Is VBS the Newest Camp Craze?

vbs002As I sat with my fellow swim moms at an early morning practice, I lamented over not putting my now fourth grader into more summer camps.  I’ve been struggling with maternity leave, enrolling my toddler into preschool, figuring out childcare when I return to work in August, boredom, and the summer slide.  I wish I could give my children the laid-back, carefree summer of my youth.  But those days seem long forgotten.  Today its all about the summer camps, the day camps, the specialty camps.  My son is complaining that he’s home too much.  When he’s gone in a summer camp, he comes home to complain that he’s not home enough.  I’ve already started to count down the days to back to school.

That’s when a mom whispered to me… “Put him in VBS.”

I know VBS.  I attended many Vacation Bible Schools in my day.  At the church where I grew up, VBS was a really big deal.  Heavy on crafts and games.  Light on the Jesus and Bible verses.  This was not the place of fire and brimstone.  It was the place of “Jesus loves you.”

Interestingly, the mom telling me about VBS was not Christian.  But the message she gave me was clear… Most VBS programs do not charge a thing.  Some have a nominal fee (one in our neighborhood charges only $50 for a week).

Three hours a day of free childcare was tempting.  Very tempting.

In the end I decided not to enroll my son into VBS for the free childcare.  My son seemed genuinely disinterested in the camp.  But it left me wondering how many mothers have their children enrolled in Vacation Bible School for the affordable daycare rather than for the real purpose of the camp.  So confess… have you VBS’ed your kids for the free childcare or for the message it instills?

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