Foto Friday. . .VBS Logos! ! !

Hi everyone! It’s your fun-loving VBS graphic designer (who happens to love numbers as well. . .I know, I’m weird) and it’s that time of the week. . .Foto Friday!!! Why do I bring up the, “I love numbers” thing? I’m glad you asked! As Carol has stated in her “VBS By the Numbers” post, I like to check the number of views my blog posts receive and I’ve realized that my “Clip Art” post has had a lot of views! I also field a lot of calls, emails, etc about people wanting the past VBS logos.

So, I decided this week will be the VBS logos from 1997 (Good New Stampede) to 2012 (Amazing Wonders Aviation)! By the way, I have worked on every single one except Good News Stampede! My first day at LifeWay was the very first day of writer’s conference for StarQuest.

 

1997's Good News Stampede

1998's StarQuest

1999 Mt. Extreme

 

2000's Ocean Odyssey

 

2001's Truth Trackers

 

2002's Amazon Outfitters

 

2003's Kingdom Capers

 

2004's Rickshaw Rally

 

2005' Ramblin' Road Trip

 

2006's Arctic Edge

 

2007's Game Day Central

 

2008's Outrigger Island

 

2009's Boomerang Express

 

2010's Saddle Ridge Ranch

 

2011's Big Apple Adventure

 

2012's Amazing Wonders Aviation

Foto Friday. . .the many faces of Keith

Hi, I’m Keith! The “seemingly quiet and introspective” (Ah ha ha ! ! !) graphic designer of VBS. My first post will be to introduce the “unofficial” foto Friday! Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from VBSI/EXPO/Preview from the past 3 years. Enjoy the photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

See a pattern? heh heh! !

 

I got an idea!

 

I can fly! ! !

 

A kangaroo’s work is never done!

 

Get-a-along, little doggie!

 

SUPER KEITH! ! !

VBS in Sidney (not Sydney)

Here’s a great Facts and Trends article by Polly House on Vacation Bible School at Sidney Baptist Church in Sidney, Arkansas!

You’ll want to check out the pictures and video on Facts and Trends Online.

SIDNEY, Ark., 7/9/09 – It’s not Sydney, Australia, but it is Sidney, Ark.

VBS Director Jennifer Shaw and her crew of volunteers at Sidney Baptist Church took the Boomerang Express Vacation Bible School theme to heart and offered children, youth and adults of their small northern Arkansas community the opportunity to learn about Jesus through LifeWay Christian Resources’ Aussie-themed VBS curriculum.

Sidney is small – the population is about 250, and that includes people who don’t live in the town proper. But that statistic doesn’t even come up when Shaw and her volunteers talk about Vacation Bible School. They could list several reasons to not have VBS. After all, it is a challenge to host VBS in a small church, but Shaw and her team don’t whine or give excuses. They debunk them.

- Excuse 1: “Our community is too small and we don’t have enough kids.”

Sidney doesn’t have many kids either, but that provides an opportunity to reach out to the community. Sidney Baptist leaders encourage their church’s kids to invite their friends from all around the area. The ones who do, receive prizes.

- Excuse 2: “We don’t have enough workers to plan every detail for VBS.”

So what? Shaw used the VBS Super Sampler and said she had just about everything she needed, including instructions and suggestions. She ordered posters, inflatables and other items that made decorating easy. She handed off the appropriate information to the grade- level workers, the “snack ladies,” the audiovisual coordinator, the music leader and others. They all took care of their responsibilities and let Shaw know if they needed her help.

- Excuse 3: “There aren’t enough snack, craft or other ideas to keep kids busy, and they get restless.”

Sidney handles this by using ideas provided with the curriculum along with some original theme-centered ideas. For instance, a craft teacher at Sidney Baptist recycled the cardboard mailing tubes from the VBS posters and used them to make Aboriginal rain sticks.

It helps to have an experienced leader heading up the crafts. Joyce Hancock has served with VBS for 43 years. She knows what the kids like and how to customize craft ideas to appeal to them. “You have to make sure there is plenty for them to work on,” she said.

- Excuse 4: “We are concerned about security when the children leave. It’s too hard to keep up with them.”

