Wonder where I’ve been for the past week? VBC! It’s been a lot of fun but I’m SO GLAD IT’S OVER. 60 kids, 3 1/2 hours a day, and no air conditioning is really tiring. Spending the rest of the day running around and trying to cram a summer’s worth of fun into 1 week with my own boy is EXHAUSTING! For VBC, I led the Magnificent Missionaries, a group of 3 older kids (12 and 13 years old) who were responsible for presenting this year’s mission project. This year, we chose the Society of St. Andrews, an amazing organization whose focus is on feeding people in the US who do not have enough food. http://www.endhunger.org/ Part of what they do is glean potatoes and produce that would have otherwise been left to rot. The farmers donate the left-over crops, volunteers glean, and they use donations to pay to ship the food to existing distribution centers (shelters, food kitchens and pantries, etc.).
We spent snack time with each age-group talking about the mission project; encouraging the kids to bring in money; and trying to keep them generally happy, healthy, and entertained. My high-school assistant had actually gone on a mission trip to glean potatoes from a farm with SOSA 2 years ago and was able to share a lot about that experience. I think it really motivated the kids to want to contribute.
One of my kids had a great lettering style and made posters with the “Hunger Facts” each day. He did the “VBC” at the top of the post and here he is working on another poster:
The grand total of what we raised was close to $250 (I didn’t count everything that came in tonight). The curriculum provided by SOSA suggests trying to raise $60, so I think we did pretty darn well. We learned that 6 cents will deliver 1 pound of gleaned potatoes to a hungry family. $250 is a lot of potatoes!!
There’s the “money-raised thermometer” that we colored in every day with, you guessed it, potato stamps. The kids helped me make them in cute little hearts but then proceeded to use them to rub the paint around to form a solid fill. I managed to sneak a pick from one of the littlest campers who didn’t quite get the “stamping in the lines” concept.
I also resurrected my “treasure rocks” recipe and made 70 “rocks” with hidden coins to get our collection started on the first day. Here’s my original post with the recipe:
I was originally thinking I could call them “magic potatoes” but they turned out looking more like poop. The kids had fun putting them in the vinegar and watching them fizz up, then reaching in and fishing around in the muck for the coins. The littlest kids (a 3-4 year old group) really thought we were magicians (I hate to think how many of them might have gone home and tried to break open their own potatoes to find money).
I ran out of time to do everything I wanted to do with them, so for the closing “family dinner”, I made little the table signs with some of the “Hunger Facts” we learned. I used a potato stamp and some leaves I cut out from a left over index card I had painted with some greens, yellows, and crackle (practicing for another project I’ve been working on).
All-in-all, a good time was had by all. My son’s favorite activity this year was “everything” (funny thing, that was his favorite thing last year, too).