Lessons from Teaching Vacation Bible School

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Finding God faith formation program. 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 […]

Vacation Bible School Week

It’s the most fun and physically demanding week of the year—Vacation Bible School. My first year of leading VBS, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I ordered the kit, borrowed liberally from other parishes using the same theme, and prayed it would all come together. That first year we had 20 children and 10 volunteers. For our rainforest theme, we created a set with green and flowered sheets hanging on the walls, […]

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. 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 […]

Four Tips on How to Survive Vacation Bible School and Still Have Fun

While Vacation Bible School is one of the most high-energy weeks of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful. Lots of volunteers you may or may not know well combine with dozens of children of all age groups bouncing around and being kids in organized chaos. Here are a few tips to help you keep your head when it seems like everyone else in the room is losing theirs. Remember that […]

Four Ways to Keep the Faith in Vacation Bible School

This is the third article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. By this time, initial planning for this summer’s Vacation Bible School is underway, and the countdown has begun. We’ve selected a program, scheduled the date, and begun recruiting leaders for the many activities required for a successful program. An enthusiastic team of volunteers is busy brainstorming ideas for games, snacks, decorations, and skits. Whether […]

The Gifts of the Community in Vacation Bible School

This is the second article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. After I’ve selected my summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) program, focus, and theme, it’s time to center my efforts on the gifts of the community of people who will make it all happen. The promotional materials I’ve been previewing for months are full of vibrant, happy artists creating eye-popping décor, professional musicians leading enthusiastic […]

Choosing a Vacation Bible School Program

This is the first article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. We start by looking at choosing a Vacation Bible School program. I’ve been looking at Vacation Bible School (VBS) flyers and previewing Web sites since Advent, when summer seemed a distant date on the calendar, something I could put at the very bottom of my ever lengthening to-do list. By early March, I’m still […]