29. Vacation Bible School (Crafts and Cookies for Christ)

3 Mar

Yes, I realize this sounds like a doxymoron. And yes, I just made that word up. But really there ought to be a word for a double oxymoron, which Vacation Bible School most certainly is: vacation + school, vacation + bible.

Anyhoo, I don’t know if Vacation Bible School (VBS) is strictly a Southern thing, but since I’ve never heard any yankee types pledging allegiance to the Christian flag, I’ll proceed with my assumption.

If you like Kool-Aid, chances are you’ll like Vacation Bible School. And I don’t mean Jim Jones Kool-Aid, I mean “the guy in the giant pitcher costume crashes the party” Kool-Aid. The consumption of Kool-Aid is one of the more popular VBS activities. Right up there with making yarn and popsicle stick “God’s Eyes.” Or learning the hand motions to “Deep and Wide.” (Which, taken out of context, sounds more like adult entertainment.)

I’m pretty sure there was some sort of bible teaching going on, but if so I can’t recall. I will say that I know the names of Jesus’ disciples because I learned them in a song:

“There were twelve disciples
Jesus called to help him
Simon Peter, Andrew,
James, his brother, John,
Phillip, Thomas, Matthew
James the son of Alphaeus,
Somebody, Thaddeus, Judas…(hold the note)
And Bartholomew.”

Apart from the singing and crafting, the only thing I distinctly remember is eating a lot of those butter cookies with the holes in the middle. You may not be familiar with them, as I don’t believe I’ve encountered them outside VBS. The thing to do was poke your finger through the hole and eat around the edge of the cookie. Um, maybe you had to be there…

After a 25-year hiatus from VBS, my sister went back last year. This time as a teacher. MWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA! She called me up all bent out of shape because the class she was teaching turned chaotic right off the bat. Nobody was listening to her and they flat out refused to obey. Not the kids, mind you. The parents. No Kool-Aid and cookies for them.

Any fond (or not so fond) memories of VBS? Please share!

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5 Responses to “29. Vacation Bible School (Crafts and Cookies for Christ)”

  1. Julie March 4, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Because of this post I’ve spent the last hour looking up lyrics to VBS songs I once loved, but I can now barely remember. The Crayon Box Song is my favorite rediscovery so far:

    O… Red is the color of the blood that He shed,
    Brown is for the crown of thorns they laid upon His head.
    Blue is for royalty! In Heaven He does dwell;
    And yellow is for the Christian who’s afraid to tell.

    The line about the yellow Christian is my favorite.

  2. girloutofdixie March 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    what does burnt umber represent?

    is it just me or does “burnt” sound like a southern word?

  3. TSquared March 18, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Love it! I have some vague recollections of VBS as an option when I was living in northern VA, but I didn’t ever get it… even though I was a second grader who decided to go to Baptist church, the New England in me is too strong.
    I do relate to the songs/ bible info, though: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” taught me the twelve tribes of Israel for religion class, and just about all my retained knowledge of the miracle of Easter and the Passion comes from “Jesus Christ, Superstar.” Oh boy.
    Thanks for another great, thought-provoking, laugh-inducing post.

  4. girloutofdixie March 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    glad you liked the post and escaped VBS. lucky you!

    turns out all my friends who went to VBS were served the same snacks: kool-aid and those sad butter cookies. i tried to find a photo of the type of cookies i mean, but came up empty. perhaps they only existed for kids who attended VBS in the 70s.

  5. A Seattlite January 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    If you feel like leaving Seattle-proper and heading into the suburbs, you will find so many VBSes and people pledging allegiance to the flag of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and to the faith for which it stands…

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