Congratulations to our Geeks of the Week Camille Guthrie and Rachel Montjoy! These two geeky VBS sisters were nominated by their good friend and fellow Geek of the Week winner, Megan Thomas. Camille has been involved with the ministry of VBS for 25+ years and brought her sister Rachel on board for Game Day Central!
How long have you been serving through the ministry of VBS? Share a quick memory or story from "the beginning"...
Camille: I’ve been involved with the ministry of VBS for 25+ years. However my first Lifeway VBS was in 2006 with Artic Edge. I taught 3rd and 4th grade. While growing up in church I was always involved with VBS but this was my first time with Lifeway’s curriculum. I have used Lifeway every summer since then. I really like the flexibility with the Lifeway materials. I find that I can bend the Lifeway VBS structure to fit any size whether the church is small or large. Sometimes our ministry involves children who are very familiar with the Bible stores as well as children who are un-churched and not familiar with Jesus. Lifeway’s curriculum has the flexibility to work well in both situations.
Rachel: I started VBS ministry when Camille asked for my help with decorations with the VBS Game Day Central...we had a good time, lots of work but it awakened my inner crafter and I saw VBS as a big place where I could have a lot of fun without having to explain why it was all in my living room! You can bedazzle on a large scale when you have a whole church building!
What is your role in VBS?
Camille: I have had a lot of VBS roles. I’ve been a “teach-the-teacher” on the associational level, a church teacher, directing entire VBS programs, and leading the worship rally as well as mission’s emphasis portion of the week. My roles change throughout each summer. I am a member of a VBS Missions Ministry team through our church (Edwards Road Baptist) where a group of people from our church go to smaller churches to assist them with their VBS. We may help them by conducting the entire VBS or we may assist the church as VBS support staff. Each church is different and each week of ministry is different. Through this ministry we have the privilege to share the good news of Jesus multiple times to multiple children throughout the summer.
Rachel: I have done everything from teach, teach clinics, decorate, MC, act in drama of Bible stories, patch up the injured (I am a nurse practitioner)...the only thing I haven't done is lead recreation...Do you know how hot it is in South Carolina in the Summer?
What's your favorite project that you've worked on for VBS?
Camille: I don’t know that I have a favorite project. I get really excited in January for the Ridgecrest Event (we are VBS Preview junkies too!) and we start working on our VBS as soon as the samplers are available. We try to keep VBS in the front of our ministry team all year – not just during the summer.
Rachel: My favorite project was making individualized surf boards for Outrigger Island...we made so many, we used art work from the kids...one of my daughters still uses hers as a pin board in her room...the reason it was such a great, favorite project it that it was the first time I used the foam board and well, now I'm hooked. My unofficial nickname in my family is the "Styrofoam whisperer"!
What makes you a VBS geek?
Camille: Well, I’m all about VBS. Our ministry tries to keeps VBS in the front of our minds all year. My sister and I spend most Saturday mornings at yard sales or thrift stores gathering supplies to “bring to life” the next VBS theme. We try to be good stewards of the resources we have and we like to consider ourselves thrifty as we try to repurpose and recycle for the ministry. We’ll think about trashing something and then brainstorm and come up with a new idea – how we can use it for our next VBS. Already we are thinking about how to transform airplanes into roller coaster props and beyond. We follow all the VBS blogs and Pinterest VBS ideas trying to make sure that each VBS honors and glorifies God. Rachel and I both believe that there are many things “fighting” for the attention of children. We want to make sure that the VBSs we are involved with “stand a fighting chance” to attract the kids and make kids want to attend. We then pray that God would use our ministry to claim the hearts of these children for His kingdom.
Rachel: Well, I guess it is obvious...if I'm still waxing eloquently about surfboards crafted from foam several years later...I love it...any yard sale we go to...any piece of packing material...even at Home Depot/Lowes...I am known for staring off into space, holding the item at all angles and then saying "How do you think we could use this in VBS?". In fact we splurged this week and bought one of those Kcup coffee makers and I was already thinking "What could these be in VBS???" The kids said "Oooo, gross Mom!"
Stay tuned next week for Part II of Camille and Rachel's Geek of the Week spotlight. You'll hear why they LOVE the ministry of VBS!