Summer offers tons of opportunities for summer camps. Basketball camp, soccer camp, performing arts camp… the list goes on. Kids can spend a whole morning (or day) engaged in fun activities that you don’t have to plan! They come home exhausted and ready for a long nap or early bedtime, brimming with fresh memories of new friends and experiences. It can be challenging to choose between camps, as there are a limited amount of weeks in the summer (and a limited camp budget), and each type of camp offers different opportunities for your child to learn and grow.
But as you set your summer schedule, make sure you prioritize attending Vacation Bible School. Vacation Bible School (VBS) is an amazing opportunity for your child to connect fellowship with fun. Throughout the week, your child will learn about Christ in a kid-centered way. This is a unique opportunity within the calendar year, and at most churches, it’s free!
VBS provides an opportunity for five continuous days of fellowship, which strengthens relationships you may already have within the church. Most fellowship opportunities are spread out within the month (once a week Bible study, once a month potluck after church), but VBS offers the rare chance for repeated interactions over five consecutive days. This steady interaction, coupled with new experiences, provides fertile ground for bonding between your children and their peers. Most likely, they will be grouped with their same-age peers every year at VBS, so their friendships will continue to grow over the years.
As a parent, you may also volunteer your time to assist with Vacation Bible School. Several hours working alongside another church member provides more time for meaningful connection than a quick chat squeezed in after church before Sunday lunch. These rich discussions, coupled with service, will make the week at VBS meaningful for parents as well. These connections that you and your child form during VBS will carry on throughout the rest of the year, strengthening your connection to the church and its body. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
VBS is also a powerful way to deepen your child’s understanding of Christ, because all of the activities are designed with children in mind. During a regular church service, a lot of the information flies over kids’ heads; it is geared towards adults, except perhaps an occasional Children’s Time in front of the church. Sunday School provides better opportunities for children to learn about Christ, but it only lasts an hour, once a week.
Time spent at VBS is equivalent to over four months of Sunday School! With the extensive planning and volunteer support, VBS activities will also be much more varied than your average Sunday School, including activities like crafts, recreation, singing, story time, and more! Adults may dress up in costume to reenact Bible stories, captivating the attention of little ones. Upbeat, kid-friendly songs will get children excited about worship time (and singing VBS songs all the way home).
Each day at VBS is usually centered on a theme, which also connects to an overall theme for the week. This repetition aids children greatly in understanding and remembering the Bible message. How amazing is it to have a free, weeklong event focused solely on helping children understand and experience God’s Word! Providing this fertile foundation of knowledge is invaluable for our children. “From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
A week spent at VBS offers so many opportunities for you and your family: to worship God in a fun way, to learn about Christ through kid-centered activities, and to develop meaningful connections within the church. What is better than a sanctuary filled each morning with squirmy, giggling children singing praise to God? “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (Psalm 100:2). Don’t miss out on Vacation Bible School—this week of fellowship and learning offers so much more than the average summer camp.
A Prayer for VBS
Heavenly Father, Please bless the week our family spends at Vacation Bible School. Bless the church and its volunteers who work hard to make the event happen. Nurture our children’s growth in their understanding of Christ, and allow for fruitful fellowship among all who gather. Amen.