Saturday, May 5, 2018

Memories of VBS

Last Sunday I was asked to make an announcement about VBS (Vacation Bible School). That brought up memories of summers when I was a child.

We went to church, as some people say, every time the doors were open.  VBS was held in the mornings for a week in the summer. Actually, I remember some two week sessions of VBS.

These are the things I associate with those days:

  • Eating butter cookies - the ones with the hole in the middle stuck on my fingers like flowers
  • Playing Red Rover and Freeze Tag in the church yard
  • Hydrangeas - one of the teachers usually brought some to decorate the classroom
  • Arts and Crafts - one year we made a key shaped key holder with hooks for hanging keys
  • Seersucker summer dresses or skirts
  • Lining up on the front steps of the church ready to march in
  • Waiting for the 'Sit Down' cue from the organist
  • Saying the pledges to the US flag, Christian flag, and Bible
  • Getting to participate in the opening worship by passing the offering plate or holding a flag or Bible
  • Friday lunch with fried chicken, pimento cheese sandwiches, olives, pickles, and chips
At least one summer we went to VBS twice, once at our church and again with our cousins in Georgia at their church.

I was the kid who loved school, looked forward to Mondays, and read all the time on the week ends.
So, VBS was a welcome part of summer for me. It was like school but with a different mix of classmates. We only went in the mornings. It was too hot in the afternoons in Mississippi to do anything but go to the pool or read a book in the hammock. 

My first teaching experience was in VBS. I was in high school and old enough to teach a small group under an adult's supervision. I had as much fun as a teacher as I had as a student. When I grew up and grew away from going to church, VBS was the thing that drew me back. I saw a notice asking for VBS helpers and I volunteered. 

Nowadays VBS at my church is in the evening. So many people work and children are enrolled in summer camps or daycare instead of staying home during the day. I still like helping with VBS. But the kids today don't know how much fun it was to line up on the front steps and march in to the sound of the organ blasting out a rousing hymn. 

Do you have good memories of childhood summers?

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