Thursday, July 2, 2009

Vacation Bible School

All this week, I've been immersed in our church's VBS (Vacation Bible School) program. It's been a blast! So many kids, what fun!
So, this post is going to be an Ode to Vacation Bible School - or not, as I'm not sure how exactly you go about writing an Ode. Maybe "Tribute to VBS" is better.
I attended my first VBS when I was five years old. My only distinct memories of that week are that my mother made me wear a yellow dress that I loathed (Hi Mom!), ribbons on my pony tails, I panicked when the teacher asked me how to spell my middle name (I didn't know) and that I learned how to play "Farmer Takes a Wife". VBS was a summer staple, attending and then helping out, until I went to college. After a hiatus of a few years, I began helping out again when the kids started to attend. So many themes, so many awesome crafts, so many skits - great memories.
What I couldn't believe though, history buff and useless trivia guru that I am, not once, in all of these years of VBS, did I ever bother to find out how VBS started. Rest assured, I remedied that situation right quick!
  • The first Vacation Bible School was created in 1894 in Illinois because Mrs. D. T. Miles, a Sunday School Teacher (and public school teacher), felt that Sunday school did not give her enough time to teach the Bible to her students. So, she held daily classes through the summer.
  • Eliza Hawes rented a New York City beer parlor in order to hold "Everyday Bible School" for children living in nearby slums. The six week program went on for seven years.
  • Standard Publishing (still one of the most popular publisher of VBS curriculums) created the first VBS program curriculum in 1923.

In honor of Vacation Bible Schools everywhere, feel free to leave a comment and share your favorite VBS memory, VBS theme, VBS snack - whatever you want. Or just leave a comment and say hi.


Kylie said...

Did anyone think that you were a 'tourist' as well when you dressed up in a yellow dress? ;)

April said...

Nope, but I did look like an extra from Little House on the Prairie.

e-Mom said...

Sounds like you really had a good week.

I didn't attend VBS as a child, but our kids LOVED it when they were little. Our local church really pulled out all the stops to make it fun and meaningful. Ah, to be young again! :~D