At our church, it's more affectionately called just "Bible School." I am the project leader for the "junior" aged children, otherwise known as "pre-teen", ages 10-12. I think you can already see where I'm going with this.....
Unlike a lot of VBS programs, ours runs a full 10 days. It is completely homegrown, as opposed to the programs we did when I was a child. Those were pre-packaged kits, if you will. They always had catchy names like "Fun in the Son," "Savior Safari,"or something along those lines. And when I was a "junior" (as we call that age), I was DOING VBS, not attending it. So, working in my congregation's version of Vacation Bible School is quite a change of pace for me.
Like I said, it's homegrown, which means the projects are also that way. The juniors and the older teens only put together one project for the entire program. So it has to take more than a day or two to make. And as the leader in the project department, I have to come up with a project that pre-teens would like to work with and take home.
Both the girls............AND the boys.
And therein lies the rub.
As a female, I am naturally pulled in the direction of projects that have a more girlie side to them: baskets, candles, pottery. Yet, the tomboy side of me tries to keep the process fair and so I work hard to keep it all balanced and enjoyable for the male set.
But sometimes, that's so hard.
10-12 year old males are generally not considered crafty. Yet, I've gotten a few of them to work hard and not sling paint and mod podge all over the room.
Because, that's what they really WANT to do.
So, in my efforts to find the perfect project, the perfectly bipartisan project, I often end up completely frustrated. Spent. Worn out. Exhausted. It seems as though every craft store in town has ganged up on me to NOT carry the one item that will put the finishing touches on the craft. And usually, it's that one thing that makes it acceptably boyish. Hence, without it, we couldn't really do the project at all, without leaving the males in the cold.
Because, let's be honest: it's not HARD to find butterflies, flowers, and ribbon paper for papier mache boxes, is it? But go ahead, I DARE you to find paper with footballs, tractors, or race cars. You think it's there? HA! So did I! Go ahead! Try to find them! They're NOT THERE!
Oh, but they WILL be AFTER Bible School is over. I assure you. Those craft stores have it in for me. (No offense Mitchi)
Today, I put the project together for the first time. It came out nice. I'm hoping that the boys will take to it. It's not as boyishy as I wish it would be, but they can't blame me for not trying. Maybe if they don't like it enough, they can give it to their Mom.
Or their sister.....
Here's last years project: marble magnets on a hanging metal plate....