I get this question all time… What are you doing for VBS this year? My answer is that I am not doing VBS. At first glance the person asking is very shocked. Questions of how did you manage that and how did you become the most blessed Children’s Pastor in America come to their mouths. This is correct though. I don’t do VBS. I don’t even do a wanna be, revamped, call it something different VBS. So what do I do during the summer? I do what we call SMASH Camp. SMASH Camp is a half day camp for both preschool and elementary kids. This year SMASH Camp is a soccer camp, a science camp, and a preschool camp. Why do I say this year? Because last year it was a soccer camp, a video camp, a journalism camp, and a preschool camp. My soccer camp is run by a national Christian soccer camp group called OnGoal. They have camps all of the U.S. but just happen to be based here in Cincinnati, OH. My science camp is run by Mad Science. Mad Science is a national company that does everything from after school programs to school assemblies to their own summer camps. What I have basically done is enlisted 2 professional companies to come in and provide excellent teaching in their field but before and after they can do their thing I get to do my thing. Each day we start off with a large group presentation with a live band and end the day with a large group Bible time that is taught by me. How did I come up with soccer and science? I asked my parents what their kids would like to learn. I asked my kids what they thought would be cool. I did some dirty work called asking and it came out that the most popular things that I could offer in a camp for my area is soccer and science. I went out and found the best respected and knowledgeable people for those two fields and began a partnership. No I don’t do VBS. I do something totally different because I don’t think that VBS meets a need for my community. I don’t think VBS brings non-churched kids into my doors like Mad Science. I know your next question. How much do you I charge? Elementary kids are $100 per kid and preschool kids are $50 per kid. If you are talking in terms of VBS, I would be one of the most expensive in the nation. Know this though… I didn’t have as many come to VBS when it was free then I do to a camp that cost $100. There is something to be said about meeting a need. What need can you be reaching for your community? I am sure that if you did some dirty work then you would find out that VBS is not meeting that need. Now all you have to do is convince your Senior Pastor that meeting needs is better than meeting tradition.