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Vacation Bible School


Tabula Rasa
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Since I didn't want to hijack, Insanity Personified's thread on Christian education, does anyone have any interesting stories and or anecdotes to relate about having to go to vacation bible school?

The most I remember(it's been over thirty years for me) was having to assemble in the Church, pledge allegiance not only to the American flag, but the christian flag, and the bible, and then we'd split off into groups where we'd do some sort of activity designed to instill the "word of god" and "good christian values" in us.

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I spent many (read every) happy summers in VBS. I remember that every year we'd wait with baited breath to find out what the "theme" was going to be and to get our hands on all the shiney new handouts and projects. I have no bad feeings about VBS... it was like fun, free day camp. It was no more indoctrinating than sunday school, and it was a whole lot more fun. I do remember that lots of "unchurched" friends would come to VBS... because of course it was free childcare for their parents. Maybe that's why it was more fun than sunday school.

 

We also had this missionary who would travel around in the summer. He spent the cold part of the year doing missions in Mexico and then he'd appear in the summer and do a week of children's programming at all the little rural churches. He had a parrot that said things like "Praise the Lord" and "seek and pray". We couldn't wait for him to arrive every summer. Every session ended with us all singing "Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam"... the lyrics of that song are stuck in my brain even after more than 30 years.

 

Sorry if you were looking for angry tales of childhood brainwashing. While I admit there was probably plenty of that, there was so much of it in my childhood that I can't say VBS was a particular source. As a kid I hadn't started questioning yet, so I loved it all.

 

Heather

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I remember the good old days of the Boys versus Girls change'o'scale. To raise money for whatever missionary we were supporting that week theyw ould have the kids bring in large bags of change to put on a scale. Almost always the girls would win. I'm not sure why though.

 

I also remember that the snacks always sucked. Just because we are kids doesn't mean we need to be fed senile grandma cookies.

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I spent many (read every) happy summers in VBS. I remember that every year we'd wait with baited breath to find out what the "theme" was going to be and to get our hands on all the shiney new handouts and projects. I have no bad feeings about VBS... it was like fun, free day camp. It was no more indoctrinating than sunday school, and it was a whole lot more fun. I do remember that lots of "unchurched" friends would come to VBS... because of course it was free childcare for their parents. Maybe that's why it was more fun than sunday school.

 

We also had this missionary who would travel around in the summer. He spent the cold part of the year doing missions in Mexico and then he'd appear in the summer and do a week of children's programming at all the little rural churches. He had a parrot that said things like "Praise the Lord" and "seek and pray". We couldn't wait for him to arrive every summer. Every session ended with us all singing "Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam"... the lyrics of that song are stuck in my brain even after more than 30 years.

 

Sorry if you were looking for angry tales of childhood brainwashing. While I admit there was probably plenty of that, there was so much of it in my childhood that I can't say VBS was a particular source. As a kid I hadn't started questioning yet, so I loved it all.

 

Heather

 

Positive memories are ok too. I was mainly just asking for any stories people has about the experience. Mine was fairly fun as well, I just remember wishing I was home goofing off.

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I remember in one song we sang "My God, Oh how I love you." For some reason this always amused me. (Sounded to much like "My God" was an emphasizer rather than the subject).

 

We also used to have one person be blindfolded and lead around by someone else. That was always such fun. Course, after wards we had to talk about how we had to trust the other person to guide us, how vulnerable we felt, etc. and then compare that to Jesus as our guide.

 

We would also pray the "Act of Contrition" at the start of each day. Several times, someone would read the beginning (Oh my God, I am sorry for my sins...) as "OMG!" and then stop and look embarrassed. That was always amusing, though at the time (as a good, little, catholic girl) I wouldn't admit it.

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I remember in one song we sang "My God, Oh how I love you." For some reason this always amused me. (Sounded to much like "My God" was an emphasizer rather than the subject).

 

We also used to have one person be blindfolded and lead around by someone else. That was always such fun. Course, after wards we had to talk about how we had to trust the other person to guide us, how vulnerable we felt, etc. and then compare that to Jesus as our guide.

 

We would also pray the "Act of Contrition" at the start of each day. Several times, someone would read the beginning (Oh my God, I am sorry for my sins...) as "OMG!" (tone, not the letters) and then stop and look embarrassed. That was always amusing, though at the time (as a good, little, catholic girl) I wouldn't admit it.

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