I went to the orientation for this VBS in May and was absolutely blown away at the size and magnitude of the organization. This church holds two one-week sessions for 500 children each week. The day lasts from 8:30 to 5:00, and a yummy lunch and two snacks are served. Church membership is not a prerequisite: the congregation sees it as a way to love on the children of the community. When registration was open to the public, the 1,000 slots were gone in something like 23 minutes.
A far cry from the VBS of my youth which involved red Kool-aid, and crafts such as gold sprayed macaroni glued onto a cigar box. This, obviously, is NOT your mother's Vacation Bible School.
The first day began with me looking in the mirror and gasping. A blood vessel must have burst in one corner of my right eye, and I looked something like a vampire. Great. What a way to meet seven year-old children. To their credit, only one little girl asked me if I got something in my eye. I wanted to say, "Oh, darn! Must have used the squeeze ketchup bottle instead of my contact lens solution again. That's what I get for leaving it on the bathroom counter!" Because I love messing with kids. But you know what? All they really care about is how high you can push them on the tire swing. And I was apparently something of an expert, because my pushing line was the longest on the playground. And a good time was had by all.
There were bouncy houses and Bible Stories. Pizza and homemade cookies served by the over 80 crowd under trees that barely masked the Texas heat--but these seniors turn out year after year with smiles on their faces. Songs and crafts; videos and magicians. The day flew by in a church entirely decorated to look like a ranch. My group is the Mighty Tumbleweeds, and this is not their first rodeo. Little Texas humor, that.
What I love about working with children is they are all the same, just in different packages. There is still the little helpful boy who falls immediately in love with you (even with a scary red eye), the little princess girl who makes every thing a little more fun, and the child who always has a cut/bruise/headache or need for immediate emergency room attention, to name a few. By the end of the day we were all fast friends and looking forward to a fun week together.
I end with this quote that contains all the wisdom of seven years: "Tomorrow I will have even a better time because last night I was so excited about today I couldn't sleep. That made me sleepy today so I guess my excitement kept me awake. Now I know what will happen and I can sleep good because I have the regular excitement about tomorrow, not the kind that keeps you awake like on Christmas Eve. This is going to be a great week."
Makes perfect sense to me. Rolling with the Tumbleweeds through a great week in VBS.