6 Additional Reasons to Attend VBS 2014 Preview

wooley1 2013Now that CyberMonday is behind us, and before the extreme crush of Christmas begins, we can take a moment to once again think about our favorite subject – VBS! Or better said, VBS Preview!

Chances are, if you are reading this post, you have already registered for Preview, but in case you are still debating here are six additional reasons why my friends think you should join the fun.

1. You will have the opportunity to win a VBS 2014 trivia contest. – Jerry Vogel

2. You will have the opportunity to meet me (Collin). – Collin Spindle

3. You might experience a Secret Service Mission act of kindness. – Carol Tomlinson

4. You will have a chance to get away with friends and laugh until your sides hurt. – Rhonda Van Cleave

5. You will receive fun free stuff. – Henry Dutton

6. You will get re-fueled and return home flying like Rocket Pack Jack! – Bill Emeott

 

Register today at lifeway.com/vbs/preview.

 

Agency D3: Preview

wooley1 2013 If you have attended a LifeWay VBS Preview you know how much fun we have when hundreds of high-energy VBS leaders get together to learn, share, create, laugh, and worship together. And in 2014 you will have even more opportunity to join the fun with two additional events where everything is packed into a single day.

You loved him at VBS 2013 Preview, so you will be excited to learn that Dr. Shane Garrison is returning to share the rest of the story – your story – the story of how many of you responded to the challenge to build bridges to spiritual orphans and expanded your VBS outreach in ways you could not have imagined a year ago.

You will also have the opportunity to learn from the best of the best including Klista Storts, Bill Emeott, Jerry Vogel, Kelli McAnally, Lori Honeycutt, Mark Jones, Rhonda Van Cleave, our great VBS set designers, and many more.

Join me and co-host Andy Dukes at one of the following locations for VBS 2014 Preview.

Dig into D3 and Dream with Us! 

Ridgecrest North Carolina, January 10 – 11

Fort Worth, Texas, January 17 – 18

Nashville, Tennessee, January 30 – 31, January 31 – February 1, or One-Day February 1

Kissimmee, Florida, February 7-8, or One-Day February 8

Become part of the Special Operations Unit when you register to bring 10 people by October 10th.

Special Operations Unit Agents will receive a member-only t-shirt and other great VBS swag!

Register by November 1 and save!

Click here to learn more and register today!

Top 10 Ways to Use the Kid’s Activity Pak Books

ruth smallYou just never know what you are going to learn at our VBS Preview Events! This past January, I got to hear Kelli McAnally share some creative ways to use the kid’s activity paks with preschoolers. Kelli wrote the 15-page storybooks for the VBS 2013 Kid’s Activity Pak: Babies–2s and the VBS 2013 Kid’s Activity Pak: 3s–Kindergarten.

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  1. Act out the book—kids choose colored craft sticks to determine which character they will be.
  2. Match colors in the book—kids draw pieces of colored paper out of the VBS 2014 Inflatable Coaster Car.
  3. Match letters and words—match foam letters, clothespins with letters, or tiles with letters to those in the book. Easy words (such as “God”) also can be matched.
  4. Listen for a word—kids clap or raise hands when they hear the word.
  5. Make up a finger play or hand motions.
  6. Create cards with review questions on one side and answers on the back. Use with a flip chute.
  7. Record the book on your phone—Play the tape while kids follow along in the book.
  8. Put the story in order—talk about what happened first, next, and so on.
  9. Make a flap book using sticky notes.
  10. Count items—use craft sticks to tally.

Kelli also gave us some great tips for reading with preschoolers.

  1. If preschoolers are on the floor, you should sit on the floor.
  2. Hold the book so kids can see it as you read.
  3. Encourage children to talk about the pictures during the reading.
  4. Allow a child to turn the pages.
  5. Guide children to ask questions about the book.
  6. Respect the child who chooses to look at the book alone.
  7. Provide time after a book is read for kids to respond to the plot and characters of the book.
  8. Read a book many times for kids to connect with the characters.
  9. Encourage children to play out the story from a book.
  10. Allow a younger child to skip around in the book if he wants.

Thanks, Kelli, for the books you’ve written and for teaching us how to use them!

Happy reading with your kids at Colossal Coaster World!

Tabletopper, Photo Prop, or Something Else?

tomlinsonIs it a tabletopper, photo prop, or something else? It’s all these and more.

In case you haven’t heard there is a really cool, new product in the LifeWay VBS lineup. It’s our VBS 2013 Tabletopper! And for $6.99 it’s a lot of bang for your buck.

Just check out how we used these at our Preview events this year.

 

 

 

Of course these are great tabletoppers for any table you need to set up. You can use them on your sign up and enlistment tables, registration tables, snack tables, and the list goes on. Here you can see we used the side with the park scene to conceal our extra supplies in the Cotton Candy Cafe.

