Day 4: Rest and Regroup
The teamThe crafts endeavor for VBS was not a one-woman show, by any means. I had help. In fact, I think trying to accomplish all the crafts solo would have ended disastrously. Our VBS program was run by two women, one of them a friend of mine. The co-directors were an organized team and were super-helpful to me and the crafts team with whatever we needed. They even brought snacks down to us! I also had a collection of volunteers and family who helped prepare and stage the crafts and who helped get the rooms set up. And, finally, there were the volunteers who operated each craft room (mentioned below). I'm thankful to have had the help I did. It made the week far less stressful that it could have been.
The set-upThe fourth day of VBS was the day the children went to daily Mass. As such, the schedule didn’t have room for crafts that day so my team and I had a little break in the crafting action. This was our day to regroup and get everything ready for Friday’s dismissal. With this little breather, here is the set up crafts ran with:
Crafts were held in three multipurpose-type rooms, typically used for classrooms and meeting space. Each room had few tables, about 3’ by 6’ sized and arranged together in a tight rectangle. As crafting space goes, it was great. We had plenty of room for each group to have a little elbow room between kids. Storage in the room for completed crafts or staged materials for crafts wasn’t as abundant. Fortunately, we had access to a fourth room where we could store the completed crafts.
To save us angst when clean up time came around, the tables were covered with heavy brown craft paper. This gave us a surface we wouldn’t be afraid to get glue or paint on and provided a blank slate for crafting. We encouraged the kids to color on the tables if they finished their crafts early.
Day to dayVBS classes were arranged by age group. Each group, over the course of the morning, would rotate through one of the craft rooms. They always went to the same craft room each day. Over the course of the week, we got to know the kids a little and they got to know us as well. Each of the craft rooms was run typically by one adult volunteer and one teen volunteer. For the most part I had the same group of volunteers—tremendously helpful for maintaining some consistency. It didn’t take long for each room to develop it’s own characteristics and vibe. The day’s flow started with setting out the supplies for that day’s activities, running through the activity with the children, collecting and storing the completed crafts, cleaning up, and doing it all over aging for the next group.
To doThursday was different. Thursday was our day to get a jump start on clean up and dismissal. Crafts went home with the kids on Friday, when VBS was over. Our major tasks for Thursday included getting the crafts sorted into the bags they were going home in and doing triage when necessary. Popsicle boats that weren’t glued securely enough or glued too securely and treasure chests painted shut were the main culprits that needed tending to. Photos taken on Monday of each of the students also arrived and needed to go into their corresponding treasure chests as well.
Day four really wasn’t all that restful. Nonetheless, we definitely welcomed the breather. Stay tuned for day five and the culmination of VBS crafts.