Vacation Bible School 2020

Vacation Bible School for 2020 was converted to a virtual format due to COVID-19. We will put any updates here as we have them for VBS 2021 plans. In the meantime, below are some details about what we had planned for the in-person version of VBS 2020.

 

Commonly Asked Questions about VBS

When is VBS?
St. Brigid’s VBS is typically the 3rd full week of June.  This year’s VBS is June 15-19, 2020.  We start at 9:00 AM each morning and the closing assembly ends at noon each day.

How much does it cost? 
The cost per child is $40.00.  This covers all crafts, snacks and supplies throughout the week as well as a themed T-Shirt and music CD.

Who can attend VBS?
Vacation Bible School is open to children 3 years-old and potty trained by the first day of VBS (June 15, 2020) through those entering grade 6 for the 2020-21 school year.  Children in preschool through 3rd or 4th grade are considered “campers” while grades 4th – 6th are “VIPs.”

What grade should I enroll my child in? i.e. My child is currently in 1st grade but will enter 2nd grade in the fall.
Please enroll your child in the grade they will be entering in the fall.  In the example above, you would register for 2nd grade.

What is a VIP?  What’s the difference between a VIP and a Camper?
VIP stands for Volunteer Instruction Program.   Fourth through sixth graders are in a unique place.  Many of them no longer wish to attend traditional VBS because they feel they are too old, but they are not quite ready to be junior volunteers.  The VIP program allows this developing group to attend VBS alongside their parents, siblings, and friends while participating in more age appropriate activities.  VIPs work on service projects instead of crafts, attend more immersive faith stations, and get an opportunity to learn how to be an effective volunteer by observing and assisting at the various stations.  Fifth and sixth graders are automatically registered as “VIPs” while fourth graders have the option to participate as a traditional “Camper” or as a “VIP.”

I’m not a member of St. Brigid, can my child still attend?
We welcome members of all local churches as well as those searching for a faith community.  Because we are a Roman Catholic community, our faith lessons follow Catholic doctrine and interpret the Bible through a Roman Catholic lens.  We discuss topics such as the lives of canonized Saints, Mass, the Eucharist and Sacraments.  If you are a non-Catholic, we welcome you to come, praise Jesus with us, and maybe learn something new about the Catholic Faith.  We have more in common than you might think!

How do I register?
Registration and payment are done online.  Registration opens the first Monday of March (March 2, 2020) and closes the last weekday of April (April 30, 2020) or until we reach maximum capacity, whichever comes first.

Why does registration close?
Closing registration early allows us enough time to plan appropriately.  We use this time to organize groups, make sure we have sufficient volunteers, and to order custom T-shirts and other supplies.  While we would like to invite every child to experience our VBS and share the love of their faith with us, we do also have to set a maximum number.  We follow the standards set by the Protecting God’s Children (PGC) Program which require specific adult to child ratios in order to keep our children safe.  Also, keeping group sizes manageable ensures that our children and volunteers have the most positive experience possible.

What does a typical day at VBS look like?
Children can check in with their group leaders in the school gym starting at 8:45 am. Opening assembly starts at 9:00 and introduces the theme and lesson of the day through a short skit or demonstration.  Each age group is then dismissed to rotate through 5 stations that continue the day’s lesson: crafts, games, snack, faith lesson, and music.  All groups then reassemble in the gym where we will review what we learned and sing a song or two together before being released.  We ask that parents pick-up their children directly from their group leaders as close to noon as possible.

What if someone other than myself will be picking up my child?
If a grandparent, babysitter or friend will be picking up your child, please list them in the emergency contact section of the registration page so that we know we are authorized to release your child to them.  If this information changes after you have registered for VBS, please call the Religious Education office at 614-761-1176 to update it.

My child has a medical condition, what are your policies?
All our snacks are peanut and tree nut free, and we offer alternate snacks for any child with a gluten or dairy allergy.  We also have a Registered Nurse on site to aid with diabetic needs, administer medication and respond in the case of an emergency.  Please let us know what your child’s needs are when you register so that we can serve your family to the best or our ability.

Do you accommodate children with special needs?
Yes!  We strive to make sure all children who wish to attend VBS are included.  If your child has any special needs, please indicate them on the registration form so that we can ensure the best possible experience for your child.  If you’d like to talk to someone about whether or not VBS is a good fit for your child, you can contact the Religious Education Office at 614-761-1176.

Can I stay with my child?
While parents are welcome to be a part of their child’s VBS experience, we encourage them to allow their child to blossom independently.  We have a lot of fun at VBS, but we understand that some children have a harder time separating from Mom and Dad than others.  Please let us know your needs and we will do our best to accommodate.  If you decide you need to stay, you will need to be PGC compliant to rotate through the stations with the children.  Please consider volunteering as a group leader so that you may experience the fun with your child while also helping serve others.  See the next question for more information about adult volunteer requirements for PGC

I’d like to help!  What are my next steps?
First, thank you for your interest in this amazing ministry!  VBS can’t run without you!  You can register as an adult volunteer here, but before you can be eligible, all adults (anyone graduated from high school AND 18 years old before the first day of VBS) need to complete the PGC guidelines as prescribed by the diocese.  This includes completion of the Protecting God’s Children for Adults class as well as a fingerprint background check.  For more information on how to become PGC compliant with St. Brigid, visit the Safe Environment page or contact our Safe Environment Coordinator, Stacey Nerone at snerone@stbrigidofkildare.org.

I’d like to volunteer, but I have a child too young to participate.  Is there childcare available?
We have childcare available for children (12 months to 2 years old) of adult volunteers only.  When you fill out the Adult Volunteer Registration Form, please indicate that you need childcare.   If you have a child younger than 12 months and still wish to volunteer, please contact the Religious Education office to discuss alternate options.

How can my middle or high school aged child be involved?
Students entering 7th through 12th grade can be junior volunteers.  We need students to help assist our adult volunteers at each station as well as with leading the small groups.  Anyone interested can sign up using the Junior Volunteer Registration Form.

Does volunteering at VBS count toward Confirmation service hours? Any time spent assisting before, during, or cleanup of VBS can count toward Confirmation service hours for 7th and 8th graders.  High school students can usually use hours served toward National Honor Society or other service requirements.  Check with your organization for specific details.

How many service hours can a student earn?
If a student volunteers the full week of VBS, they will earn 20 hours of service.  Hours can also be earned by helping to prepare for VBS by decorating, sorting T-shirts, preparing crafts, or other activities.

Is financial assistance available?
We handle financial assistance requests for VBS on a case by case basis.  If you have a financial need that would prevent you from coming to VBS, please contact Jennifer McManus at jmcmanus@stbrigidofkildare.org before registering.

What is your refund policy?
If you find you are no longer able to attend VBS, please let us know as soon as possible.  While we will try to accommodate refund requests, we cannot guarantee them due to budgeting and planning limitations.  We do not offer refunds once VBS has begun.