He wasn’t happy. The young boy felt he had been dropped off at Vacation Bible School just so his parents could get rid of him for the week. He stood with his arms crossed during the upbeat songs and snapped at any of the volunteers who tried to cheer him up.
That was day one of Life’s Journey Church’s VBS held at McDonnell Elementary as an outreach ministry to the neighborhood. Cortney Hutcheson, children’s pastor at Life’s Journey, said the children they invited came from low-income families, many of whom don’t speak English at home.
But on Wednesday of that week, the smallest glint of a happy child started to come out—Hutcheson saw him moving and clapping with the music.
“He was probably labeled a troublemaker at school, and we were having the opportunity to love on him and show him the love of Christ,” Hutcheson said.
By Friday, he had completely changed. He was smiling, laughing and singing along with the other kids. Hutcheson asked him what had changed.
The boy told him, “I’ve never had this much fun in my entire life. You guys are different. You’re not mean to me, you treat me like I’m a human and like I actually matter.”
VBS stories like this one happen all over the country each summer. Volunteers, parents and pastors work together to show Christ to kids in a way they will understand.
We’ve broken your options up by week. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. If we missed one, let us know in the comments and we will update our list.
June 6-July 22
Huntsville City Schools will be extending their Afterschool Labs program to include Summer Labs. This will be the third year for Summer Labs which include lessons based on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum. There will be four locations for students: Blossomwood, Weatherly Heights, Providence, and Goldsmith Schiffman. Read more and register here.
Submerged at Life’s Journey Church: All week from 9 a.m. to 12. p.m. More info here.
Cave Quest VBS at Covenant Presbyterian: June 6-9 from 5-7 p.m. Register here.
Submerged VBS at Sherwood Baptist: All week from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Register here.
Deep Sea Discovery VBS at Willowbrook Baptist: All week from 9 a.m. to noon. Register here.
Kids Quest Camp at Camp Bethany with The Rock: All week. Register here.
Camp Connect at Jackson Way Baptist: All week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $35 per child. Register here.
Cave Quest VBS at CrossPointe: All week from 9 a.m. to noon. Register here.
Robotics Camp for 6th through 8th grade: All week from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. More info here.
Submerged at Whitesburg Baptist: All week from 9 a.m. to noon. Register here.
Expedition Norway at Southwood Presbyterian: June 13-16 from 9 a.m. to noon. More info here.
Ocean Commotion at Calvary Baptist: All week from 8:50 a.m. to noon. Register here.
Surf Shack VBS at First United Methodist Church: All week from 9 a.m. to noon. Register here.
Cyber Camp for 9th through 12th graders: All week from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. More info here.
Spanish Camp: June 13 through 25 from 11:30 to 5 p.m. Details here.
Surf Shack VBS at Epworth Methodist: All week from 6 to 8 p.m. Register here.
June 27-July 1
Jam Camp at Life’s JourneyChurch: 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. A FREE, week long music camp for kids who have completed grades K-5th grade. Register here.
Drum Camp with the Huntsville Community Drumline: All week from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cost is $45 that includes a t-shirt and drum sticks. More info here.