Foto Friday. . .VBS Logos! ! !

Hi everyone! It’s your fun-loving VBS graphic designer (who happens to love numbers as well. . .I know, I’m weird) and it’s that time of the week. . .Foto Friday!!! Why do I bring up the, “I love numbers” thing? I’m glad you asked! As Carol has stated in her “VBS By the Numbers” post, I like to check the number of views my blog posts receive and I’ve realized that my “Clip Art” post has had a lot of views! I also field a lot of calls, emails, etc about people wanting the past VBS logos.

So, I decided this week will be the VBS logos from 1997 (Good New Stampede) to 2012 (Amazing Wonders Aviation)! By the way, I have worked on every single one except Good News Stampede! My first day at LifeWay was the very first day of writer’s conference for StarQuest.


1997's Good News Stampede

1998's StarQuest

1999 Mt. Extreme


2000's Ocean Odyssey


2001's Truth Trackers


2002's Amazon Outfitters


2003's Kingdom Capers


2004's Rickshaw Rally


2005' Ramblin' Road Trip


2006's Arctic Edge


2007's Game Day Central


2008's Outrigger Island


2009's Boomerang Express


2010's Saddle Ridge Ranch


2011's Big Apple Adventure


2012's Amazing Wonders Aviation

Getting God’s Word into the home

VBS is a proven method of reaching unchurched kids with the gospel. It makes sense that if unchurched kids are coming to your VBS events, you’ll want to do as much as you can go make sure that God’s Word goes home with them. Follow-up is a key part of VBS that I hope you won’t overlook.  As we designed the new Kids Activity Paks this year, we had follow-up in mind.

For preschoolers, the Kids Activity Paks include a book, an activity where kids can match objects, plus postcards that can be used in class and sent home with parents. The books are keepsakes that preschoolers will love to read again and again. What better way to get the God’s word into the home?

The Kids Activity Paks for school aged children includes a set of cards with an activity to reinforce the bible lesson for the day, a set of boomerangs for kids to take home that have the daily bible verse on one side and a place where kids can write their own daily challenge on the other side, a “Return Trip Ticket” to use for follow-up and to get the ABCs of Becoming a Christian into the home, plus a picture frame.

Here are some pics:

Think of all the ways you can use these resources to reach unchurched families during and after VBS.

  • Take pictures of kids during VBS, then deliver the picture in the Kids Activity Pak picture frame after VBS.
  • Use labels to add information to the Return Trip Ticket about a follow-up family event.
  • Challenge kids to memorize the daily bible verses by sending the boomerangs home every day.
  • Send parent postcards for preschoolers home each night.

You’ll want to make sure and get these for all the kids in your class!

Kids Activity Pak for Babies – 2s

Kids Activity Pak for 3’s – Kindergarten

Kids Activity Pak for Grades 1-2

Kids Activity Pak for Grades 3-4

Kids Activity Pak for Preteens

Facts & Trends announces the 2009 VBS Photo Contest

Hey guys – here’s some information on the VBS 2009 Photo Contest!!!!

Boomerang Express and Club VBS: Truth Trek photos welcome!!

Facts & Trends Online (FTO) staff is once again inviting churches and individuals to submit photos for the annual Vacation Bible School Photo Contest. This year, all submissions will be archived at the LifeWay News page on Facebook, a social networking Web site.

Submissions of Boomerang Express and Club VBS: Truth Trek photos will be organized into photo albums labeled with geographical regions, so users can easily view nationwide photos of contest submissions.

Participants can enter photos by sending an e-mail to The e-mail should include a photo title, the name of the church represented, the church’s address in addition to the submitter’s name, phone number and e-mail address. All entries must be received by Monday, Aug. 3, to be eligible.

Each participant can submit up to two photos that meet the following criteria:
– 300 dpi.
– JPEG format.
– Features at least one VBS participant (pictures of only landscapes or decorations will not be accepted).
– Features either the Boomerang Express or Club VBS: Truth Trek themes.

Beginning with the first entries in early June, the photo albums at the LifeWay News page on Facebook will be updated every Tuesday and Thursday as needed to include the most recent photographs.

