It's been a busy January traveling all over the country to our exciting VBS Previews. One new element of VBS is getting great buzz-- Backyard Kids Club! Jennie Ross has been doing a fabulous job sharing about the new curriculum and about her personal experiences with a VBS in her own "backyard!" ("Well, actually side and front yard," she explains with a winning smile.)
Jennie began her Enrichment Session with the basic definition--Backyard Kids Club has the same great Gospel message and fun learning environment as a traditional VBS. It is just off your church campus and in a location that reaches people who would not normally come to your church campus.
Jennie's conference included the basics of team structure, schedules, and resources. I asked Jennie to share what people thought about the new resource. Here's some of what she told me:
- Having a new “tool” to reach out to their communities without having to take their people through another training – since this matches what they are already doing in their VBS.
- That it was broadly graded and already prepared to be used in an outdoor setting.
- That it was simplified and portable (no big teacher packet and pages of things to cut out).
Jennie also mentioned that just like VBS in a church setting, BKC does not reach its full potential unless a follow-up plan is in place.
Here are some of her suggestions:
- Make sure the child makes friends with one of the “regular” church kids so when they come back, they already have a friend at church.
- Deliver a hand-written note from someone on the team. She encouraged the local "host" to deliver the notes even if another team member wrote them. Jennie emphasized that mailing was ok, but the personal touch of face-to-face delivery had a greater impact.
- Keep back a craft to deliver the following week as a home visit (such as the ticket frame).
- Take church information with you when you make the follow-up visit.
- Send a follow-up letter or email from the church thanking them for attending and inviting them to other church functions or events.
Are you thinking about using Backyard Kids Club in your community or on a mission trip? Let us here from you! We'd love to share your experiences here on the blog!