Vacation Bible School
There are few things richer in tradition than Vacation Bible School. Each summer the vast majority of religious institutions offer Vacation Bible School for its young members. It is a great way to educate youth on religious teachings and beliefs in a fun and safe environment of faith-based activities. To keep participants safe, please consider the following:
• Adhere to a strict check-in/out policy for all students at drop-off and pick-up times. Allow children to be released only to parents. Require parents notify you if an alternate person is picking up their child. If notification is not received, do not release the child.
• Conduct background checks on all volunteers and staff. Everyone involved from the adult teacher, the teenage assistant and the parent volunteer should be checked. It is a necessary precaution and most people understand and comply with such requirements.
• Assign veteran staff members to oversee the program. Encourage them to walk the church grounds, classrooms, restrooms and other multi-purpose locations. They should be trained to look for inappropriate conduct, unsafe activities and unusual persons.
• Incorporate emergency training like fire, tornado and lock-down drills. Kids will recognize these drills from school and will know what to do in the event of a VBS emergency.
• Divide students into age appropriate groups. Provide appropriate staff to student ratio for optimal safety. Do not allow any one-to-one contact or closed door activities.
• Select safe, fun and age-appropriate activities. Be careful of craft items which may be toxic or dangerous to children. Choose activities that involve simple and safe supplies.
• Outdoor games are awesome for kids. They devour the opportunity to participate in simple outdoor games designed to grow team spirit and camaraderie. Always conduct careful inspection of playground equipment and safety gear.
• Review food safety rules and regulations. Food allergies should be disclosed and clear guidelines and precautions should be followed by staff and volunteers.
• Medical treatment options should be safely stored and easily accessible to adult staff members. Special medication should be clearly marked with directions for use. Properly stock all first aid kits with necessary supplies needed to aid a variety of ailments.
• Apply sunscreen and bug spray for outdoor excursions.
• Obtain permission slips and waivers for all off campus field trips and outings.
By following these simple steps, we can ensure a fun and safe VBS experience for our children.
Source: Church Underwriters, Inc., http://www.chuund.com/