You should be security-conscious. At Sidney, Shaw had every class return to the sanctuary for a 10-minute closing session. She had a prize giveaway, read announcements and offered a closing prayer. This time also allowed her to account for everyone. After that, children were dismissed to the person picking them up, and it wasn’t a free-for-all in the parking lot. Shaw knew every child was safely on his or her way home, and she didn’t have to worry about anyone being left behind.

- Excuse 5: “Our children and adults don’t have time to memorize all the songs and drama for our parents’ program, so we just don’t do one.”

Alana Green is the VBS music queen at Sidney Baptist Church. She’s also a certified financial planner who understands a good plan. She knows that memorizing all the words to the songs and the drama for the parents’ program is difficult, so she came up with a simple plan. On family night, a screen is placed at the back of the church so everyone on stage can see the words. Green said this relieved the actors’ anxiety and helped the singers feel more confident.

- Excuse 6: “We are a very creative church and we don’t want to do VBS ‘by the book’ like everyone else.”

VBS is all about being creative in telling children, students and adults the Good News of Jesus Christ. God is a God of creativity! Start with a VBS Sampler then find ways to personalize the program for your church.

Green said that several years ago she saw a white-gloved group use sign language and motions while singing under a black light. She liked the idea and, for the past few years, the youth and some older children have performed one of the slower VBS songs in the dark with glowing hands. She said the audience looks forward to that song because it’s different and fun. It’s not “by the book,” but it’s special to them.

At Sidney, they get creative with the snacks, too. The “snack ladies” prepare themed snacks, like this year’s kangaroo tails (chocolate-dipped bananas on a stick), but they also prepare other snacks the children like. This year, they supplemented with homemade chocolate-dipped strawberries and even some veggie-stuffed squash fresh from the garden.

In a small church like Sidney Baptist, the workers aren’t many, but each one has a heart for VBS. They look forward to each summer and spend hours in planning and preparation.

Part of that preparation is being alert to opportunities for outreach to children and youth throughout the year. Shaw said one of the special things about working with VBS in a small community is the awareness that many people with whom she comes in contact are past or future attendees.

“We draw kids from all around the area,” she said. “When I see little kids at school or in town, they look at me and remember me from Bible School. It’s funny; they look at me like ‘I know you,’ and say they went to Bible School.”

Can't get it out of my head. . .

So while I was driving to work this morning, all of a sudden I found myself singing “We Believe” from Ramblin’ Road Trip. Out of the blue that was the song that came into my head! Out of all of the VBS themes that I’ve been involved in (I started working on VBS at LifeWay in 2003, but did VBS in my church for years before that) that is the song that I can identify as my favorite VBS song.  What’s your favorite VBS song? Which one is the one that you can’t get out of your head? Are they the same?? There are a couple of songs from VBS 2010 (which you guys will hear very soon) that I can’t get out of my head!

Big kudos to Jeff Slaughter for writing the songs that make the whole (VBS) world sing :)

LifeBox Information

If your church is doing the LifeBox project as suggested in the Missions Rotation Leader Guide, here some info for you:

* To receive a discount available for this ministry project, LifeWay magazines must be obtained through a Southern Baptist Association office. Because LifeWay magazines were specifically requested by military personnel, it is recommended that a LifeBox package include at least one of the following: HomeLife, Christian Single, Stand Firm (for males), or Journey (for females).

Some Helpful hints:

  • Obtain the Flat Rate Boxes/Envelopes from United States Postal Service
  • Obtain the Customs Form (PS Form 2976-A) in sufficient quantifies
    • From: Use an individual’s name and address
    • To: Must have a specific service member’s name and address
    • Contents: Magazines, CDs, and Goodies are sufficient descriptions
    • Check the box labeled gift
    • Check the box – Treat as Abandoned
    • Estimate the Total Value
    • Date and sign the form at the post office
  • Homemade Goodies
    • Place in a sturdy zip lock bag is sufficient for most items
    • Chocolates do not travel well (March-October)
  • Substitutions
    • Specialty food items from your local area
    • Nuts and/or Sunflower seeds can replace the candies

Another article on follow up – do you see a pattern here??

