Lace up your hiking shoes and get ready for the outdoor adventure of a lifetime! Concordia Publishing House’s 2015 vacation Bible school, “Camp Discovery,” shows kids that they can depend on Jesus as He saves and works through them. Bible truths that point to Jesus, our “True North,” are explored so that kids can discover how He blesses us with courage and wisdom in our everyday journeys. The program is designed to illustrate that God has big plans for His children, right now!
According to Concordia Publishing House, every VBS should create “a hunger and thirst for more,” so that children and their families come back to church for worship and Bible study, where they can be nurtured by God’s Word.
“VBS is not just an event — it’s the beginning,” says Pam Nummela, VBS editor for CPH.
And, Nummela notes, the summer VBS can be a valuable outreach tool for congregations to:
- nurture faith in children;
- embrace new families;
- develop new relationships; and
- build ministry and make disciples.
The program’s camping theme is used to introduce vocation to children, according to Nummela. “Camp is a great time for kids to grow, explore and find independence. It’s a time where they tackle challenges and discover the gifts that God has provided them,” she said. “Through these gifts they discover God has a plan and a purpose for them. All they need to do is open their eyes each morning to see the opportunities.
“What a refreshing thought, not just for kids! They don’t have to wait until they are grown up, receive a diploma or earn a certification. God has a plan for them right now, right where they are.”
As Martin Luther said, “God doesn’t need your good works, but your neighbor does,” and the VBS encourages students to “speak God’s Words of love and serve as His hands and feet to provide for those around us,” adds Nummela. “That’s how kids will see Jesus at work through us as they learn the ‘Camp Discovery’ theme verse: ‘We love because He first loved us,’ from 1 John 4:19.”
New in 2015, the VBS offers more help to volunteers through a customized website that includes job descriptions, “how-to” videos, do-it-yourself decorating videos and photo albums.
According to Corinne Lattimer, VBS marketing manager for CPH, “our goal is to make the purpose of VBS — sharing Jesus’ saving message — as easy as possible so volunteers have more time and energy with the kids.”
The Starter Kit ($149.99, item no. 32-1543) serves children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and includes guides for directors and preschool leaders as well as leader guides for opening and closing (with skit and mission-moment videos), music (with song action videos), storytelling, Bible challenges, crafts, snacks and games. It also includes 13 posters, publicity samples, student samples, craft samples, video resources and free access to a customizable website with online registration capabilities.
CPH believes “VBS is for everyone” and also offers separately a reproducible, downloadable “Trail Markers” Bible study for youth and adults ($29.99, item no. 321565pdfWEB).
For the fourth year, CPH’s VBS mission partner is the LCMS, and this year’s focus is on “Big City Mission: Tools for School,” which gives VBS students an opportunity to use their offerings to help kids in the inner city with needs like lunches, school supplies, playground equipment and tuition.
Related resources include a 12-page “Pastor’s Overview” designed to help pastors understand the VBS theme and become involved in the program. It is available free on the vbs.cph.org website.
Also available is the “S’more Fun! Passalong CD/DVD” with 20 VBS songs and 8 song action videos ($4.99, item no. 321585WEB).
To order the “Camp Discovery” Starter Kit, or for more information, visit vbs.cph.org or call 800-325-3040. Prices quoted do not include shipping charges.
If you have questions or comments for CPH’s VBS team, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted March 27, 2015