Peeking Through the Fence at Backyard Kids Club

841320_10151460870504948_144206793_oIt’s been a busy January traveling all over the country to our exciting VBS Previews. One new element of VBS is getting great buzz– Backyard Kids Club! Jennie Ross has been doing a fabulous job sharing about the new curriculum and about her personal experiences with a VBS in her own “backyard!” (“Well, actually side and front yard,” she explains with a winning smile.)

Jennie began her Enrichment Session with the basic definition–Backyard Kids Club has the same great Gospel message and fun learning environment as a traditional VBS. It is just off your church campus and in a location that reaches people who would not normally come to your church campus.

Jennie’s conference included the basics of team structure, schedules, and resources. I asked Jennie to share what people thought about the new resource. Here’s some of what she told me:

005532691Many people were really excited about:

  • Having a new “tool” to reach out to their communities without having to take their people through another training – since this matches what they are already doing in their VBS.
  • That it was broadly graded and already prepared to be used in an outdoor setting.
  • That it was simplified and portable (no big teacher packet and pages of things to cut out).

Jennie also mentioned that just like VBS in a church setting, BKC does not reach its full potential unless a follow-up plan is in place.

Here are some of her suggestions:

  • Make sure the child makes friends with one of the “regular” church kids so when they come back, they already have a friend at church.
  • Deliver a hand-written note from someone on the team. She encouraged the local “host” to deliver the notes even if another team member wrote them. Jennie emphasized that mailing was ok, but the personal touch of face-to-face delivery had a greater impact.
  • Keep back a craft to deliver the following week as a home visit (such as the ticket frame).
  • Take church information with you when you make the follow-up visit.
  • Send a follow-up letter or email from the church thanking them for attending and inviting them to other church functions or events.

Are you thinking about using Backyard Kids Club in your community or on a mission trip? Let us here from you! We’d love to share your experiences here on the blog!

Backyard Kids Club Shoot!

Whew!  We had so much fun shooting a promotional video for Backyard Kids Club on Wednesday!  Video shoots are lots of work, but always lots of fun.  This shoot was especially comical because we had to pretend it was the middle of summer when it’s really almost the middle of November!  It was a brisk 45 degrees outside on Wednesday but all of the kids involved with the shoot were so great about being outside in short sleeves!  We had plenty of giggles together all day while we pretended to be on-location in Hawaii or someplace much warmer!

Check out a few of the highlights from the day. (Click on image to open gallery!)

Coming with VBS 2013 – Backyard Kids Club™

 One of the most exciting things about my job is watching God put the pieces together to make something great happen. That’s what it has felt like as the plans for a Backyard Kids Club resource have come together. Here’s a sneak peak at the why, what, and who of Backyard Kids Club.

Why offer a Backyard Kids Club option? 

Many churches are looking for ways to take VBS outside their church and into their communities. Whether those communities are down the street or around the world, our Backyard Kids Club Directors Guide and Backyard Kids Club Kit provide portable resources that can be used easily wherever you can gather a group of kids!

What will be available to help organize and conduct a Backyard Kids Club?

The Backyard Kids Club Directors Guide is designed for the person or team who will be coordinating and planning the Backyard Kids Club or Clubs. Based on expert advice from folks who have held successful Backyard Kids Clubs, this guide gives easy, step-by-step instructions.

The Backyard Kids Club Kit is an all-in-one box designed for a club of about 25 to 30 kids. The traditional VBS curriculum is simplified to fit a limited outdoor setting. The kit includes leader resources for worship and music, Bible study, crafts, and recreation. A special “Host Folder” even includes snack ideas. Music CDs and a choreography DVD are included!

What if a church wants some of the “extras” that go with a traditional VBS?

Because our Backyard Kids Club uses the same Bible content, music, and theme as our traditional VBS, all the fun accessories used for a large scale VBS will coordinate with your Backyard Kids Club!

Who will be able to benefit from the Backyard Kids Club resources?

  • Churches who are looking to take VBS outside the church walls and into communities where kids are
  • Mission groups who need a pack-and-go VBS option for local community centers, campgrounds, or mission locations in other states or around the world
  • Small churches who may have twenty or fewer children, but wish to provide a summer VBS experience that will reach the kids and their families

I know there are even more ideas about how this resource could be used. What are some of your ideas? Have we gotten your wheels turning? We’d love to hear from you!

Today on Kids Ministry 101, learn more about LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference!