Catching God’s Love with Surf Shack VBS
Catching God’s Love with Surf Shack VBS

Surf Shack: Catch the Wave of God’s Amazing Love
Cokesbury
http://2016.cokesburyvbs.com
Cost: $159.99

Surf Shack:Catch the Wave of God’s Amazing Love is a VBS program that combines a colorful surf/beach theme with a solid theological background that emphasizes love, grace and God’s continuous presence. The Bible stories, the central part of Surf Shack, help students see God at work in their lives and experience the love of Jesus.

Reflection time, led by group leaders, is designed to help children think about the daily story and message. All activities provide a positive emphasis on leading children to a closer relationship with Jesus.

The materials include programs for preschool, elementary, and young teens. An adult program is available as a separate purchase. The starter kit is very complete with a clip art CD that is reproducible, a music CD and a separate music action training DVD, a drama DVD for the opening and closing sessions, a decorating and publicity guide, and access to free, online resources.

Each day water-theme stories from both the Old and New Testaments are reinforced through crafts, science, snacks, recreation, music and mission.

The musical selections are a mix of fast and slow, with easy to learn lyrics and engaging tunes. The music action DVD is well-produced and engaging, but sometimes has a jarring juxtaposition of voices and exaggerated movement. At the same time, the DVD has a diverse cast and wonderful scenes of surfing.

Designed with well-known science teacher Steve Spangler, some experiments are clearly demonstration only, while others are better at involving the children. A few experiments have little or no relation to the theme.

Crafts options can be adapted for any size or budget. Craft kits are available, but items can be made without purchasing kits. Games are easy to understand, and have alternatives for churches with limited space. Mission suggestions are easily adaptable to different churches and suggest activities that children can do.

Surf Shack is fun, engaging, and includes the components that new or experienced leaders need to stage a successful VBS.

Anne Shelton is Director of Children’s Ministry at Advent United Methodist Church in Simpsonville, SC.

 

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