Summer is well underway and with summer comes Vacation Bible School.
Many churches host vacation bible school to serve its members and the community by providing a safe place for kids while offering a life-changing experience.
Hopefully, your church is one of them!
As you finalize your preparations for this year, here are some tips to make sure your vacation bible school runs smoothly and provides the kids with an efficient and safe experience that you planned for.
1. Background Checks
Volunteer labor is at a premium during vacation bible school.
Oftentimes there is a shortage of this manpower and we tend to grab any person who is willing to help.
There needs to be lots of hands to set up the event, wrangle the kids, manage the parents and teach the lessons.
While this is often a necessity, don’t forget to do your due diligence and conduct a background check on all volunteers, particularly those who interact with the children.
No one wants to have a great event blow up because the wrong person got placed in a slot simply to fill a hole.
If you think you don’t have time for this, ask yourself, “is the safety of our kids our highest priority”? If the answer is yes, do the background check!
2. Volunteer Training
There are countless jobs during an event like this and each is unique in its own way.
Not everyone has a sense of appropriate responses so describe all possible scenarios and help the volunteers understand how your church chooses to respond.
For instance, explain your policy for handling unruly or disruptive kids.
What you don’t want is a volunteer taking the discipline process to an inappropriate level.
Give volunteers the tools and insights to do their job the way you want it done.
3. Organize Activities
Organization on the front end eliminates a lot of unnecessary stress during the event.
Make sure the entire event is organized and that activities have all of the needed supplies; that instructions for the activities are written down and easy to understand; and there is a go-to person to help resolve any unforeseen issue that arises.
4. Communicate with Parents
As you go through the week don’t forget to think about the information that parents need.
Think about every day of the event and make a list of questions that parents might have and be proactive in answering those questions.
For instance, let the parents know if the child needs to bring their lunch, sunscreen and what to do if they need to pick up the child early.
The more information you can share in advance will eliminate the bombardment of phone calls you get during the event.
5. Plan for the Unexpected
Many VBS are held outside so make sure you have a plan for inclement weather.
Included in this plan should be when to make the call to go inside, how to shift activities to indoors and how to communicate with parents in the event of early dismissal.
Kids get hurt at these types of events so make sure you have a stocked first aid location and hopefully a healthcare professional that can help triage injuries and make the call if an injury needs a higher level of care.
Everyone loves a great VBS. Kids love the experience, parents love that their kids have a safe environment to interact with other children and to learn biblical lessons.
A little organization and preparation before the event helps to ensure the outcome is exactly what your church had hoped for!