Facebook fans of the LifeWay News page are invited to comment on and “tag” the photos. FTO staff reserves the right to edit or delete any comments or tags. Fans will also receive a reminder to help choose the winning entry at the contest’s conclusion.
After Aug. 3, staff will narrow submissions to the top 10 entries and post those entries at for a public vote from Aug. 5-14. FTO staff, along with representatives from LifeWay’s VBS area, will name the Grand Prize winner on Monday, Aug. 24.

The winning photo will be featured in the Fall 2009 issue of Facts & Trends magazine and the church represented will receive a 2010 VBS Super Sampler Kit compliments of LifeWay’s VBS area.

Please note: Because photos will be posted online, users who submit photos must notify parents or legal guardians of minors photographed to ensure consent before submitting entries.

Visit or the LifeWay News page on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the contest. Contest entries and questions can be submitted to facts&

Great Idea for Promotion!

Cyndy Vipperman from Mountain View Baptist Church in Surry Co, North Carolina added this picture to our VBS Online Community. What a great idea for promoting VBS! According to Cyndy, it’s made from OSB board.

Mt. View Baptist Church

Mt. View Baptist Church

Help! I’m the craft rotation leader!

Each year, we have an outside appraiser who takes our craft suggestions and tests them with kids. I thought some of the information she gathered would be helpful to you guys as you are planning the crafts rotation! Thanks so much to Lynn Jordan from Capital Baptist Association for being the craft tester!

Track 1
Name-a-Rang (Grades 1-2)
Time  (1st child finished – last child finished): 19 – 32 minutes

  • Make sure 2 holes are at the top before you print your name.
  • Ink from inkpads smeared on the slick surface of boomerang from the kit.
  • Younger children had trouble getting ribbon through the bells and the small holes in the boomerang. They also had trouble tying the knots.

Kids say:
“I’ll hang it on my doorknob.”
“Too many knots to tie.”

Boomerang Express Nameplate (Grades 3-4)
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 14 – 26 minutes

  • Use self-adhesive foam letters and tiles.
  • Sort letters for the children to save time.
  • Make the mounting board a little smaller.
  • Use larger tiles to fill space more quickly.

Kids say:
“I’ll hang it on my wall.”
“Very Fun.”
“This craft was easy and I liked it a lot.”

Aussie Art Frame (All Ages) **Kid’s Favorite for Track 1**
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 11 – 14 minutes

  • Use spoon to apply sand.
  • Pencils worked better than daubers or glue dots.

Kids say:
“Be careful!”
“It makes a mess.”
“I’ll hang it in my room.”

Track 2
Praise Bells (Grades 1-2) **Kid’s Favorite for Track 2**
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 10 – 13 minutes

  • Ribbon should be wide enough for knots to hold, but narrow enough to fit through the bell and the hole in the pot.

Kids say:
“These are good for farmers.”
“Kids will need help with the knots and getting the ribbon through the holes.”
“This is hard.”

Worship Whirligigs (Grades 3-4)
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 11 – 26 minutes

  • The children had a lot of trouble understanding the construction.
  • Substitute less expensive yarn and paper to reduce cost.

Kids say:
“It was a good one.”
“It was very frustrating!”
“This is hard.”
“The kids might have trouble with the knots.”

Cuppa Coasters (All Ages)
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 11 – 16 minutes

  • Use a craft stick or stiff cardboard to squeegee the glue on the back of the CD.
  • Caution the children to start at the top and avoid touching the paint.

Kids say:
“I’ll give it to my Grandma.”
“This is one you should do.”
“This was easy and I liked it a lot.”

Track 3
ABC Sheep (Grades 1-2) **Tied for Kid’s Favorite for Track 3**
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 15 – 18 minutes

  • Push the marshmallow all the way up the ice pick to make the hole a little larger.

Kids say:
“Putting the arms and legs is hard.”
“I’ll give this to a friend who doesn’t know Christ.”
“The tail is not easy to put on.”

Shareable Wearables (Grades 3-4) **Tied for Kid’s Favorite for Track 3**
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 5 minutes

  • Ask children to bring shirts from home or substitute bandannas
  • Spray fabric paint didn’t work well.
  • Substitute regular spray paint.
  • Use dimensional fabric paint to make “A, B, C” then decorate with dots of paint.

