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Do your kids do vacation bible school? A small rant...

Posted by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM
  • 33 Replies
One of Julia's friends invited her to their bible school. I said yes, she never gets to do things without her sister and she needed some time with her friend.

The first day, the are already hitting us up for donations. From what I can tell, almost all they discussed was the poor people in India who have to pray on their roof in the heat. So they need donations to build them a roof. On their roof...
And they are having a competition to see if girls or boys can bring in the most money. (A money competition at bible school. Red flag). Whatever, we send her with some money, I don't want her to be the only one without a donation.

Day 2, again talking only about the kids in India, and asking "pleeeaaaseeee can I bring more money for the kids in India? They want us to bring more money!" I am irritated, and hubby talks me into sending more money so she isn't left out.
She also came home with an order sheet for t shirts, CDs, "buddies" and other misc items you can purchase for way more than they are worth. We did not order.

Day 3, the last day. She didn't even know who won or how much in donations came in because they never told them. And she came home with sugar galore.

I'm all for helping those less fortunate. I just don't think at bible school, where the kids are. Not only are they guilted into it, but feel like they aren't as good as their friends/will get judged if they don't donate. And I feel like they played on these poor kids, knowing there are many parents like me who won't let their kid feel left out.

Anyhow, it left a bad taste in my mouth and I don't think I will ever let her go back. How have your VBS experiences been? Do they always hit up for donations?
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by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SusanTheWriter
by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM

It's been ages since we did VBS, but I don't recall them asking for donations before.

Seems like they used their VBS as a fundraiser, rather than an educating/evangelical outlet. Not cool.

oredeb
by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM

 yes my kids have done bible vacation school, but they never cared for it so we never did it again, not even in  our own church, but they never asked for money!

mem82
by Platinum Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Weird. Our church doesn't do that. As a matter of fact our church, though smallish, spends a ton of money on it's program. T shirts and crafts and snacks galore. LOL

Mweddle
by Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM
1 mom liked this

 Yep my kids go.  I actually helped and its more like teaching them its good to help others.  We took up an offering for the tornado victims.  I gave my kids a dollar or a quarter or whatever. I think there is NOTHING wrong with teaching kids to help take care of others who are in need.  In fact I was glad they took up an offering for the tornado victims (we're very close to that area) because my kids felt like they got to help.  It made them feel good.  SOOO maybe they weren't "guilting" them but maybe she was excited because it feels so good to give.

Boobah
by Nikki :) on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:30 AM
The only thing religion related she told me the whole three days is that god died for our sins, was hung on a cross with thorns on his head and nails in his hands/feet and that they had to stand a long time with their arms up to see how god felt.

Quoting SusanTheWriter:

It's been ages since we did VBS, but I don't recall them asking for donations before.

Seems like they used their VBS as a fundraiser, rather than an educating/evangelical outlet. Not cool.

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Boobah
by Nikki :) on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:39 AM
2 moms liked this
I definitely agree that it's good to teach children to help others, we put a lot of focus on that ourselves. But young kids have a hard time seeing how sending money to kids halfway across the world is helping them. It isn't concrete, kwim?
We focus on helping locally a lot at this age (7) so she can SEE her work helping. Donating food to the women's shelter and homeless shelter, working at the m25m to organize donations, making a meal for someone who just had a baby, is elderly, or can't afford food, picking up trash, offering to do yard or house work for others.
We did take groceries to a drop off center for the Oklahoma victims, but I didn't explain that too much to her because we shelter a lot of the bad out at this age. I was terrified of tornadoes at her age, so I will wait to bring up natural disasters until she is older or I have to, whichever comes first.


Quoting Mweddle:

 Yep my kids go.  I actually helped and its more like teaching them its good to help others.  We took up an offering for the tornado victims.  I gave my kids a dollar or a quarter or whatever. I think there is NOTHING wrong with teaching kids to help take care of others who are in need.  In fact I was glad they took up an offering for the tornado victims (we're very close to that area) because my kids felt like they got to help.  It made them feel good.  SOOO maybe they weren't "guilting" them but maybe she was excited because it feels so good to give.

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Joann.HS
by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM
Mine are actually in VBS this week. Donations of $ and small items have been requested for the mission trip the youth and other members of the church will be going on.

I don't mind sending a dollar or 50 cents each day, because it really is going for a worthy and noble cause. Mine always say they forgot what they learned. But, I know they learn from the experience and we will do VBS every summer good Lord willing.
Mweddle
by Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:54 AM

 I go to a great church where they wouldn't guilt an offering but I'm sure there are churches like that.  If I weren't there and heard how they did it myself, I would probably be annoyed too. 

 

Quoting Boobah:

I definitely agree that it's good to teach children to help others, we put a lot of focus on that ourselves. But young kids have a hard time seeing how sending money to kids halfway across the world is helping them. It isn't concrete, kwim?
We focus on helping locally a lot at this age (7) so she can SEE her work helping. Donating food to the women's shelter and homeless shelter, working at the m25m to organize donations, making a meal for someone who just had a baby, is elderly, or can't afford food, picking up trash, offering to do yard or house work for others.
We did take groceries to a drop off center for the Oklahoma victims, but I didn't explain that too much to her because we shelter a lot of the bad out at this age. I was terrified of tornadoes at her age, so I will wait to bring up natural disasters until she is older or I have to, whichever comes first.


Quoting Mweddle:

 Yep my kids go.  I actually helped and its more like teaching them its good to help others.  We took up an offering for the tornado victims.  I gave my kids a dollar or a quarter or whatever. I think there is NOTHING wrong with teaching kids to help take care of others who are in need.  In fact I was glad they took up an offering for the tornado victims (we're very close to that area) because my kids felt like they got to help.  It made them feel good.  SOOO maybe they weren't "guilting" them but maybe she was excited because it feels so good to give.

 

Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Jun. 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Using guilt for donations is horrible.

We have been lucky with our VBS. It is usually a great and fun program. I helped run it for 2 years then stepped back.

Yes, we do ask for donations. There is usually a local request (food pantry and donations for the homeless shelter) and a global request that is monetary however there isn't any pressure.

I remember as a kid having a coin drive/competition. They asked us to bring in change each day and the winning grade at the end of the week go recognized at the closing ceremony. It was always done in a positive way.
tuffymama
by Bronze Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM
My oldest went once. We sent rolls of pennies after the initial donation because REMINDERS were sent for offerings every day. Never again. VBS was cool when I was little, and it lasted a week. We did crafts, sang songs, prayed, and had stories read to us a lot. We had snacks that missionaries would eat in other countries, and we actually made friends. It was nice. I did it every summer right up through age ten, and I would love for it to be like that again.
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