It has been noted that Vacation Bible School has been a strong and viable part of faith formation for many children and youth. It also is a way for children to have even more interaction with other significant adults as they travel the faith formation journey. With COVID-19, it made it very difficult for Vacation Bible Schools to happen last year, and with the trends continuing, we are faced again with what to do?
Several publishers have made new avenues to offer virtual pieces that allow Vacation Bible School to take place virtually – either in families or in small neighborhood groups. This communication will explore the themes and major Bible stories of several of these publishers and indicate which one has plans to offer some virtual options around the theme
Beth Hayes will be available and glad to answer questions about any of this and to secure resources from Abingdon/Cokesbury, Shine, Gen On, and PCUSA.
*Denotes options with a virtual experience.
Press, Play, Get In The Mix reminds each child that they can have confidence because of Jesus. Stories included in the 5-day VBS:
- They are Known Who Is Jesus | John 10:14
- They Belong Calling of Disciples’ | Luke 5:1-11
- They are Forgiven Zacchaeus | Luke 19:27-32
- They Can Change Zacchaeus Part 2 | Luke 19:8-9
- They Can Make A Difference Lost Sheep | Luke 15:1-7
Starter Kit plus digital files including Virtual VBS Daily, Media Files, and Parents Guides allowing access to do a virtual VBS
This was one of the first virtual kits available last year and can still be used, but they have also developed a 2021 version. With minimal preparation, easy to follow instructions, and a video that leads kids step-by-step through each day, BOLT VBS is the perfect quarantine-friendly solution for your church or family.
Theme: BOLT is more than just a video…It’s an at-home, backyard experience! Stories include:
- Parable of the Sower and Seed | Luke 8:4-15
- Jesus Walks on Water | Matthew 14:22-36
- Jesus Chooses Disciples | Luke 5:1-11
Church Starter Kits- $185.00 | Family Kits- $25.00
With Destination Dig, kids will explore where Jesus walked and examine artifacts that bring the Bible to life. It uses the passage of Jeremiah 29:13 that God reveals Himself to us when we seek and search for Him with all our hearts. This is not a virtual VBS but a traditional VBS model. Bible stories used:
- Jesus Came as God Promised | Isaiah 7:14, Micha 5:2, Matthew 1:18-2:8
- Jesus Demonstrated God’s Power | Ps 148:8. Isaiah 35:5-6 John 9:1-41
- Jesus was betrayed and rejected | Ps 41:9, Isaiah: 26-40
- Jesus died and Rose Again | Isaiah 53:5,9-11, John 19:17-20:18
- The Bible is True | Isaiah 53:7-8, Acts 8:26-40
Starter Kit- $129.99
*For virtual VBS options, they have a thorough manual to download for using the Concrete and Cranes theme from last year and Backyard Kids Club.
When using Discovery on Adventure Island: Quest for God’s Great Light, everyone is invited to explore the ways God’s great light shines in the world, how they can reflect that light in their own lives. Bible stories used:
- The Creation Story | Genesis 1:1-2:9
- Moses and the Burning Bush | Exodus 3:1-20
- Faith Through the Roof | Luke 5:17-26
- The Lost Parables | Luke 15
- Mary at the Tomb | John 20:1-18
Starter Kit- $189.99 | Starter Kit + Digital Options- $224.99
This is a traditional classroom/rotation VBS model. The digital starter kit has a manual and at-home videos for doing a virtual VBS. In addition, you can purchase at home student packs with supplies for 12 for $99.99 (available in March).
The 2020 VBS Knights of the North Castle is also available with the same manual and video for doing a virtual school.
An interactive VBS where children learn that everyone is welcome at God’s table. The stories explore stories about Jesus from Luke and John showing Jesus eating with unexpected people, providing for a crowd, demonstrating humility, and extending welcome and forgiveness. Stories included:
- Be Our Guest | Luke 14:15-24- A great feast with all welcome
- Jesus and the Giant Picnic | John 6:1-14- Disciples feed a large crowd
- Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner | Luke 19:1-10- Zacchaeus
- A Supper to Remember | Luke 22:13-20- Passover Jesus shares a meal with disciples
- Breakfast at the Beach | John 21:1-17- Breakfast of bread and fish
Starter Kit- $179.99 and includes two copies of all manuals and products
NOT virtual, but could be adapted by a creative person.
MennoMedia is preparing to launch a new website. Due to the timing of the launch, Spring 2021 Shine products, Leader Magazine, Salt & Light, and Rejoice! Daily devotional will not be available for online purchase until January 20. If you would like to place your order before that time, please call 800-245-7894. Thank you!
Embark on an epic quest through hidden ruins, ancient caves, and dense jungles. At Treasured: Discovering Your Priceless Gift to God VBS, kids dig into action-packed, faith-filled adventures. They’ll discover God’s greatest treasure isn’t diamonds, gems, or gold–it’s them! Stories included:
- God Knows You | II Samuel 6:1-13- God identifies David as the future king.
- God Hears You | I Samuel 23:1-14- David escapes Saul and writes psalms to God.
- God Comforts You | II Kings 18:5-19:34- God reassures King Hezekiah.
- God Forgives You | John 15:1-2 John 15:1-21- Jesus reinstates Peter.
- God Chooses You | Esther 2-8- God chooses Esther to save her people.
Digital Super Starter Kit- $234.99. There is a weekend model called Anchored. NOT virtual!
The 2020 theme of Rocky Railroad and Wilderness Escape does have downloadable at-home options.
Compassion Camp: Be Kind. Be Loved. Be You. is an At-Home/Virtual VBS where kids and their families will explore what it means to have compassion for others, ourselves, and the world. It is geared toward preschool-age children and K-5th graders, and it is incredibly flexible, adaptable, and fun for the entire family, older siblings included. Stories include:
- At the Table | Luke 15:11-35
- To My Neighbor | Mark 2:1-12
- For Myself | Mark 12:28-31 & Deuteronomy 6
- Along the Way | Ruth 1:1-22
- With the World | Leviticus 25
Digital Download- $24.99 per family
Many of Illustrated Ministry products lend themselves to doing things virtually.
All God’s Children: The Church Family Gathers for a Very Blessed Summer brings generations together for a fun VBS experience! This 5 gathering unit focuses on ways we work at living together as children of God and includes outreach and mission opportunities, “at home” conversation starters, Pinterest planning ideas and tips, and everything else you need to gather all ages to eat together, play together, study together and worship together. Stories included:
- Walking and Growing with Jesus | Luke 24:13-48
- Trusting the Good Shepherd | Psalm 23, Luke 10:11-18
- Bearing the Good Fruit | John 15:1-8
- Love Each Other | Psalm 98, John 15:9-17
- Green and Growing in the Kingdom of God | Psalm 92:1-4, Mark 4:2-34
Digital Download- $38.00
All God’s Children: The Church Family Gathers for Summer includes 5 complete intergenerational gatherings allowing all ages to eat together, play together, study God’s word together, pray together, and worship together. Stories included:
- For Your Faith | Mark 25:21-43
- Let’s Go Camping | I Kings 9
- Plumb Straight | Amos 7
- Storm Stories | Mark 4:35-41
- Walking on Water | Matthew 14:22-33
Digital Download- $15.99
Many of their resources, especially LIFT are adaptable for virtual groups.