To All the Summer Camp Counselors and VBS Volunteers: Thank You for Making Summer Magical
It's only Wednesday, and this week has been Jay-Z CRA-Z. It would be like any other week except after my daughter does her full day at summer camp, she's going to our church for Vacation Bible School every afternoon from 6-8:30 PM. This is her second VBS of the summer - she went to Camp Alive at Crossroads earlier in the month and now she's attending The Refuge's Rolling River Rampage Camp.
Okay, first off - let's talk about day camp and VBS nowadays. Tonight's theme is "Water Wars" or something along those lines. She has to wear a swimsuit because they are going to be playing in sprinklers or something super fun. At Camp Alive, they made food creations, did stain glass windows, and at both camps they have music, arts and crafts, fun games, and she LOVES going. At day camp, they go on a field trips four days a week. The rest of the day is filled with games, talent shows, and crafts. When I was young, camp consisted of making a cross out of dried macaroni and memorizing Bible verses. It was not fun and I did not want to go. Things have come so far!
All these fun and games are an amazing experience for my child but someone (not me) has had to do all the planning, and decorating, and planning, and executing, and did I say PLANNING? Whoever works at the YMCA Day Camp must have a Masters in Logistics because there are, like, six locations around Evansville and when it rains and they can't go to the pool, they go somewhere equally as fantastic. And the VBS experiences, GET OUTTA HERE! They makin' it rain Jesus love for a week straight!
Now, full disclosure here: I will admit that I have thought, "Is she actually getting anything about God out of this or is it just play?" But then it dawned on me... I want her to WANT to go. At this age, the Bible stories are important but it's building the foundation of a relationship with God and building a bond with other kids who have similar beliefs. And to me, those loving relationships and a great positive experience in church are way more important than MEMORIZING BIBLE VERSES. And I'm sure those poor old church ladies who planned, and decorated, and planned, and executed my years of VBS did the best they could. There are better resources now! I mean, hello, Pinterest! And, my daughter assured me that they were, in fact, learning Bible verses. They make it a game. Smart, smart. smart.
And since we are being truthful, I'll also admit that I was approached to work VBS at church and after much consideration, I had to turn it down. My day starts at 5 AM and the workday doesn't end until 5 PM. So, adding on an additional two and a half hours plus getting the child ready for bed and getting ready for the next day was just too much for me. But, my hat comes off and my heart goes out to the volunteers who have somehow managed to put aside their busy lives to do this for our children. And to the summer camp counselors who spend their summers caring for young kids - wow, you are an inspiration. I would LOSE IT.
Childhood happens but once and summer is one of the most magical parts of it. I love that my daughter gets to spend her summer having a wonderful time every moment of the day, making memories, and being a kid. From this grateful parent to all the summer camp counselors and VBS volunteers... thank you. Thank you for your enthusiasm when you are tired. Thank you for sharing your passion with your community. And thank you for your willingness to give up your precious time. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!