Kids say:
“It’s messy.”

Mini-rang Game (All Ages Craft)
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 3 – 4 minutes

  • Probably too short to stand alone, inexpensive and quick enough to use as an extra craft.
  • Make the whole room the target buy designating each quadrant A, B, etc.

Kids say:
“It’s easy.”
“Ill use it to play the game and share Christ.”
“You need sharp scissors.”

Track 4
Outback Place Mats (Grades 1-2)
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 10 – 24 minutes

  • Pattern will have to be altered to fit the buttons according to the directions.
  • Marker rubs off the pad.
  • Substitute fun foam for the shelving pad.

Kids say:
“I’ll use it to eat on.”
“You use a lot of glue.”

Service Plate (Grades 3-4)
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 14 – 21 minutes

  • Use plastic plates.
  • Placing a second plate under the first will hold your pattern in place.
  • Use permanent markers instead of paint pens.

Kids say:
“Don’t let the kids glob it on or it will smear.”
“It is fun.”
“I’ll give it to my Mom.”

Sheep Station Service Board (All Ages) **Kid’s Favorite for Track 4**

Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 8 – 15 minutes

  • We did not find the shapes and sizes suggested, but substituted 2½ X 31/2 wooden rectangles and teardrops from bags of assorted shapes.
  • Glue the ears to the face, then both to the board for a more dimensional look.

Kids say:
“It will remind me to do stuff.”

Track 5
Didgeridoo (Grades 1-2)
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 8 – 11 minutes

  • Self-adhesive circles did not stick well.
  • Limit the amount of tape- children covered too much.
  • Use bingo daubers in place of paint daubers.

Kids said:
“Don’t let the children use too much tape.”
“I liked this craft a lot, but thought it was kind of hard.”
“I’ll use it to make music.”

Outback Plant Marker (Grades 3-4)
Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 2 – 4 minutes

  • Use for an extra craft.
  • Foam shapes would cut down on preparation time.

Kids said:
“I’ll give it to my Grandma.”
“I’ll put it in a plant.”
“Too easy.”

Memory Mirror (All Ages) **Kid’s Favorite for Track 5**

Time (1st child finished – last child finished): 5 – 15 minutes

  • Use a bigger square to allow more room for writing the verse.
  • Thicker yarn would be easier to glue.

Kids said:
“You can use it to memorize the verse.”
“Make sure the kids are careful with their string.”