Here’s another great article on following up after VBS from the Sunday School Revoluntionary at the Kentucky Baptist Convention. I hope that you have put some thought into how you will follow-up with all of the families that you meet during your VBS event!!

Getting God's Word into the home

VBS is a proven method of reaching unchurched kids with the gospel. It makes sense that if unchurched kids are coming to your VBS events, you’ll want to do as much as you can go make sure that God’s Word goes home with them. Follow-up is a key part of VBS that I hope you won’t overlook.  As we designed the new Kids Activity Paks this year, we had follow-up in mind.

For preschoolers, the Kids Activity Paks include a book, an activity where kids can match objects, plus postcards that can be used in class and sent home with parents. The books are keepsakes that preschoolers will love to read again and again. What better way to get the God’s word into the home?

The Kids Activity Paks for school aged children includes a set of cards with an activity to reinforce the bible lesson for the day, a set of boomerangs for kids to take home that have the daily bible verse on one side and a place where kids can write their own daily challenge on the other side, a “Return Trip Ticket” to use for follow-up and to get the ABCs of Becoming a Christian into the home, plus a picture frame.

Here are some pics:

Think of all the ways you can use these resources to reach unchurched families during and after VBS.

  • Take pictures of kids during VBS, then deliver the picture in the Kids Activity Pak picture frame after VBS.
  • Use labels to add information to the Return Trip Ticket about a follow-up family event.
  • Challenge kids to memorize the daily bible verses by sending the boomerangs home every day.
  • Send parent postcards for preschoolers home each night.

You’ll want to make sure and get these for all the kids in your class!

Kids Activity Pak for Babies – 2s

Kids Activity Pak for 3′s – Kindergarten

Kids Activity Pak for Grades 1-2

Kids Activity Pak for Grades 3-4

Kids Activity Pak for Preteens

Facts & Trends announces the 2009 VBS Photo Contest

Hey guys – here’s some information on the VBS 2009 Photo Contest!!!!

Boomerang Express and Club VBS: Truth Trek photos welcome!!

Facts & Trends Online (FTO) staff is once again inviting churches and individuals to submit photos for the annual Vacation Bible School Photo Contest. This year, all submissions will be archived at the LifeWay News page on Facebook, a social networking Web site.

Submissions of Boomerang Express and Club VBS: Truth Trek photos will be organized into photo albums labeled with geographical regions, so users can easily view nationwide photos of contest submissions.

Participants can enter photos by sending an e-mail to factsandtrends@lifeway.com. The e-mail should include a photo title, the name of the church represented, the church’s address in addition to the submitter’s name, phone number and e-mail address. All entries must be received by Monday, Aug. 3, to be eligible.

Each participant can submit up to two photos that meet the following criteria:
- 300 dpi.
- JPEG format.
- Features at least one VBS participant (pictures of only landscapes or decorations will not be accepted).
- Features either the Boomerang Express or Club VBS: Truth Trek themes.

Beginning with the first entries in early June, the photo albums at the LifeWay News page on Facebook will be updated every Tuesday and Thursday as needed to include the most recent photographs.

Facebook fans of the LifeWay News page are invited to comment on and “tag” the photos. FTO staff reserves the right to edit or delete any comments or tags. Fans will also receive a reminder to help choose the winning entry at the contest’s conclusion.
After Aug. 3, staff will narrow submissions to the top 10 entries and post those entries at LifeWay.com/factsandtrends for a public vote from Aug. 5-14. FTO staff, along with representatives from LifeWay’s VBS area, will name the Grand Prize winner on Monday, Aug. 24.

The winning photo will be featured in the Fall 2009 issue of Facts & Trends magazine and the church represented will receive a 2010 VBS Super Sampler Kit compliments of LifeWay’s VBS area.

Please note: Because photos will be posted online, users who submit photos must notify parents or legal guardians of minors photographed to ensure consent before submitting entries.

Visit LifeWay.com/FactsandTrends or the LifeWay News page on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the contest. Contest entries and questions can be submitted to facts&trends@lifeway.com.