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But wait! You can turn them around to use the coaster car side as a photo prop. As we’ve done here:

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Would you like to see how we created the coaster car “seatbelt?” Well, you’re in luck, we just happen to have a few pictures to show you how.

First we cut two slits at the bottom of the safety bar on each side. Then we ran some grograin ribbon through the slits. You may want to but a small piece of tape over the end of the ribbon to help you thread it through the slits. We used black ribbon at our events, however I only had blue available when I made these for the post. You can use whatever color you wish.

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Next we stapled the ribbon on one side of the tabletopper. We only stapled one side so that folks could “adjust” the seatbelt by pulling the opposite side longer for large groups or shorter for small groups.

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See how easy that was to give the tabletoppers another use? We would love to hear your ideas about how you plan to use the tabletoppers or any VBS accessory in an unusual way.

 

Family Night???

img_5318We have been having a colossally (is that a word?) fun experience at the 2013 Previews in North Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee. This week LifeWay’s VBS Event team is taking Colossal Coaster World on the road to Kissimmee, Florida for the grand finale! There is still time to join us. Click here for more info!

During Preview Family Night breakout sessions the idea has surfaced that it might be time to change the name Family Night to something that speaks more to today’s purpose for the event – which is connecting unchurched families to the Gospel and to the church.

We would love to hear your ideas for a new name as well as the stories of what you do during your Family Night event to insure unchurched families are connected to the Gospel and to the church.

You can reply to this post or send your suggestions to me at jerry.wooley@lifeway.com.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Over the River…

img_5318Over the river (Little Pigeon River) and through the woods (Mt. Pisgah National Forrest) to VBS 2013 Events we go! It is going to be a COLOSSAL week!

This is the week we (LifeWay’s VBS Events Team) look forward to all year – the first in a series of awesome fun events – where VBS groupies from all 50 States, Canada, and Mexico (and sometimes even a groupie or two from Great Britain or Korea) join together for two days of exciting VBS sights and sounds!

Over 1200 VBS leaders will be our guests at Ridgecrest Conference Center later this week for worship with Dr. Shane Garrison and Austin Adamic, teaching by some of the best VBS practitioners in the country, inspiration and creativity of LifeWay’s VBS Graphics and Publishing Team, and a performance of the Colossal Coaster World Musical by a great children’s choir. AND if all this is not enough, how about 60 degree weather (we typically have ice) in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

If you are not registered for the Ridgecrest event, there is still time to join us January 18-19 in Fort Worth, January 31-February 1 in Nashville, or February 8-9 in Kissimmee. Like I said before, these events are going to be COLOSSAL so don’t miss out.

To learn how you can be part of a one of these awesome Preview events go to lifeway.com/vbs/events.

We’ll be looking for YOU!

Discounted Shirts – Great Reason to Attend Preview!

There are many awesome reasons to attend one of the VBS Previews scheduled for January and February, but for many guests they find discounted VBS t-shirts and leaders a huge incentive! Everyone who attends will receive one free t-shirt of choice (choose from Colossal Coaster World, Thrill Seekers, or Club VBS Jungle Jaunt), but Previews make it possible to outfit your entire VBS team for a fraction of the costs you would spend otherwise.

One guest told me she saves enough each year on t-shirts to pay her Preview registration fee and travel expenses. Talk about making ever penny count!

Once again t-shirts – whether you need just one or multiple hundreds – will be available for $7.00 each and Colossal Coaster World leader shirts will be priced at $20.00. This is an event-only offer so don’t miss out!

Another great reason to attend this year is to see the many people who show up in amusement park costume. We are encouraging everyone to attend the first day dressed as an amusement park character or employee. Everyone wearing a costume will be entered in an opportunity to be chosen to participate in the VBS 2015 theme think tank. One person will be chosen from each location.

The Ridgecrest and Nashville 2 events are now closed, but there is still plenty of room at Nashville 1, Fort Worth, and Kissimmee. To learn more go lifeway.com/vbs.

Until then, I wish you the merriest Christmas ever and a blessed 2014!

Four Weeks and Counting…

Hopefully it is looking a lot like – and sounding a lot like – Christmas where you are today. It certainly is here in the VBS office! But it is also looking and sounding a lot like four weeks until the first national VBS Preview at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.

We are in perpetual motion putting the finishing touches on a not-to-be-missed event! We have now hit capacity at Ridgecrest and the Nashville Friday/Saturday events, but there is still room at Fort Worth, Nashville Thursday/Friday, and Kissimmee.

A complete list of breakout sessions is now available at lifeway.com/vbs/events. Check it out today!

In addition to the basics for Colossal Coaster World and Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt, you will have the opportunity to explore decorating options with Mark Jones and the VBS Design Team, be introduced to LifeWay’s newest VBS resource Backyard Kids Club, be challenged by the preaching of Dr. Shane Garrison, and participate in worship with the Austin Adamec Band.

