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Vacation Bible School


Need something else?

Need another resource?  Looking for advice? Please contact Kathy Pittenger.

VBS/Summer 2021 Zoom


VBS 2021 Slides

Google Doc with notes from our time and a Cokesbury Kids Outside VBS webinar. The comments are open so you can add additional ideas.

Guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camps During COVID-19 from the CDC

Playgrounds and Outdoor Play Spaces Guidance from the CDC


VBS 2021

2021 will continue to provide opportunities and challenges for summer ministries. Whether you choose in-person, virtual, kits for home, hybrid or another option, this page will have resources, links, ideas and thoughts as you plan for this summer. This page will be updated frequently as new information, resources, and ideas are created and shared.

VBS 2021

As we continue to live and provide ministry in a pandemic, we may need to have plan A, B, C... We also need to ask important questions for the safety of children, youth, volunteers, and staff. Including, but not limited to:

  • What is your "Why" for VBS?
  • What are your values and guiding principles?
  • What are your volunteers saying? Are they still willing to volunteer or are they hesitant or not willing? (note - this is a place where it is important to "Do No Harm" - have a conversation with each volunteer without making assumptions about whether or not he/she is willing/able to serve)
  • What are your families saying? Are they ready to bring their kids to a small or medium gathering?
  • What are the COVID-19 protocols/procedures for your church and community (county and state)? What procedures need to be in place for your VBS or summer ministries? 
  • If physical distancing and protective measures (such as masks) are still recommended or required, are you prepared to accommodate for that?
  • Consider your context:
    • VBS Traditions
    • Size
    • Resources (financial & people)
    • Are you in a virus hot spot?
  • Consider Alternative VBS options (some of these options will depend on current restrictions and your location)
    • Offer a virtual option
    • Asynchronous (recorded, on-demand videos)
    • Live Videos
    • Backyard VBS
    • Drive-in VBS
    • Change the date to later in the summer or postpone to next year
    • Packets that can be sent home or picked up from the church
    • Small Group VBS
    • One day VBS
    • Everyday for 4 or 5 days
    • Once a week over a period of time

Resources for additional considerations:

Building Faith - Canceling Summer Programs

Group - The Spirit of VBS During a Pandemic

Church Leaders (some neat ideas)

4 VBS Strategies for the Summer

5 Steps to Plan VBS Through COVID-19

VBS Reviews

Building Faith has posted a review of  VBS kits from a variety of publishers. You can read their 2021 reviews here. From that page you can also read reviews about the publishers, including both theological framework and inclusivity.

The 2020 reviews can be found here.

The 2019 reviews can be found here.

Taking VBS Virtual

If creating a virtual VBS is in line with your "Why" and "values" here are resources as you plan:

Cokesbury VBS Blog includes several articles about virtual and outdoor options.

Group's Rocky Railway Online VBS Guide

Group's Wilderness Escape Online VBS Guide

If you are using another publisher, visit their website to see if they have online resources.

A few considerations

  • Your people want to see YOU!
  • Focus on relationship
  • Consider your audience (do people have access to the internet and computers/tablets)
  • Screen fatigue
  • Make sure your protection policy is up to date in terms of online safety and awareness.

Curriculum Comparison Chart

Still deciding which Vacation Bible School program will fit your context the best? View the VBS Comparison Chart or take a look at popular kits by clicking on the images below.

VBS Kits

Knights of the North Castle
Abundant Life Garden Project