Wednesday, January 13, 2016

VBS 2016 - Surf Shack from Cokesbury

Cokesbury’s Surf ShackToday I'm happy to share with you Surf Shack from Cokesbury. This is a VBS curriculum filled with resources which will help you engage the children in living what God's mission looks like in their lives. Surf Shack is well worth taking a thorough look at to see if it might be a good "fit" for your ministry -

Surf Shack

  1. God Creates - The Creation Account - Genesis 1
  2. God Helps - Miriam cares for Moses on the Nile - Exodus 2
  3. God Loves - The Baptism of Jesus - Matthew 3 & John 1
  4. God Calms - Jesus calms the storm - Luke 8
  5. God Sends - Breakfast on the beach - John 21
Setting – Oceanside on the beach
Message/Theme – "Through this program children will encounter God's awesomeness through Bible adventures and learn how they are meant to experience an epic adventure each day as they learn about God's mission in their lives."
Focus – Application, Service and Bible Content
Strengths –
  • Surf Shack has strong Bible content with a focus on application
  • There are two options for each lesson - a Drama option and a Single Storyteller option - so you are able to chose the one which best "fits" your ministry. I would, however, like to see open Bibles and lessons which engage the children more. The Single Storyteller option 2 does engage the children more than the drama option 1 (I would choose this option), but I'd like to see more engagement.
  • I LOVE the "Science Station" with Steve Spangler!!! I am truly impressed; well done again, Cokesbury – excellent science projects and activities to get kids thinking and talking.
  • I LOVE "Active Learning Options" - focus on helping children understand what they have learned and how it lives in their lives!
  • I LOVE the daily Closing Prayer Experience - excellent!
  • I found the options for crafts to be creative, varied, affordable and fun – options for crafts you can buy as kits and crafts you make from items you collect!
  • LOVE the abundance of mission ideas for each day which involve children in projects to help their community and/or world! Excellent!
  • I absolutely LOVE "Reflection Time" and "Ride the Waves" activities at the close of each day to help children think and talk about what they can do the following day to live what they learned!
Would like to see –
  • More excitement and engagement of the children in the opening and close - perhaps add some of the science projects from the "Science Station" which you didn’t use, to the closing to finish each day with a "WOW" moment.
  • As I already mentioned, I would like to see open Bibles and more engagement of the children in the Bible lesson. It would be very easy to have the teachers read the Bible lesson rather than paraphrase it for the teacher teaching and for the dramas as well.
  • Information on engaging children with special needs.
  • Information about how to keep your VBS safe with volunteer screening, severe weather/fire, etc.
Cokesbury says, "At Surf Shack children will experience God's amazing love while exploring God's mission for their lives. They will encounter powerful water adventures from the Bible and discover ways to live out God's amazing love. Surf Shack is designed to introduce students to a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ." 

I really love how Surf Shack focuses on helping children learn about God's mission in their lives. If you are looking for a solid VBS with a focus on living what you learn and a theme which is thoroughly woven through each part of the day, take a good look at Surf Shack!

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