VBS 2012 - the Dollars & Cents of VBS . . . Part 1

 
While there are certainly excellent and compelling reasons for churches to plan and present a Vacation Bible School to the children in their church and community, the realities of the Dollars and Cents can impact if a church is able to do so. If your church chooses to go ahead with VBS for summer 2012, the Dollar and Cents of it all can again come into play as you determine which resources you will use. I once had someone from a publisher tell me if a church really cared about the children in their ministry they would spend whatever they had to, to have the best curriculum possible. I disagree. While I absolutely believe churches care about the children in their ministry, budgets are a very real and difficult reality. In this economy with so many people out of work our churches are struggling to meet their budget. VBS can be expensive and yet it is a very important - and in many cases the only outreach all year for many churches.
Today I'm going to take a look at the Dollars and Cents for the five VBS resources I reviewed this week. I'm happy to see in many of the director's materials some fun ideas of ways to raise money for VBS, but again, when so many people are unemployed and living pay check to pay check, there just may not be additional dollars for them to give to VBS. Obviously a starter kit is the first place to begin when purchasing VBS materials and from there you'll need to determine what - if any - student materials you will also utilize. As far as student materials I like the idea of being able to give children something each day which will remind them of the Bible lesson. I especially like the objects/cards which can be clipped or pinned to a backpack as they make great reminders! I also like the idea of being able to give children their own copy of the music . . . of course these things take money and your budget just might not have room for them. So, what will it cost and how can we move ahead with VBS on a budget?
Top Ten VBS for 2012 - 10th Place - Amazing Desert Journey Amazing Desert Journey Starter Kit - VBS 2012
Concordia Publishing House
Value –
  • one kit is available for $129.99. 
Cost per student . . .
  • Music is not reproducible, so you have to purchase CDs to give kids   ranging in price from $3.99 to $4.99 per CD – depending on how many you purchase.  
  • Caravan Collectibles range in price from $2.99 to $3.49 per child depending on the amount you purchase.
  • Cross carabineers - $6.99 for a package of 12.
  • Name tags - $2.99 for packages of 10
  • Desert Doodads - $14.99 for a package of 10
  • Student Travel Journals -  $2.99 per student
  • Crafts range in price from $7.99 to $9.99 for packages of 12
My Dollar & Cents Thoughts . . .  Concordia does not offer a basic starter kit, so unless you decide to just purchase the Director's book and individual Station Leader guides, you will have to buy the one kit they have. For the children I'd buy the Caravan Clip (this is also the craft for day one) and Caravan Collectibles for a cost of approximately $4.40 per child. If the music CD is too costly for each child - you could consider one per family.
Top Ten VBS for 2012 - tied for 8th Place - Babylon
Group Publishing
Value –
  • One kit is available at the cost of $124.99.
Cost per student . . .
  • Music is not reproducible, so you would have to purchase cds to give kids   at a cost ranging from $6.99 - $4.99 per child/family depending on how many you purchase. 
  • Bible Memory Makers range in price from $2.79 - $3.19 per child – depending on how many you purchase
  • Babylon carabiners are $5.99 for a package of 10
  • Name badges are available in packages of 10 for $4.19
  • Name badge holders costing $15.99 for 10
  • Bugs Pray-er Clips $5.99 for 10 and they recommend one per child.
  • Student books/postcards are available at $3.19 per child/family.
  •  Crafts range in price from $7.49 - $19.99 for packs of 10.
  • Tribe Banduras cost $17.99 for 12. 
My Dollar and Cents Thoughts . . . Group doesn't provide a basic kit - which I'd really like to see - if however; budget is an issue, get the Ultimate Go-To Director's Guide - $14.99; Daniel's Drama Leader Pack - $9.99; Shopkeeper manual - $9.99; Hometown Huddle Leader Manual - $9.99; Celebration Leader Manual - $9.99 and the music DVD and Cd for $14.99 each and come up with your own games for $85.00. You will be able to plan and present an excellent VBS with those materials. For the children get the Bible Memory Markers and Carabiners for a cost of approximately $3.69 per child. 
    Top Ten VBS for 2012 - tied for 8th Place - Praise
    Go Fish Guys
    Value –
    • one kit is available at the cost of $199.00.
    Cost per student . . .
    • Music is not reproducible, so you would have to purchase CDs to give kids   - they have a special combo pack where you are able to get one CD and one official VIP pass/lanyard for $5 per child.
    • Student activity sheets are reproducible so you would just have your copying costs.
    • Praise T-shirts are available for $12 each
    • Praise DVDs for $15 each
    My Dollar and Cents Thoughts . . . Go Fish does not offer a basic starter kit, but all the materials for teachers and students are reproducible, so while you will have the cost of printing the items you copy, it does reduce the overall cost of VBS. As for the student materials, I'd get the Lanyard, pass and CD for each student - unless the budget just won't allow it in which case I'd try to get a music CD for each family - if you purchase one for $15.00 you can get additional copies for $5.00 each. Plus, remember, since all student materials are reproducible, this is an excellent resource to use during the school year - mid-week ministry, special family event or for the children's services during a special conference.
    Top Ten VBS for 2012 - tied for 6th Place - SonRise National Park
    Gospel Light
    Value –
    Cost per student . . .
    • music is not reproducible, so you would have to purchase CDs to give kids   at a cost of $19.99 for 10 CDs. 
    • Connection Cards at a cost of $5.99 for enough for five children.  
    • Carabiners are $3.99 for enough of each for five children.
    • Name tags are available in packages of 50 for $7.99
    • Name Tag Holders at a cost of $7.99 for 12.
    • Student activity sheets are available at a cost of $2.60 per child. 
    My Dollars and Cents Thoughts . . . If you plan to use all the posters, DVD's and extras, then the Super Starter Kit is a good buy. If however; budget is an issue, get the Quick Start Kit and the music DVD/CD - $29.99. You will be able to plan and present an excellent VBS with those materials. For the children get the Connection cards, keychain and the music CD for a cost of approximately $4.10 per child.
      Top Ten VBS for 2012 - tied for 6th Place - IncrediWorld Amazement Park – a thrill ride through God’s creation!
      Answers in Genesis
      Value –
      • two kits are available – starter kit for $99 and super starter kit for $189.
      Cost per student . . .
      • music is not reproducible, so you would have to purchase cds to give kids   at a cost of $19.99 for 10 CDs. 
      • Incredibles collectible cards are available at a cost of $4.99 for five children
      • name tags are available in packages of 60 for $3.99
      • lanyards cost $6.99 for 10
      • Student  Guides are available at $9.99 for a package of 10. 
      My Dollars and Cents Thoughts . . . If you plan to use all the posters, DVD's and extras, then the Super Starter Kit is a good buy. If however; budget is an issue, get the Starter Kit and the music DVD - $14.99. You will be able to plan and present an excellent VBS with those materials. For the children get the incredibles collectible cards and the music CD for a cost of $2.99 per child.

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