Record Number Of Kids Going to Catholic Camp Are Not Catholic
Summer is right around the corner, and millions of school-age children will be back at home for the entire day which will inevitably drive parents crazy. Many parents will end up sending their children to various day programs, but one of the most popular destinations is Vacation Bible School, also known as VBS. Vacation Bible School was founded over a century ago when Sunday School teachers decided to invite children to experience church in a less formal setting, introducing them to the Gospel while they were on summer break. The results were incredible, with vast numbers of children throughout the United States spending part of their summer in churches and community centers across the nation.
One of the most interesting aspects of VBS is that it continues to be an incredibly popular place for children to go during summer break even though the United States has fewer religious adherents than it had in the past. Even more interesting is that fact that parents are sending their children to learn about the bible in the semi-structured area even if they are not overtly religious themselves. While some will merely chalk up the high numbers of attendees to parents attempting to get their children out of the house for a few hours, there are several other reasons kids are still going to VBS.
Attendance is high at VBS due in part to the high-quality entertainment that adds the message of the church into the activity. Most of the Vacation Bible Schools are planned for months ahead of time, with new methods of teaching the messages of the bible to the children developed and integrated into each program. While church can be viewed as tedious by young children, the fact is these summer programs facilitate friendship and activity. The churches view all the effort as being minuscule in comparison to the potential outcome – making lifelong believers.
Another reason VBS tends to be so popular is parents would like to allow their children to get the same positive experiences they had when they were children. Many of the kids who attend VBS are not the first ones in their family to do so. One survey found that almost sixty percent of adults had been to a VBS when they were children. Nearly fifty percent of the individuals who were surveyed said that they had highly positive experiences with the camps, and they wanted their kids to have the same experience. Moreover, these individuals credited the fun and friendship that they developed in the camps to their lifelong relationship with the church and the message of the bible.
It would seem as long as the churches are willing to put in the effort to make the VBS’s interesting, children will come and receive the message of the church.