We had about 50 kids, ages 3-11, and another 15 teenagers as assistant staff. About half of the kids were from the community, and quite a few returned this year because they came last year.
It was my first time doing VBS in this church district, since we moved here last winter. This was also my first time using a pre-packaged set of materials. In the past when I've done VBS, we've always done it the "hard" way - you know, where you make all your own crafts, come up with all your own decorations, and create all your own program elements. There's definitely something to be said about the ease of a fully packaged set, but I've enjoyed the uniqueness of having original material as well.
Every church, in every country, has a different experience and unique ideas to offer.
A friend of mine is a youth pastor in the UK. She does an adaptation of something called "Messy Church", a hands-on, whole-family church service once a month. She says it's kind of like VBS, but every month, all year long.
So what does your church do? What's your favorite way to minister to children through VBS or something similar? How do you make it scriptural yet engaging?