Three Promises for Vacation Bible School Week

This is the last article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School.

children dancing

Vacation Bible School is up and running, and my head is about to explode with all the details! Even with decorations finished and an excellent volunteer staff, I still feel like I have a dozen spinning plates to maintain. How will I get through the week and still hold on to my faith and my sanity?

First, it’s all about Jesus. I promise to stay focused on the theme and the reason we are doing this. What message are we trying to convey to these children? How can we help them grow in faith, hope, and love? Is everything we are doing centered on the Gospel? Have I been prayerful this week?

Second, it’s all about the people. I promise to stay focused on the people who are making this happen. I will connect with my adult staff daily, making sure they are on track, have what they need, and are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually nourished throughout the week. I will connect with my teen helpers, giving them opportunities to use their gifts and explore new ones. I will respect parents, starting and ending on time, providing and obtaining relevant information, and making sure families are noticed and well-cared for. I will focus on children collectively and individually, paying attention to group sizes and the need for children to remain with siblings or friends, watching for food allergies or other health and wellness needs, and making sure visitors are as welcome as parishioners. I will encourage my staff to do the same.

Third, it’s all about having fun. I promise to have fun, no matter what! I will not allow minor inconveniences to become major crises. I will smile, laugh, sing and dance, and play. I will allow God’s Spirit to prevail in my heart, so that my gifts will be used effectively and my weaknesses supported by the gifts of others. I will look back on this week with fond memories.

What will you do to get through Vacation Bible School?

Catholic Vacation Bible SchoolLearn about Catholic Vacation Bible School from Loyola Press.

Read the first three articles in the series:
Choosing a Vacation Bible School Program
The Gifts of the Community in Vacation Bible School
Four Ways to Keep the Faith in Vacation Bible School

About Kathy Henry 22 Articles
Kathy Olenik Henry has been involved in the faith formation of children and adults for 19 years. She holds a Masters in Religious Education from Loyola University, New Orleans, and has served as a catechist, DRE, youth minister, and retreat director. She lives in Ohio with her husband and five sons.

2 Comments on Three Promises for Vacation Bible School Week

  1. For years I struggled to fit our parish, with its unique human, physical plant and financial gifts and challenges, into the mold of prepared vacation Bible school programs. Then I began to write our own but stuck to the template of the packaged programs and it was still a struggle (I’m a slow learner). Three years ago I broke out of the mold completely and began to write VBS programs to fit our place and people, and the stress just doesn’t exist anymore.

    We take a Montessori sort of approach to enlivening our physical space, which is ours only for that week. We start out with blank walls and each day the main space is decorated with art work and projects, done by the campers. By the end of the week when we sing for our families, we have a gallery on the walls which the kids are proud to show off and to take home with them! No decorating the week before and minimal take-down at the end. Yahoo!
    Eva Lyons
    Director of Christian Formation
    St. Catherine of Siena Parish
    Wilmington, DE

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