Pirate University, our 2007 Vacation Bible School, will be in session next week, June 25-29, 9:00 to noon.
Each day, 60-80 children, entering kindergarten through fifth grade, will meet in the sanctuary, now transformed into a pirate ship with the help of some sails on loan from Bob Simmons. After a morning meeting with Captain Nick Sparrow as master of ceremonies and Captain Calebarbossa in charge of music and games, the kids will break up by age groups and take turns attending one of four different sites on each of the first four days. Pastor Ann helped plan the week's events and will help at one of the sites, and Lori Shero is VBS Director.
Never a small project, this year's VBS was made more difficult by the need to create all of the materials and lessons from scratch, rather than using one of the store-bought, canned curriculum sets as we have in the past.
"We did it all, all out of our creative team's heads," Lori said. "It's just going to teach them how to be good pirates."
The Wilson family is writing a serial drama for Pirate University, and they will also take the lead in performing it. About 20 people will work all five days, not counting others who helped beforehand or have smaller jobs. And many church members contributed small toys and other prizes.
"We are delighted with the volunteers we have," Ann said. "They are capable. Many are veterans of VBS in other years."
On the first four days, each age group will learn about one of the University's four piratical virtues: courage, teamwork, kindness, and following directions. The teamwork site has a salvation message, but because many of the young pirates will already know Christ, all sites will have value for Christian kids as well. On the last day, instead of breaking up, the kids will participate in a "pirate fair" together, including a treasure hunt at Rotary Park, the finale of the drama, and the handing out of the final loot.
"Pray for each of the kids that come," Lori asked. "Some of them don't know what they're going to be hearing. Pray for them to extend what they hear to their families."