56 Tips for VBS Prayer Support

  1. Ask the senior adults who are not teaching to pray.
  2. Take 5 minutes before VBS starts and have a prayer circle together for the teachers.
  3. We assign a prayer team months before VBS. They pray way before and after the event. They even pray for next year’s VBS.
  4. Give prayer calendars to the congregation.
  5. Put a child’s name on a wristband and distribute to members. They pray for that child before, during and after VBS.
  6. Assign each Sunday School class in our church to a specific area of VBS to pray for.
  7. Purchase the rubber bracelets from LifeWay and write the committed workers name on inside with a marker. Distribute at the end of a service. Ask to pray for that person. On the last day, have the person tell the person they’ve been praying for them each day for one month.
  8. Use magnets to reminder church members to pray for VBS.
  9. Be sure to share out loud your needs for VBS. Have a VBS prayer team leader.
  10. Text messages to prayer chain.
  11. Place name on theme appropriate clip art so church members will pray for them.
  12. Distribute small prayer reminders, such as boomerangs, etc.
  13. Ask the older ladies of the church that are no longer able to assist or attend VBS to pray for specific things before, during and after VBS.
  14. Provide a list of all VBS workers a few weeks in advance. Lead a prayer walk through VBS rooms with the Wednesday night prayer group. These groups are usually filled with senior adult prayer warriors.
  15. Provide prayer partners for teachers as soon as a teacher is assigned.
  16. Enlist a prayer chairman to lead the prayer support team.
  17. Invite your prayer club or group to pray for each day of VBS.
  18. Have prayer teams that either pray at home during VBS or some and pray over each room before VBS starts, usually the day before.
  19. Enlist nursing home and shut-in members as prayer warriors. Send them regular updates.
  20. Do a prayer walk on Sunday evening before VBS begins. We invite all members to come. Them we close with a covered dish dinner.
  21. Give the prayer team specific requests.
  22. Provide VBS bookmarks with prayer needs.
  23. Assign a prayer partner with a specific registered child.
  24. Produce prayer pennants and hang them in the church. (i.e. – Kelly is praying for Jack.)
  25. Encourage GA leader to take GA girls to prayer walk all the rooms used in VBS.
  26. Request the WMU ladies prayer walk the rooms.
  27. Have a “Prayer –A-Roo”. Use the inflatable kangaroo and have the congregation sign the “Roo” as a commitment to pray for VBS.
  28. Send an e-mail devotion each day to encourage workers.
  29. Provide a prayer box for daily VBS prayer requests.
  30. Have prayer buddies. Give an adult a name on one child and pray for everyday. Place on a “fish” with a magnet on they can put it on their Bible.
  31. Have a 24-hour all-church prayer vigil a week or two before VBS.
  32. Have the pastor challenge the congregation to pray and then pass our commitment cards.
  33. Put our teacher’s names and needs, etc. in our prayer room.
  34. Place the VBS Prayer Guide from the Administrative Guide in each Sunday School room a few weeks prior to VBS.
  35. We collected everyone’s wristwatch in offering plate at the start of the service. Volunteers placed a small dot on certain time on the watch face. Everyday, at that time, the watch owner prays for VBS.
  36. The day we decorate, we set up a prayer schedule. People in our church come and pray for all of VBS. We begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. Someone is praying for 15 minutes at a time for VBS.
  37. Our prayer walk team meets early and often. They pray for EVERY area of the facility: buses, bathrooms, etc. are prayed in and over.
  38. A couple of Sundays before VBS, place a basket in the church foyer with the names of individual children printed on a piece of paper that are laminated and with a magnet on the back. Church members are asked to place the magnets on their refrigerator to remind them to pray for that one child every day.
  39. Use facebook invitation for others to join in prayer support.
  40. This year, our prayer walk will be called the “Walk-a-bout”, and done by our WMU.
  41. Place a reminder note in the church bulletin asking members to pray daily for VBS children and workers.
  42. During the National Day of Prayer, place the name of each person on a them related cut-out and pass our during the morning service for prayer warriors to pray for that individual.
  43. After a Sunday service, distribute boomerangs with the words: “Pray for VBS!”
  44. On your prayer lists, don’t forget to include: volunteer recruitment, safety and health of the children and the workers, a speedy and safe set-up, successful follow-up with prospects, youth and new volunteers.
  45. Invite your prayer warriors to your VBS meetings.
  46. Had members come to church at midnight the night before VBS started pray.
  47. Post the names of the teachers and children that will be in that Sunday School room for VBS for those class members to pray for.
  48. Make a prayer countdown calendar with specific things to pray for.
  49. Beginning in February, we start a prayer chain throughout the church using a themed item that the family keeps for a week. Every time they see the item – car, table, etc. they pray for VBS. The following Sunday, they pass the item to another family. The chain continues until VBS is over.
  50. Meet 20 minutes early before Wednesday night prayer service for four weeks leading in to pray: Week 1 – Workers; Week 2 – Parents; Week 3 – Students; and, Week 4 – Church/Community.
  51. Have prayer boxes set around the church and have a few prayer walkers to pray for requests in that box for that week.
  52. Provide prayer packets to prayer warriors that include: prayer calendar, lists of workers, specific needs, dates, etc.
  53. Include prayer bookmarks in the church bulletin that remind people to pray.
  54. We get 100 + people to pray for VBS daily for 30 prior to VBS date, during VBS and one week afterwards as we follow-up. Each is given a prayer guide and a reminder to pray daily.
  55. Early February we have a VBS kick-off and give out a bookmark to each church member. On the back of the bookmark is the name of every child, every VBS leader, class, rotation, or anything pertaining to VBS. The congregation takes their bookmark and prays not only for VBS as a whole, but for that specific item or person on the back.
  56. Pray for the sound system and air conditioning to work.

50 tips on getting and managing VBS supplies!

