Vacation Bible School: By Day or By Night?

vacation.bible_The summer months can be tons of fun for a number of reasons: daylight lingers, watermelon is in season, lightning bugs litter the sky at night, and churches host Vacation Bible School programs!

In my travels around the state, I have noticed that some churches host their Vacation Bible School program during the daytime while others host their programming in the evening.

Pastors, Christian Educators and lay-leaders must choose a time that best suits their congregation and their local community.

Considering making a change to the time schedule for next year? Below are some ideas about hosting by day or by night!

Daytime VBS:

vbs-large
VBS at First Presbyterian Church, Richmond
  • Early morning or mid-day programming supports families with working parents and keeps children engaged during normal business hours. Carpools and shared pick-up and drop off-times are a great way to help support one another!
  • Youth and College-aged students are generally free during the summer months. This can be a great option for volunteers and staff support. Moreover, learning and nurturing can be a two-way street!
  • Morning programming can allow for fun and engagement without impacting lunch and nap time for little, growing bodies!
  • Feeling rushed to have it all together each day? Programs that finish earlier in the day allow ample time to clean-up and set-up for the next day of fun.

Evening VBS:   summer_kids

  • More adult volunteers may be available with evening programming, especially if their children are attending. Sometimes, an adult class is offered simultaneously.
  • Kids aren’t the only ones who can have fun! Evening programs could offer special time for parents to consider a date-night out.
  • Evenings are a great option if the age range for participants includes middle and high school kids. And while you’re at it, encourage them to bring a friend!
  • Have volunteers for both day and evening? Schedule helpers the day after for clean-up and set-up to ensure smooth transition and to give your evening volunteers a break.

 

If your congregation puts on a Vacation Bible School program, does it occur during the daytime or during the evening?

What times works best and why?

Please share your ideas!

 

 

Nicole Childress Ball, Church Relations Officer

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Vacation Bible School: By Day or By Night?

  1. We have changed our VBS to the evenings the last three years and we begin with dinner. We don’t have an adult or youth program running at the same time and our volunteers are either youth or adults who are connected to the Children’s ministry but are not parents. Most of the children who attend are from the community and/or attend our preschool. Having VBS at night has increased our attendance and allowed some men an opportunity to volunteer too. The only real drawback has been that we don’t have a threes or fours class. They were too tired and my volunteers were less than equipped to handle the little one’s once they reached that tired time, so we decided to raise the age to rising K through rising 5th grade. This year with that adjustment we had much happier volunteers and children at 8:30 pm pickup.

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  2. The best scenario for evening VBS I have seen is with parents and congregation learning and experiencing stories together is an optimal way of catching the faith from each other.

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