Sixty-seven percent of all parents need some form of summer care for their children, according to a recent United Way/University of Georgia study examining the childcare needs of two-parent and single-parent families with school-aged children.
Can you help? If you have a VBS each year, you can. Crosswinds Church in San Marcos, California, renamed their VBS a free, off track Christian day camp and promoted it to the local public schools. In a week, the camps filled up with more than 200 kids, mostly unchurched, and a dozen families joined the church as a result of the camp.
Transform your existing VBS:
Send fliers to kids via local schools which read, “Day Camp: Your kids will be on summer break for X number of weeks. Let us entertain them a week for FREE.” The key is to advertise a day camp rather than a traditional vacation Bible school.
Choose a themed curriculum as you would for a regular VBS program.
Enlist the appropriate number of volunteers based on the number of children and class size.
Host a pre-party for the volunteers. Use this time to pray, train and even have the volunteers tray some of the crafts that the children will be making or the snacks they will be eating.
Each day of camp, send children home with information on a family focused ministry at your church (Sunday School, upcoming sermon series, etc).
On the last day of camp, host a carnival – like party children can invite their parents to. Kids can practice a skit or song throughout the week and present it to their parents. Invite families back for future church events and for services with family-oriented sermon series. Pass out connection cards as they leave.
Excerpt from “25 Proven Outreach Ideas for Your Church” by the editors of Outreach magazine. Copyright @2005 by Outreach magazine. Used by permission. All rights reserved.