Take a glance at Standard Publishing Vacation Bible School materials this year, and you may think you’ve seen them before. But look a second time, and you’ll realize Standard has created something all-new for this vital summer ministry.
We talked to the creative team that produced God’s Backyard Bible Camp to discover what this material is all about. Frankly, we couldn’t have been more pleased with the answers we received!
To tell you the truth, this looks an awful lot like a VBS course Standard already offered before. Is this just old stuff with a new cover?
You’re right that God’s Backyard Bible Camp is based on one of Standard Publishing’s best-selling Vacation Bible School offerings, God’s Big Backyard, which reached millions of students in 2008.
But you’re wrong to assume this is just a rehash of that material. There’s so much new this year.
Everyone likes new! What’s new this year?
God’s Backyard Bible Camp has all-new music, a new approach to missions, new interactive Bible experiences based on some familiar Bible stories and some you may not have heard for a while, new interactive opening activities, new decorating ideas, and new user-friendly helps for leaders.
Tell me more! Let’s start with the music.
Popular children’s recording artist Yancy wrote and developed eight new songs. They’re all included in the kit on a reproducible music CD. And she produced 10 music videos kids will love. They’re on the music DVD and, for the first time, they’re included in the SuperSimple VBS Kit too!
Why two kits?
Because Standard is offering churches two unique approaches to VBS this year: God’s Backyard Bible Camp Under the Sun, and God’s Backyard Bible Camp Under the Stars. Research shows that 53 percent of churches are doing VBS in the evening when volunteers are often more available and families can participate together. “Under the Stars” gives those churches a great theme to create for VBS and even features Bible stories that take place in the evening. “Under the Sun” is a second option with a daytime emphasis that can really highlight the fun days of summer. But either course will work in either setting. They’re easily adaptable for all kinds of summer ministry—camps, family events, weekday programs, summer Sunday school, or whatever creative approach a local church chooses. It’s a SuperSimple solution for preschoolers, grade-schoolers, and young teens.
That’s a lot of Bible teaching and fun!
Absolutely. Notice that the Under the Sun stories all happened in the daytime. The Under the Stars stories happened in the evening. Even though the Under the Sun stories were included in our course five years ago, this year you’ll see them presented in a completely new, refreshed way. And the Under the Stars story experiences have been created for the first time. And all 10 of the Bible stories encourage kids to serve.
That explains the music and the Bible stories. What about missions?
We have partnered with Beth Guckenberger of Back2Back Ministries, and author of Tales of the Not Forgotten, to create an exciting new missions component built into the opening sessions. Through video segments each day, kids will watch Beth tell the true story of a young boy named Joel. Back2Back is an international Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to being a voice for orphans. With sites in Mexico, Nigeria, and India, Back2Back supports more than 500 children in 12 separate children’s homes or orphanages and hundreds more in low-income squatters villages. Back2Back is committed to meeting the spiritual, physical, educational, emotional, and social needs of each child served.
Churches can use the new Missions Project Pack with lots of options to help illustrate the needs at Back2Back and around the world. During God’s Backyard Bible Camp, kids will reach beyond their backyard and help orphaned kids in Mexico.
What has Standard done to make VBS easier to lead?
We really mean it when we call ours the SuperSimple VBS! Everything a director needs to lead and plan VBS is now included in the kit!
Director’s guides are in easy-to-use binders with tabbed dividers. Leader’s guides are the perfect size to tuck into your Bible. Interactive, large-group opening activities are easy to prepare, and kids will love them!
Snacks, games, craft projects, and service projects are provided on sturdy, full-color cards. Distribute them only to the leaders who need them!
All director and leader materials are provided on CDs and DVDs as documents you can use as you wish. Editable documents let you personalize our ideas and forms for your VBS. Exportable media (MP3s and MP4s) are included in the kit.
The music and activities seem designed to keep kids coming back. What else are you providing to make kids love VBS?
Well, we’ve worked hard to make every part of God’s Backyard Bible Camp kid-
friendly—every story, every activity, every game and craft and snack.
In addition, we know kids will love the all-new Backyard Bible Pals. These fun reminders of each lesson have a service focus and Scripture reference. Your kids will look forward to collecting a new one each day. They will love attaching their Bible Pals to the 3-in-1 lanyard, which they’ll also use for their name tags and the service challenges they’ll receive each day.
And the Mission Pack includes everything you’ll need to set up a “Serving Hands” wall as kids show how their service will spread from their homes to their neighborhoods to the whole world!
It seems like Standard Publishing has thought of everything!
Oh, but we’ve just begun to tell you about all the ways God’s Backyard Bible Camp will make your VBS SuperSimple and really effective. We haven’t mentioned our adult books—two of them so you can choose the best way to teach moms and dads and grandparents lessons related to our Backyard themes.
And our “everything-you-need” kit includes a Decorating Pack, Bible Story Poster Pack, It’s Your Serve! Poster Pack, Site Names Poster Pack, Bible Stories Guides, Snacks and Games Cards, Service Projects Guide, Craft Projects Guide, PreSchool Playground Guide, and nine different CDs or DVDs with everything you need to lead a VBS your church will never forget.
I’m convinced. God’s Backyard Bible Camp is a VBS course every church should use.
And those who want to know more can find information, songs and video clips, previews, and complete descriptions at www.vacationbibleschool.com.