Bellevue Leader Pioneers VBS Reunion Parties

Bellevue Leader Pioneers VBS Reunion Parties Follow-up is key. Every Vacation Bible School (VBS) leader knows that. But once VBS week is over, how do you keep in touch with the kids? You throw a party! At least that’s what VBS leader Dixie Robinson does. Building on her Bellevue Church’s solid commitment to VBS, she’s seen enrollment grow from the low 20s to the high 70s—with nearly half the youngsters from non-Adventist families. Holding this interest became her obsession, which is how she came up with the idea of the follow-up “reunion party.” Each of three parties a year is a one-evening VBS, with songs, stories, crafts and other special events centered around a specific theme. April 17's party, “Xtreme Faith,” led kids to different parts of the church campus where VBS staff reenacted stories of faith heroes. With such a high-energy yearly approach—one VBS plus three parties—how does Robinson find and retain staff? One way she avoids helper-burnout is by making sure she has enough people—40 staff members for a VBS with 75 kids. Also, she starts recruiting at least three months out, not only by showing VBS promotional videos during announcement periods, but by personally recruiting in the foyer. And once a staff person discovers that these events are not only virtually burnout-proof but genuinely fun, he or she most often “re-ups” for the next one. Since many non-Adventist parents attend the reunions, Robinson would like to eventually offer classes for them while their children are enjoying the party. Why does Robinson keep doing VBS? “It’s a mission, of course,” she says. “I never got to attend Vacation Bible School as a child. But when I got a little older, the Milton-Freewater Church took my brother and me under their wings and got us involved in helping with VBS. And I guess I just stayed with it.”

Bellevue Leader Pioneers

VBS Reunion Parties

Follow-up is key. Every Vacation Bible School (VBS) leader knows that. But once VBS week is over, how do you keep in touch with the kids?

You throw a party!

At least that’s what VBS leader Dixie Robinson does. Building on her Bellevue Church’s solid commitment to VBS, she’s seen enrollment grow from the low 20s to the high 70s—with nearly half the youngsters from non-Adventist families. Holding this interest became her obsession, which is how she came up with the idea of the follow-up “reunion party.”

Each of three parties a year is a one-evening VBS, with songs, stories, crafts and other special events centered around a specific theme. April 17's party, “Xtreme Faith,” led kids to different parts of the church campus where VBS staff reenacted stories of faith heroes.

With such a high-energy yearly approach—one VBS plus three parties—how does Robinson find and retain staff? One way she avoids helper-burnout is by making sure she has enough people—40 staff members for a VBS with 75 kids. Also, she starts recruiting at least three months out, not only by showing VBS promotional videos during announcement periods, but by personally recruiting in the foyer. And once a staff person discovers that these events are not only virtually burnout-proof but genuinely fun, he or she most often “re-ups” for the next one.

Since many non-Adventist parents attend the reunions, Robinson would like to eventually offer classes for them while their children are enjoying the party.

Why does Robinson keep doing VBS? “It’s a mission, of course,” she says. “I never got to attend Vacation Bible School as a child. But when I got a little older, the Milton-Freewater Church took my brother and me under their wings and got us involved in helping with VBS. And I guess I just stayed with it.”

August 01, 2004 / Washington Conference
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