For Pastor Greg Thompson, the 2010 activities were different than what he experienced as a boy. He recalled how he would walk into the church, do pledges, go to groups and then be involved in crafts.
This changed about 10 years ago when themes were introduced into planning sessions so that adults could enjoy the experiences as much as the children they volunteered to teach.
This was evident when 40 or 50 adults volunteered to help with this year’s VBS. The theme, Saddle Ridge Ranch, provided opportunity for adults and youngsters to wear cowboy hats, boots, bandanas and jeans as they taught music, lessons, crafts, enjoyed recreation and helped prepare and serve food.
“Everyone responded in a positive way,” said Sondi Vest, director. She said the key to success is dedicated volunteers who are willing to work and retain a positive attitude.
This year, there were plenty of hands to help with chores and decorating the interior of the church – even in the sanctuary where a chuckwagon, corral and other items were on loan from Bellview Baptist Church. Amanda Loveless was director of Bellview’s VBS.
“It is another way churches can come together for community activities,” Vest explained.
Shane Petty, director of Youth and Children at First Baptist, said it also brings out individual creativity that may have been lost with the passage of time. “When planning or decorating, the sharing of ideas is a unique experience,” he said.
He believes Vacation Bible School is an integral part of the children and youth program.
The church has a full schedule of events for children and youth during the summer, which include distributing lunches in Rockmart and a summer camp that involves 12 churches. The camp is designed to help teens see alternate choices rather than drugs.
The 2010 experience was the first weekend VBS instead of a week or one day, according to Vest.
“We will evaluate the experience and make decisions for our next one,” said Pastor Thompson.
As to 2010, everyone agreed Vacation Bible School was great this year.