Last Friday was the last day of Angelborough’s Vacation Bible School.
I never expected that week to be so exhausting, but from the moment we entered the sanctuary we were always “on,” and I’d get home by lunchtime physically exhausted. My little introverted heart shrank from all the noise, too. The church had been designed by the best minds in barn-building architecture to pick up the slightest ambient noise and echo it off the hardwood floor and bare walls, whereas the speaker in the alcove at the front produced no sound whatsoever, even when aided by a microphone.
The result was similar to standing in a wind tunnel while airplanes roared overhead, except you wouldn’t have been able to hear the airplanes.
On the last day, the other two teachers and I handed out the craft bags to the kids and had them sit in the rows of the church awaiting the final dismissal.
The craft bags contained sand paintings, coloring sheets, a photo frame made from a CD, and a flying saucer. At least, I think it was supposed to be a flying saucer. Maybe you can tell me what it was supposed to be:
HOW TO MAKE AN ANNOYING CRAFT:
- Take two aluminum pie tins and punch six holes along the edges at even intervals.
- Fill one pie pan with a handful of raw macaroni.
- Fasten the second pie pan over the first and with pipe cleaners through the holes.
- Decorate the outside with stickers.
- Lift the thing and realize twenty-six mothers are going to put your photo on a dartboard while chanting voodoo incantations.
Since the theme of the week was “outer space,” they were probably thinking this is a great craft on the grounds that sound doesn’t travel in space. So, if you ever teach VBS in orbit around Alpha Centauri, come back and print out the directions.
Here in the church sanctuary, on Earth where the atmosphere carries sound waves and barn-style churches amplify ambient noise, the first eager camper pulled out the flying saucer and gave it a shake. His neighbor reached into her bag, and she too, with a cherubic smile, started shaking hers.
A minute later, with five kids shaking their pie-tin-macaroni contraptions, I had the dim thought, “This is not going to work out well.”
Within thirty seconds, sixty children had pulled their noisemakers from their craft bags.
One of the VBS leaders ran to the front, grabbed the microphone, and explained to the kids that ” ” and then, looking panicked, said, ” !!” but for some reason, that didn’t have any effect.
It took five minutes to get the kids calm enough that the VBS director could shout (and be heard), “PUT YOUR CRAFTS BACK IN THE BAGS!” and then “DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT AGAIN.”
It worked. Kind of.
Three days earlier, as I stood over Kiddo#3 while the kids were making the crafts, I said in a low voice, “This is going to drive your mother crazy.”
Another camper looked up, confused. “But you are his mother.”
I replied, “Then I would know, wouldn’t I?”
Prescient. That’s me.