In order for a Vacation Bible School to accomplish its evangelistic purpose, children who do not normally attend Sunday School must receive information about the school and be encouraged to attend. We use every method at our disposal to achieve this in advance...newspapers, flyers, postcards, signs, etc. But in my experience the most productive promotion happens when the boys and girls themselves invite their friends to attend and bring them along. This will reach children who will never be reached in other ways, and will have the highest motivating factor of any approach.
One method to encourage children to invite their friends has worked well for us over many years. I decided to add this to the web page when a teenage assistant told me this year that one of the things she remembered most about VBS as a child was the "Gum Tree." The intent of the Gum Tree is simply to remind and encourage the children to bring friends to VBS, and to provide a little incentive for those who do so.
The Gum Tree
My Gum Tree has lasted over ten years now, and is immediately recognized by the children who have been in our school. You can try it, or some variation, and see how it is received by your pupils.
That's it! Simple, yet quite effective...and it quickly becomes a VBS tradition which the children look forward to from year to year. I complete the ritual of the Gum Tree on the last day of VBS by distributing the remaining pieces of gum, after announcing that the Treasure Chest is closed and the black stripes are no longer valid. This helps set the stage for the following year.
If you have a favorite attendance promotion, send me email and I will consider adding it to this page.
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