who he will dress up as next year.  I think he secretly enjoys dressing up in these costumes.

My main goal with VBS is to plant as many seeds of faith as possible hoping that some of what the kids learn will take root.  My approach is to infuse as much Catholic culture and prayer into the program as I can.  Most of our crafts include a prayer.  For the prayer card holders the kids made we included a prayer for vocations.  It was an idea that just came to me one day and the more I thought about it the more it made sense.  Our parish presently has a seminarian who is studying in Rome and we now have three more young men from our parish and/or young adult youth group who are entering the seminary this fall.  I had one of our new seminarians do a video on Divine Mercy for the campers and in his video he explained what a vocation was and what a seminarian is to help this prayer make even more sense to the kids.  Who knows, maybe our parish will see even more vocations to the priesthood and religious life in the coming years.

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {P,H,F,R} and Clan Donaldson for more Vacation Theme Thursday posts.

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