Supply Acquisition

1.  January is the month most major companies plan donations. Get your request in early.
2.  Trade supplies and decorations with other churches.
3.  Use garbage cans and set up recycle areas to collect supplies (i.e.- milk just, paper towel tubes, etc.)
4.  Have a form in the room. Pick up each night and fill the request.
5.  We get donations of some items and borrow some things from our local schools.
6.  We have one person compile the entire teacher’s supply request and make on large purchase. We also check our supply closet to see what we already have that can be used.
7.  Make a creative theme-related item or bulletin board with removable tabs or die-cuts with the item needed on it. Church members take tags to purchase those items listed.
8.  Sunday School classes sponsor a department by providing the supplies for that department or age division. (i.e.- crayons, markers, scissors, pencils, etc.)
9.  Have a VBS supply shower.
10.  Have teachers/leaders prepare supply lists and them advertise them for members to donate/sponsor.
11.  Request gift cards to help teachers purchase their own supplies.
12.  Have Sunday School classes “adopt a VBS” age group.
13.  Do a bulletin board and do post-it notes with supplies needed. People pull off and purchase the items and return them to the church.
14.  Prepare envelopes made out with “$25 for 10 Bibles” or “$5 for 2 Bibles” for church members to sponsor.
15.  Make a donation tree with items listed for donations.
16.  Create a “Needs List”, a “Wish List”, and a “Dream List”. You’ll be surprised how you’re blessed!
17.  Appoint designated shoppers.
18.  Keep statistics for next year’s VBS and increase budget request annually.
19.  Do an inventory before you buy.
20.  Do a buy/borrow board.
21.  Visit local stores and get donated gift cards to acquire some craft and decorating items.
22.  When writing solicitation letters, use official church stationary.
23.  Tie donations for VBS into Missions Month at church.
24.  Publish a list of “odd” item needs and ask for folks to e-mail/call if they will provide the item and/or need pick-up of the item.
25.  Make your donation requests specific.
26.  Purchase decorations that possibly may be themed at fall festivals.
27. Leftover decorations from previous VBS themes can be easily revamped. Last year’s tiki hut is this year’s railroad station.

Supply Management

1.  We have one lady in her 80’s that is our designated “cutter”. She will cut anything for us.
2.  Provide babysitter for teachers prior to and right after class for them to prepare.
3.  Provide a meal for training session as a thank you for working VBS and as a hook to get more people to come to training.
4.  Have Sunday School classes compete in bringing supplies. (Ex. – March – juice boxes; April – cookies, etc.)
5.  Provide tubs for grades or each class in a central location on set up day for supplies.
6.  Appoint a “supply guru”. In our case, a youth serves as a supply store and drop off for the week with all supplies located in a central room.
7.  Keep a closet for supplies and have teachers go to closet before they buy.
8.  Streamline all orders for supplies to one person so supplies won’t be duplicated.
9.  Directors purchase all the supplies after the teachers fill out a needs list.
10.  At the end of VBS, each room is given two bags: 1) leftover curriculum, and 2) markers, scissors, crayons, etc. to be put away.
11.  At the conclusion of VBS week, we have boxes set up for decorations and curriculum to be deposited and sorted.
12.  Use what you already have by changing it up.
13.  Ask for donations of supplies from outside sources.
14.  Start a VBS supply closet. All supplies get turned in at the end, sorted and stored.
15.  Set up a “VBS Central” room in a spare room of the church to hold supplies and keep organized.
16.  Know what you have before you buy.
17.  Place general supplies in a central area, but place special orders in specific classroom boxes.
18.  Pre-cut and organize crafts and bag in individual zip lock bags (per project).
19.  Store each year’s VBS materials in egg boxes from the grocery store with name and year on the outside of the box.
20.  Place supplies and materials in plastic bins or boxes clearly marked and have delivered to room on set-up day.
21.  Partner each VBS class with a Sunday School class. The classes pray, help purchase supplies, build props, follow-up, etc.
22.  Enlist a donation chairperson that oversees a system for receiving donations of snacks, decorations, crafts, etc. from the church members.
23.  Use labeled tubs to store supplies for each class as you fill requests from teachers. Also, have a tub for crafts with large bags inside that hold all craft need for that specific craft – just pull out the needed bag for each night.

Add your tips and tricks to the comments section below!