>Where have I been? Believe it or not, I’ve been assisting at Vacation Bible School (VBS) at my church. How did I get roped into this, since most of you know I avoid children like the proverbial plague? I think it was mostly desperation on the part of the organizers. See, there were 19 children registered. Toward the end of last week, they heard rumblings that the number of attendees was going to increase, and they sent out a plea for help at church last Sunday. I qualified because I had a pulse and was willing to show up. On Monday morning, 70 kids showed up. 70. And we turned some away because we require that they complete 3 year old preschool before they can come, and folks were bringing babies that had just turned 3.
I have discovered that people use VBS as free babysitting during the summer and take their kids from one VBS program to another to get them out of the house. I guess there are worse things they could do with them. I just kinda wish they’d have told us they were coming.
So, I became the Snack Lady. My duty was to make sure that the snack du jour was ready to go when the class was ready for snack time. The theme of VBS was “Beach Party — Surfing the Scriptures”, so each day had an allegedly beach themed snack. Allegedly. I’m still not seeing how some of these tied in, but then, I didn’t actually attend any of the programs. I’m still reeling from 4 year olds shouting “Cowabunga, dude!” all morning today.
Monday’s snack was a container of blue Kool Aid jello with red swedish fish on top (get it? The fish were “swimming” in the ocean) . The kids loved it. I can’t begin to describe how disgusting it was. Seriously, I think the stuff was toxic to anyone over the age of 12. Nasty.
Tuesday’s snack was trail mix made of pretzels, graham cracker cereal, cheddar Goldfish crackers, raisins, mini chocolate chips, and marshmallows. Note: mini chocolate chips melt in 90 degree weather. Note 2: most kids don’t like raisins; I hope the wildlife around the church does, because I think a lot of them ended up on the ground. Note 3: the lack of a marshmallow in a cup of trail mix causes a Life Crisis for at least one small child. Ok. We had one bag of marshmallows and were applying the “loaves and fishes” philosophy as best we could. The lack of a marshmallow is one small disappointment in life she’s gonna have to cope with.
Wednesday’s snack was supposed to be a graham cracker covered in frosting and Alpha Bits cereal… the kids were to use the letters in the cereal to spell out a message. The curriculum didn’t take into account that Post no longer markets Alpha Bits. So they got (carefully divided into small cupcake cups so that *everyone got the same number of everything*– I wasn’t having a repeat of the Ugly Marshmallow Incident ) M&Ms, marshmallows, and Hershey’s Hugs.
Thursday’s snack should have been deceptively simple: popsicles. But noooooooo. Whoever donated the popsicles (and if you’re reading this, I apologize, but seriously, they were cheap for a reason) brought root beer flavored popsicles. Root Beer. For small children. They looked like poo on a stick. Poosicles. Even the little boys wouldn’t eat ’em, and they’ll normally eat anything when presented in disgusting terms. So I hopped in the car and headed to Publix and got normal, popsicle flavored popsicles — red, orange, purple, and green. Things went much more smoothly after that. The preacher was happy; evidently he *likes* root beer popsicles.
One little girl turned down the popsicle, explaining that she’d had enough when she’d been in the emergency room. When pressed for details, she allowed that the neighbor’s dog had bitten her and she had two stitches (pointing to the band aid covering her chin). I said “I’m sure the puppy didn’t mean to do that.” She replied “Yes he did.” That was the end of that conversation. I’m still wondering what she did to the dog (since in situations like this, I tend to come down on the dog’s side 99.5% of the time).
For our last day today, the kids got sand dollar pancakes, or the little mini pancakes. We set up an assembly line nuking pancakes, keeping ’em warm in the oven, and then putting them on plates. Trick here is to get an actual answer to the question “Do you want syrup?”, since we weren’t letting them loose with a syrup bottle themselves. The preacher came in and asked what we were having for snacks, and I told him *he* was having root beer popsicles.
So my first experience with helping with VBS is over. No children were harmed (at least not by me anyway). The kids seemed to have a good time; the people running it seemed to be glad it’s over. It was fun for the most part, but I’ll be glad to not juggle it with my client work next week. Seriously cut into my stitching and knitting time. 🙂