Wednesday, June 13, 2012

V to the B to the S

It's like the official kick-off to summer for Baptist churches. It's the only time where dancing is actually permitted in the Baptist church. And it's the only time where it's perfectly acceptable for people to drop their kids off with people they don't even so said parents can escape for a couple of hours. All of these things started Sunday night for our little church - Vacation Bible School. This year's theme is "Sky". The tagline for it is (I think) "With God, all things are possible." This is my 5th or 6th year of helping out in some capacity. As a veteran volunteer and retired VBS participant, I thought I'd offer a few observations on VBS then and VBS now.

-Then? We had no dancing. I don't know when someone decided, "Hey, let's choreograph these ridiculous dance moves and make adults demonstrate them to the kids," but I'm glad they didn't have this when I was a participant. As an aside, a well-known Christian bookstore puts out a VBS kit every year, and every year the music/dancing is led by a guy we'll call "Jeff". Let's just say "Jeff" is not a great dancer. Let's also say I am glad we don't use that particular curriculum anymore.

-Now? Snack time is elaborate. For instance, this year has featured root beer floats (or just the option of having ice cream), Jello parfaits, and a mixed bag of popcorn and candy. What's up with that? Whatever happened to Kool-aid and those little butter cookies shaped like flowers with a hole in the middle so you could stick them on your fingers and eat them? Kids these days.... (I could destroy a sleeve of those flower cookies, too.)

-Then? We began every day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I had no problem with that. But then we would do the Pledge of Allegiance to the Christian flag and the Bible. If memorizing those pledges were required for moving up to the next class in Sunday school, I would still be finger painting wearing a big smock apron. I didn't even know a) there was a Christian flag and b) there was a pledge to go along with it. I do remember getting to hold the flags when saying the pledge. I was kind of a big deal like that.

There you have it. Just some observations about VBS. It serves a great purpose, and, though I clown on the music and dances, I really do appreciate all the time and effort the teachers and other volunteers put in to making VBS happen. Last night, I took Nyla for the first time, and she had a great time playing with friends and even dancing to the music. (Those dances are much cuter when she does it, but I may be biased.)

What are some of your VBS memories? What would you add to this list of then vs. now? Enjoy your day!

-D

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