VBS, VBC, or VB Whatever – What do you do during Summer Vacation?
Vacation Bible School (a.k.a. VBS) has historically been a type of religious education for children in the summer. The programs are usually implemented by evangelical Protestant denominations. In 1894 in Hopedale, Illinois, one of the first known Vacation Bible Schools was instituted. VBS became more prevalent in the 1920s, when Standard Publishing of Cincinnati became the first publisher to create a full-scale vacation Bible school program. Since then, VBS has been part of many faith communities’ summertime outreaches. But today, we see a decline in VBS offerings, as well as a change in name and in focus. Last year our local faith community officially changed the name of our VBS to VBC – Vacation Bible Camp. I was driving down the street and passed another faith community who changed the name of their summer program to VBC also.
I’m not sure when my grandma started teaching VBS, but ever since I can remember (probably the late sixties) my parents made sure we were at Grandma’s house during the week of VBS. As we got older, we transitioned to helpers in her class. She lived in Ohio and attended a small church at the end of the street. She continued to help with VBS until she was 75 years old, retiring from volunteering when she was 75 years old. That same year, I was pregnant with my first daughter and started volunteering at a Bible Day Camp in CA. Then, after we moved to WA I started volunteering with VBS and this was my 13th VBwhatever. Each year I have seen many changes, but even though the name may have changed from School to Camp, the love of Jesus stays the same. Each year, kids have the chance to hang out and have fun with other kids and experience the love of Jesus.
So, whether it’s VBS, VBC, or VBwhatever – I’m gonna keep doin’ it – giving kids an opportunity to have fun with other kids while learning about and experiencing the love of Jesus. What are you doing during your summer vacation?
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