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An alternative to traditional VBS

Happy Children

For the past four years North Naples UMC in Florida has set hosted, “Serve Your World Camp.” Families love it.

SUZANNE MCGOVERN
Florida UMC

Child fills food box.

What will your church’s children be learning while school is out this summer?

For probably most of our churches, there will be a week of Vacation Bible School (VBS). It will be filled with music, games, snacks and typical childhood activities.

But at North Naples UMC, the emphasis will be different.

“Four years ago, we decided to try something new,” Director of Children’s Ministries Marlene Foord said. “We were growing tired of VBS because we had done it so long and we could see that most of the churches around us were on the same VBS circuit. Everybody was offering the same curriculum and using cookie-cutter materials from the same company.

“At that time, our church was trying to re-define our discipleship process. We came up with the idea that no one is ever too young to serve. So, we wrote our own curriculum and created ‘Serve Your World Camp.’”

The camp is designed for children who have completed kindergarten through fourth grade. Attendees come for a half day and leave with a sense that they are making a difference. Last year 48 campers logged 288 hours of service.

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