Vacation Bible School

Monday, June 27, 2005

Final Director's Report

We had a final director's meeting to discuss our overall impressions of VBS. Here are the thoughts we had:

Highlights: The teacher’s packets. We felt that they really kept things organized. The food was excellent, especially the chocolate desserts for the adults! The recreation and music sections were wonderful.

Did we meet our goals?

- General
- We wanted everyone to have fun. We think they did.
- Increase community awareness of UBC. We’re not sure how successful this was.
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- Fulfilling our mission
- We wanted to make $100 for the mission project. Check.

- Nurturing our members
- Have 5 teacher meetings – we only had three, but that seemed to be enough.
- Do post-mortems – halfway there now!
- Teacher appreciation – yes

- Invite newcomers to learn about Jesus
- Challenge each kid to bring two friends to VBS – did that
- Have publicity packets available for kids to give to their friends – there were some
- Invitation letters to go out to any new parents for closing ceremony – did that
- Flyers in schools and to summer camps – did not do this.

- Attendance and staffing
- We wanted to fill all volunteer positions – we did that, with help from some ECC members
- We wanted to have 52 kids including 5 new ones – we had 49 and 5
- We wanted to have one high school helper per class – no, but it didn’t seem to be necessary.

Here are some general thoughts on various sections of VBS:

Opening Ceremony: Went very well. Carl is a superior emcee. We’d like to move the skit to the closing ceremony.

Classtime: It was thought to be too short. We think ending at 8:15 rather than 8:00, or moving to a 5-day VBS would be good. There were several class interruptions that might be minimized – maybe setting the offering plate outside the door. Having snacks already in the room was good though. The teacher’s workbooks were very good.

Mealtime: Also too short. It was unclear whether the meal was aimed at teachers only or everyone (since everyone came!) Maybe starting the meal at 5:15 would help. Transitioning from eating to upstairs didn’t go very well.

Mission Project: We liked Julia’s presentations. We wonder if the goals of the mission project were clearly understood before VBS started. We would have liked an announcement for each class’s donation amount, or a visual aid like a thermometer, at each night’s closing.

Publicity: Sign still wasn’t very clear – maybe the phone number should be dropped. Maybe using yard signs, like election signs, would have been better. We thought the wording of the newspaper announcement was a bit odd. The packets that were mailed out might have been significantly cheaper with lighter paper. We should have had a few extra packets several weeks before VBS. Maybe even some to set out on the foyer table.

Classrooms: We noted that some of the larger classes had some of the smaller spaces. We’re not sure what can be done about this.

Campfire: When the campfire was announced, everyone went outside, but they did their own thing: go to the campfire, play basketball, or wander away with friends. We would like to see this done more formally, like at summer camp. Everyone should be sitting down with a leader doing songs, maybe with ice cream bars or caramel popcorn.

Adult class: The class itself went well. Maybe renaming it the “Parent’s class” would help – we noticed many adults sitting around downstairs that we would have liked to have been involved. Maybe it could be moved outside or somewhere a little less formal.

Volunteers: We were impressed with the number of volunteers we had. We wonder if maybe some of the volunteers could have helped out in classrooms when not doing other things.

VBS Challenge: The prize baskets worked out well. They should have been available several weeks before VBS to generate enthusiasm. We’d like to see this done again.

Crafts: Crafts could have been done a lot more cheaply, but it would be a challenge to make sure they are church-related somehow. If we involve the craft leader much earlier, we might see if they are interested in designing their own projects.

Recreation: Terrific! We want to have it on all four nights instead of just three.

Skits: We liked having the kids involved with the skits, although it is a challenge to find rehearsal time. We would like to do the skit at the closing ceremony rather than the opening, as it gives away some of the things the teachers will be discussing.

Music: A highlight.

Closing Ceremonies: OK, but we were worried about the dismissal process. We would like to see all the teachers keep their kids until they are actually picked up by parents. This should be emphasized in teacher training.

Final Ceremony: Very nice, but about 15 minutes too long. With all the 3-5 year olds there, things need to move fairly quickly. We’re ambivalent about videotaping – some found it distracting.

Teacher Appreciation: Each night we gave a small token to each teacher with a message of appreciation and a mint or something. Very nice, and not expensive. Should be done again.

Meetings: We scheduled some meetings for classroom teachers and some for other volunteers. We think the meetings should have been divided differently – move craft/music/rec teachers into teacher meeting, although that might have made the meeting too big. Should this be renamed teacher training instead of meetings?

Miscellaneous: Should we plan for more backups for sick teachers? We didn’t find out until very late that the emergency exit signs are supposed to be off unless a breaker trips.

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