Lessons from Teaching Vacation Bible School

children wearing sunglasses

Now that summer is over and it’s back-to-school, I’d love to hear from some of you about your experience of teaching/coordinating Vacation Bible School (VBS). All too often, VBS can be thought of as just babysitting when, in reality, some wonderful and amazing things can happen to deepen the faith life of young people as well as those who teach them.

A very interesting article appeared on Busted Halo entitled, “What I Learned From Teaching Vacation Bible School,” in which catechist Megan Pinna reflects on her experience of teaching VBS. In particular, she talks about the impact that the experience had on one young girl who wrote a prayer asking God to heal her father’s cancer. Megan writes:

Suddenly I realized that for some kids, this week of VBS wasn’t a joke. That for some, Bible stories about love and hope actually mean something. Sure, there were kids who were only there because they were forced to attend, but if that little girl learned to trust in God while going through such a terrible time in her life, then maybe we were doing something right.

I have no doubt that many of you are “doing something right”—something VERY right—in your ministry as catechists! Please do share your VBS experiences.

P.S. It’s never too early to begin laying the plans for next summer’s VBS. Be sure to take a look at what Loyola Press has to offer for VBS.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

1 Comment

  1. In 2016 I did something that the Lord had planted in my mind and heart years before… I hosted a small “vbs”, which I called “Joyful days rosary camp”, at my home. During 2 separate weeks, I invited 12 little girls aged 5-12 to come, and each day (Monday through Friday) we explored one of the joyful mysteries, with a bible lesson, music, craft, and games. The girls and I had a wonderful time! And I’m so happy to say that one of the moms was received into the Church Easter 2017, and I was her confirmation sponsor, and another Easter 2018, and I was her sponsor and her daughter’s Godmother! Such beautiful blessings! ❤️ I am planning “Light of the World Camp” for this summer, with the Luminous Mysteries! ❤️😊🙏🏻❤️

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