Frequently Asked Questions
Why should my child attend VBS at Rennerdale Church?
It's a week packed full of seeing old friends, making new friends, playing games, making crafts, singing, dancing, and most importantly, learn about God's love for them.
What can my children expect to do each day at VBS?
We have a semi-structured schedule, so that each class visits a different station (outdoor games, crafts, class time, practicing their "routine" for Friday's parent performance, snack time, etc).
Although we seperate classes by age/grade, we do gather as a group throughout the morning. We start the day with an assembly with all the classes together. During this time we talk about the activities and our theme for that day, we collect for our charity (more about this further down in the FAQ's), and get the kids moving and grooving with singing and dancing. We split up into our classes until snack time, when we all gather again out on the lawn.
Do we have to be members of the church to attend VBS?
Absolutely not! In fact, the majority of attendees do not go to our church! Some go to other churches and some do not attend church at all. We welcome them all with open arms.
Does my child have to attend the entire week?
They do not. Although we don't want them to miss any of the fun, we understand that vacations, child care and parent work schedules can sometimes conflict with the VBS schedule. If you know in advance that your child will not be able to attend certain days, please let us know so we can make a note on our attendance records.
What are "theme days"?
Monday - No theme, dress in comfortable clothes based on the weather.
New Team Tuesday - The kids can wear anything the color of their team (we will have armbands available if they forget). Make sure your kids wear clothes that that you don't mind getting stained as they will be making their tie dye t-shirts this day as well.
Water Wednesday - Have your child wear their bathing suit under their clothes and bring a towel with their name on it. We have a slip-n-slide, sponge war and more.
Military/Hero Thursday - Have your child wear something that represents someone they respect or wish to honor. Examples are military, police, EMT, nurse or any other person they choose! This is the legendary marshmallow war day!
Friday - parent performance day - they wear their tie dye t-shirts they made!
All of this information will be included in the Parent Packet you will receive via e-mail prior to the start of VBS.
What time should we arrive?
On Monday morning, it helps if you arrive around 8:30. Even if you are pre-registered and/or paid, we still need to get them signed in, name tags made and measured for t-shirts. This also helps the younger kids to not feel rushed in leaving their parents to go inside at the ringing of the bell.
On Tuesday through Friday, you can drop them off between 8:45 - 9:00. Again, you are welcome to stay on the lawn until the bell rings and each child lines up behind their class flag. Then they head into the church for the morning kick-off assembly.
What does the $10 fee cover?
The fee covers the entire week of snacks, crafts and the tie dye t-shirt. We are able to keep this fee so low because our church members & members of the community are very gracious with their donations to our VBS.
Who will be supervising my child?
We have a dedicated group of volunteers (many of whom have either attended VBS in the past, have volunteered for VBS for years and/or are members of our church).
There is a mix of adults, teenagers and middle schoolers who all have their own roles throughout the day. Typically 1-2 adults are with each class and they have 1- 3 teen team leads depending on the size of the class. Our pastor, Jodi Flack and members of our church also assist when and where needed throughout the week, such as preparing snacks, refilling water stations, keeping the bathrooms monitored & tidy, and putting band-aids on knees.
Teen & middle school volunteers also assist with the craft station, the music station and the outdoor games.
All volunteers (16+) must pass a background check (at no cost to them) prior to volunteering for VBS.
Abbie Trybus is the Youth Group Director at the church and is also a member of the church. She plans, organizes, and chooses the curriculum for VBS each year. Abbie is headed into her 3rd year at Duquesne University and is pursuing a degree in Education. Her contact information can be found at the end of this FAQ section if you would like more information.
What if there is an emergency with my child?
If it's a minor scrape or bump, we have a first aid kit available at the church. If it is something more serious, we will contact you immediately based on the information you provide when you register. If we are unable to contact you, we will contact the secondary person you provide.
Are the children inside all day?
Actually, they spend more time outdoors than inside, so be sure to put sunscreen on in the morning! We always try to have some on hand as well.
If the weather does not permit the children to be outside during portions of the morning, we have ample space inside for them to spread out.
What should they wear or bring with them each day?
We will send out a Parent Packet via e-mail before the start of VBS (and will also have them available on Monday morning) so you will know what to expect each day. Your children can participate in as little or as many of the theme days as they choose.
Tennis shoes are recommended.
Each day, during the morning assembly, we take a collection for the chosen charity. See below which charity we've chosen to be the recipient of this year's VBS!
Will you cancel for any reason?
Prior to the events of last year, we would have said no. Then again, even though we didn't have "in-person" VBS, we still managed to do VBS To-Go! Certainly not the same, but we hope your children enjoyed their box of goodies and the videos each day.
Having said that, even if it rains this year, we will still have VBS and do our best to make it just as epic!
Are you taking any extra precautions for Covid?
As we all know by now, Covid does not affect children in the same way that it does our older population. However, we intend to take every precaution to keep not only your children safe, but also our older volunteers. Here are some of the measures we have in place this year:
Children will be encouraged to use hand sanitizers which will be placed throughout our facility and at each station.
We will be adding an outdoor handwashing station this year.
Snacks will be served in individual single serve bags.
Drinking water stations (inside and outside) will have disposable/recyclable cups.
Bathrooms will be wiped down/sanitized throughout the week.
The State of PA has lifted the mask mandate as of June 28, 2021, so we would prefer if no child wore a mask so we can see their beautiful smiles. However, if your child has a health issue that requires them to wear a mask, we certainly understand and will work with you on making sure your child remains masked, except when eating (or according to your instructions).
What can I do to help prepare my younger child for this new adventure?
Every year, we always have at least 2 or 3 of the Pre-K or K (& sometimes even older kids) who aren't sure about the whole VBS experience and there are sometimes a few tears.
We encourage parents to show up a little early on Monday, hang out on our lawn with the other parents and kids and just let your children get a feel for how much fun they are in store for.
You can prepare them for the week by letting them know that when the bell rings, they need to listen for their class being called (Pre-K/K, 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, 5th/6th). They line up behind thier class flag and go into the church and sit in the pews with their classmates. This is usually when the tears start.
But trust us, once they are inside and the singing & dancing starts, the tears quickly turn to smiles. We are a happy and rambunctious VBS!
The teachers, team leads and volunteers are very good at helping the younger children to feel safe and comfortable with this new experience. If they see a child struggling, they will usually remain one-on-one with that child until they become a little more confident. The majority of our volunteers have attended VBS at Rennerdale or have been volunteering for years, so they completely understand!
Who/what is the charity recipient for this years VBS?
It has been the tradition of VBS at Rennerdale Church to donate to a charity (local organization or individual). It's a great way to show the kids in a tangable way that giving to others can be fun and rewarding.
This year, we've chosen a special local charity and will give more information in the parent packet and on the website soon.
How it works: During the morning assembly we take a "collection". The kids come up to the front of the church and drop their dollar or coins in a bucket. At the end of each day, we update the total collected and with a big drumroll, we announce our updated total. We use large poster board that shows what our goal is and gives them a visual of what we are shooting for.
At our last in-person VBS, we had to add a second poster board to the top because our kids were being so generous and we surpassed our goal! (That was the year we raised money for a young boy in need of a service dog to keep him safe. Reid now has his trained service dog, thanks in part to your children's generosity!)
By the end of the week, the kids are always super excited to see what the grand total is.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
Abbie Trybus is the Youth Group Director and is in charge of organizing Vacation Bible School at Rennerdale Church.
You can reach her at: email@example.com or text 412-804-8286.