In 2020, being an “experienced” Vacation Bible School (VBS) staff or volunteer won’t automatically get you very far, at least not on the programmatic side. Nationally, Christian Educators are seeking out ‘bridge options’ to serve children and families during this between-time. They are choosing a creative mix of the virtual and the mundane. Some can be integrated into a unique, perhaps one-time (perhaps not) VBS venue. Examples include: creating short video clips via LOOM, a “daily bread dinner” story and cooking project, Godly Play sessions via Zoom, adapting an Easter “Ring-and-Run,” “Flat Jesus” narratives, or a Zoom game or art night.
Most VBS curriculum publishers have stepped forward to meet the challenge with resource material for a variety of venues: traditional, at-home, neighborhood and alternate. Add to this a series of adaptable programmatic models and we have a wide variety of inspired approaches. Take a good look at the following links and allow yourself, your volunteers and your families an appropriate amount of creative freedom.
BUILDING FAITH (Episcopal) VBS curriculum survey
ADVENTIST MEDICAL SYSTEMS-unique, health related VBS curriculum
ILLUSTRATED MINISTRY (Ecumenical) curriculum
GEN-ON MINISTRIES (Ecumenical) All God’s Children: The church family gathers for summer
Advice for Staff
LIFEWAY (multi-denominational) advice for staff
CONCORDIA SUPPLY (multi-denominational) advice for staff
ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN’S MINISTRY (Ecumenical) multiple resources
Adaptable programmatic models- These ideas may have been tried a different time of year, but could be adapted for summer programming.
CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH-adaptable programmatic mode
“BACK YARD KIDS’ CLUBS”-adaptable programmatic model
THE “VERY BEST DAY” DISCUSSION QUESTIONS—Episcopal adaptable programmatic model (Godly Play ‘feel’)
“CHURCH TO GO” from BUILDING FAITH (Episcopal), via St. Cuthburths-Houston-adaptable programmatic model
VIDEOS-Holy Week-programmatic adaptable model
“SACRED SPACE AT HOME” (Episcopal- Wendy Claire Barrie blog) adaptable model
“BACKYARD SCAVENGER HUNT”-Building Faith (Episcopal) adaptable model
“HISTORY SCAVENGER HUNT”-adaptable model
ZOOM GAMES (Laurie’s Little Monkeys) adaptable model
“AT HOME VIDEO LESSONS” GROUP (multi-denominational) adaptable model
SALVATION ARMY SIOUX FALLS adaptable model
Roberta L’Esperance Schlechter CCE, Retired Christian Educator and Member of the Hope4CE Steering Committee, Portland OR