It's almost here! Our annual Kid's Bible Camp (previously known as Vacation Bible School) begins next week and everthing is coming together, but it's been a process. Our tireless and selfless volunteers began months ago with a curriculum detailing what to collect, who to recruit, how to decorate, and how to attract children to this exciting week.
First step: supplies
While we borrowed this curriculum from another church (and shared ours with them in return), there was a very long list of equipment and supplies that either needed to be purchased, donated, modified, or found for free. Things like craft supplies (purchased and donated), cardboard for large decorations (we asked around at appliance stores), pop-up open tents (loaned from church members), costumes (recycled from past years), nametags and signage (handmade), and decorations (thrifted, loaned, and hand painted) started trickling in to Classroom Three, which became the home base for KBC supplies.
Second step: recruitment
Kid's Bible Camp relies on volunteers helping out and making it happen, and we needed a LOT of them. About ten volunteers help in the marketplace, three music and celebration leaders, four to six family leaders, two to four actors, registration helpers, games leaders, food preppers... that's almost 30 adults and youth lending their time and energy for a whole week! That's without even mentioning all those who donated items, equipment, supplies, and time to prep for the week. Wow! God is so good. Thank you volunteers!
Third step: pray, pray, pray!
As the week approaches fast, we are praying for our volunteers, children, and parents who will be coming into our church and experiencing God in a unique and fun way. Throughout the week, we encourage the children to look for "God Sightings" which we post on a special wall. Children see things like others being helpful or kind, a beautiful flower outside in the garden, a stranger who smiled at them, a volunteer who helped them finish a craft, a nice conversation with a new friend. It is so encouraging to not only see God at work throughout the event and our lives, but to see children recognize Him and His good works! We appreciate prayers for the week to run smoothly, for no injuries or homesickness, and for the children and volunteers to feel as included and accepted as possible.
I know I always leave after the final day of Kid's Bible Camp tired but thankful and full of love, and I'm sure this year will be no different. It is easy to get caught up in our daily struggles, problems, negative thoughts, and hopeful prayers for healing; after a week with children experiencing love and God with unabashed joy, many of the volunteers leave feeling refreshed and renewed. While it takes a village to put this week together, it leaves the village with joy, peace, a sense of teamwork and togetherness, and a few leftover child-like giggles.