Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Meet Your New VBS Arts and Crafts Director

I've been involved with Vacation Bible School for several years now.  The first year, I assisted the arts and crafts director.  The second year, I assisted the dinner coordinator.  Last year, I was out of town.  This year, I'm the arts and crafts director.  I'm both excited and terrified.

I waited a long time before volunteering for the position.  Our pastor kept sending out lists of available positions.  I wanted the arts and crafts director position, but I thought that surely someone else would want it, and I didn't want to be too greedy.

Finally, after several weeks I volunteered, but offered to step aside if anyone else really wanted it.  We are in one of those VBS years where we barely have enough people to do everything, so my volunteering was greeted with relief.

We buy one of those pre-packaged VBS kits, and this year, we're not using the one from our own publishing house.  It was chosen by the woman who was going to be the VBS director before life intervened and she had to let go of that responsibility.  The kit that we bought doesn't come with very much--oh no, they want you to buy more, more, more.

We will not be doing that.  I looked at the projects that they offer, and they baffle me.  They're more science fair than glue and glitter.

We will be making noisemakers, because my husband will be doing fun things with drums and noisemakers, and we don't already have enough of those.  We will decorate t-shirts.  We will make butterflies or empty tomb gardens or other things to remind us of Christ's resurrections.  We will do things with paper mosaics, perhaps.  Maybe we'll collage if I get enough old magazines.

My fear is that I have twenty minutes--what if the projects take too much time?  What if they don't take enough time?

And then there's the fear that lurks beneath:  what if the kids think the projects are stupid?  And by extension, what if they think I'm stupid?

Creative folks everywhere are probably familiar with fears that run along these lines:  what if I can't pull off what I'm attempting to do?  What if I'm just stupid?  What if I never have a good idea?  What if I think I'm brilliant but everyone else knows I'm not?

I'm hoping that if I approach each night with joy and enthusiasm, it will all be just fine.

One of my spin class buddies advised me to give them what they don't get at home:  glue and glitter.  They get crayons, but not glitter.

I joked that if I give them glitter, I'll never be allowed to be arts and crafts director again.

I am always amazed at how much I like being part of Vacation Bible School.  And in terms of outreach, it's one of the more important things we do.  Kids like VBS too.  They bring their friends.  Their parents love the experience.  We have hopes that this positive experience will be enough to counteract the negative Church messages that the larger culture might give them later on.

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