Sunnybrook Church doesn't do VBS. It does something called "Skill School". It sounds like VBS on steroids.
Last year, over 700 kids from the area came to Skill School. This year, they're hoping to accommodate over 1000 -- they don't want to have to turn anyone away. Phenomenal.
I asked the Children's Ministry Director (Ms. Laurie) about it last night. They offer "clinics" in various topics (sports, crafts, hobbies, etc.) -- over 100 different clinics. Each kid (K-5) signs up for two -- the clinics are about 45 minutes long each day (Monday through Thursday). There's a large group session at the beginning and end of the morning, with a series of some kind of dramas, which basically is presenting the gospel in an entertaining way, apparently (they have videos on the website of last year's). And in between clinic sessions, the kids are in small groups with a leader to discuss the concepts presented in the large group sessions.
Then they end the whole thing Thursday evening with a huge outdoor carnival-like event -- with a giant water slide going down the hill at the side of the church and everything. Free food, free everything, open to anyone wanting to come. Wow.
The administrative and organizational requirements of an event like this are beyond conceiving. Ms. Laurie said it was already in place when she came to the church (it literally made her jaw drop to watch it happen) and has just grown exponentially in the three years she's been here. I can't wait to see it.
And I knew I had to have some part in it. Obviously, this takes hundreds of volunteers to pull off. As we were talking last night, I casually asked if they had a drama clinic, assuming there would be (I mean they have several soccer clinics, at least one for each age group). Nope. No one doing a drama clinic. Unbelievable.
So, now I guess I'm doing a drama clinic for Skill School in . . . yeesh, I don't even know when. Sometime in June, I think? It should be interesting. As anyone knows who has tried to get me to work in VBS before, my usual response is, "I'll do ANYTHING -- as long as you don't put me in a room with a bunch of kids all morning long for a week." I'm not a big crowd person -- I'm not a kid person -- I have a low tolerance for chaos -- I'm a control freak -- all in all, VBS is not for me. But I believe in the impact it can have, so I try to do what I can do to help . . without coming to a point of wanting to kill someone before the end of the week.
Laurie assures me that I won't have to deal with chaos and large crowds as a clinic leader. If so, I'm good. And it will be nice to get back into something really creative again.
But a thousand kids. A THOUSAND!!! I just can't imagine it.