I’m looking forward to seeing you soon for the Colossal Coaster World Experience!

Your Chance to be Part of VBS Think Tank 2015

This past weekend I completed my Fall VBS 2013 Jump Start traveling schedule. The past few weeks have found me in Arizona, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, and Michigan helping church, associational, and state VBS leaders prepare for a Colossal Coaster World experience.

It is always fun to see how people (VBS Groupies) across the U.S. interpret a theme. Each location plays host to a variety of theme-related food, decorations, and costumes – which I think add the most unexpected touch of all.  It started me thinking – what if people wore theme-related costumes to VBS Previews? Talk about creating a fun atmosphere!

With just 39 days until the first Preview at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, I’m challenging all of you to make this the most entertaining Preview ever by showing up in a costume that shouts Colossal Coaster World!

Jerry and Roberta dressed as tacky tourists for our CCW theme release party.

Each event guest wearing a costume will receive a chance to be selected as a member of the VBS 2015 Think Tank team. This is the team that will create the 2015 theme! One Think Tank member and one alternate will be chosen from each of the five Previews. (An alternate is being chosen in case the team member is unavailable to attend Think Tank.)

Looking for costume ideas to get you started? Check out these great photos from our 2013 Theme Release party in June.

Click here to register for a Preview. Several locations are just about full so register today! You definitely want to be part of the fun! It just might be the most exciting ride of your life!

 Click here for official LifeWay Sweepstakes rules.

And the Winners Are…

Several weeks ago our VBS blog guru, Katie, invited our faithful readers to become our guests at one of five VBS Previews being held in January and February. Readers were asked to respond with short statements explaining why they would like to attend.

As promised, we have randomly chosen someone for each of the five locations. And the winners are: Dakota Martin for Ridgecrest, January 11-12; Joyce C. for Fort Worth, January 18-19; Tina Spencer for Nashville 1, January 31 – February 1; Myra Elder for Nashville 2, February 1-2; and Dana Pendarvis for Kissimmee, February 8-9.

Congratulations to each of you! We are truly happy to have you joining us for Preview 2013. It is going to be a colossal experience!

Each of you are invited to bring one additional guest at no charge. To register for the event please contact me personally at jerry.wooley@lifeway.com. I will need your name, address, e-mail address,  and phone number. I will need the same information for your friend.

As stated in the original blog post, this free offer covers event registration only and does not include travel, housing, or meals. If you have already registered for one of the events we can not refund your registration fee, but we can apply your free spot to a friend of your choice who has not already registered.

If your name has not already been mentioned hold on. The excitement is just beginning!

Sixty-two people responded, and each gave a great reason why he or she should be chosen. In fact, the submissions were so good we decided just this morning to name everyone a winner!

For everyone listed below we are offering one free registration with a paid registration. Basically, buy one and get one free. The free spots apply to registration fee only and does not include travel, housing, or meals. If you have already registered for one of the events we can not refund your registration fee, but we can apply your free spot to a friend of your choice who has not already registered.

And the winners for Ridgecrest, January 11- 12, are:

Stacey Griffith, Valerie Hendrick, Nicole Moua, Leisa Bentley, Ann Flavin, Lisa Harvell, Angie Shelton, Teresa Taylor, Ashley Lawton, Peggy Banks, Wanda Sloan, Brandi Hunt, Emily Wood, and Joyanna Kellough.

The winners for Fort Worth, January 18-19, are:

Monica Banuelos, Carla Spunaugle, Reba Collingsworth, Joyce Still, Jenn Clark, Mary Nichols, Tara Lewis, Jan Smith, and Debbie Mallory.

The winners for Nasvhille, January 31 – February 1 and February 1-2, are:

Cryst Jones, Patty Edwards, Somer mcElyea, Debbie Muuller, Tammy Winton, Susan Shay, Carol Ann Guthrie, Cole Ormsby, Lisa Moore, Cindy Martin, Kelley Taylor, Billie Sue Johnson, Tammy Allen, and Angela Epperson.

The winners for Kissimmee, February 8-9, are:

Lorinda Norris, Mona Antley, Collin Senkasenka, Linda K. Creech, Kristy Gilpin, Denise Blankschen, Amy McNeil, Jaccilee Singleton, Mereline Angela, Penny Mourer, Matt Norman, and Lanita Branch.

I apologize in advance if I incorrectly spelled your name.

To claim your free spot and to register for your friend you will need to call 1.800.588.7222 for Ridgecrest, and 1.800.254.2022 for all other locations. When the registration service partner answers be sure to mention that you participated in the VBS Blog registration giveaway. She will check the official list for your name.

 

Preview Events will be here before you know it, so register today! The price increases December 1. To register go to www.lifeway.com/vbs or call 1.800.254.2022 for Fort Worth, Nashville, or Kissimmee, and 1.800.588.7222 for Ridgecrest.