VBS in the Park 2024 Begins!

Brecksville UMC is incredibly excited to launch our fourth VBS in the Park! Kids, teachers and crew leaders will gather at the Oak Grove Picnic Area in the Brecksville Reservation July 8 – 12. This year’s VBS is titled Camp Firelight and we will learn a new Bible story each day that lets us know that we can trust God in every situation. Each morning begins at 9:30 am and we will wrap up at 12:30.

Parents- we love you and know that you want what is best for your child. This sometimes prompts some to hang around after VBS starts. If you are worried about your child having some separation anxiety please know that we want them to feel safe, loved and cared for and will call you if they remain upset after you leave. We cannot allow walk-in volunteers on Monday morning or adults who have not gone through our child protection policy training (which includes a background check) to remain with the groups. We have all your emergency contact numbers and promise to call you if anything comes up.

Our Amazing Volunteers

If you want to feel really confident about your child’s safety… know that your child is one of 105 campers – being nurtured by 61 volunteers! Of those 61 volunteers, 38 are adults and 8 are high school or college aged kids… plus we have quite a few middle school kids (VBS alumni) that are helping our teachers. Sixteen of these volunteers are teachers by trade. We also have 5 that are in ministry and 3 nurses! All of the adults and college aged kids have been background checked and all volunteers are familiar with the church’s Child Protection Policy. Brecksville UMC’s VBS is awesome because of your kids and our fantastic volunteers!

Camp Firelight’s overarching theme is Psalm 56:3…

Whenever I’m afraid, I put my trust in you.

Story and Message for Each Day

  • Monday: God Goes with Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22) Trust God to Go with Us!
  • Tuesday: Ruth Chooses to Go (Ruth 1) Trust God to Lead the Way!
  • Wednesday: Young Jesus Shares Wisdom (Luke 2:41-52) Trust God to Share Wisdom!
  • Thursday: Jesus Calms the Storm (Mark 4:35-41) Trust God to Give us Peace!
  • Friday: The Good News Sparks Joy (Acts 8:26-40) Trust God to Spark Joy!

Color of the Day

  • Monday—Green
  • Tuesday—Yellow or Orange (group picture day)
  • Wednesday—Red
  • Thursday—Purple or Blue
  • Friday—Our VBS T-Shirts!

Snacks for the Week

  • Monday: S’mores in a Bag (Kellogg’s Scooby Doo baked graham cracker snack, with Nestle semi sweet chocolate chips and Jet Puffed mini marshmallows).
  • Tuesday: Pita triangles, carrots, hummus and ranch dressing
  • Wednesday: goldfish crackers
  • Thursday: Barnum’s Animal Crackers
  • Friday: Make-your-own ice cream sundaes * Dairy sensitive kids will get a fruit Popsicle on Friday.

Each child should bring a water bottle with a good fitting lid and mouth part that can be covered. We will have water coolers where bottles can be refilled. Our crew leaders will transport the kids’ bottles in ice filled coolers to keep them cold and clean.

Kids should also be sun screened before they come to the park and wear a hat and/or sunglasses if it is a bright day.

This Year’s Mission

Music is such an important part of the VBS experience. The songs (and accompanying hand motions!) that we learn this week not only emphasize the Bible lessons but have a lasting effect in our memory. My adult kids still remember the words to VBS songs from their childhood. We want to emphasize and support the music experience for kids around the country who cannot afford instruments for school music programs. We will be supporting an organization called Hungry for Music. Their mission is to support music education and cultural enrichment by acquiring, repairing and distributing quality musical instruments to under-served children with willing instructors and a hunger to play.

From their website: In 30 years, we’ve delivered more than 22,000 instruments to children in all 50 states and 35 countries. We believe that by sharing instruments and musical experiences, children who would not otherwise have the opportunity can experience a kind of freedom and self-discovery that is often stifled in an atmosphere of economic hardship.

As we normally do with our mission of choice, we will make a cash donation to Hungry for Music at the end of the week. We always recommend that the kids do extra chores around the house or for a grandparent or trusted neighbor to earn the money that they are donating. We will do collections starting on Tuesday and hopefully create some excitement for the mission and what we can achieve together when our little comes together to become much!

If you have used musical instruments that you would like to donate, we have a connection to get those into a local school district’s music program. The instruments will become part of the district’s rental program for students wishing to take lessons and play in their band or orchestra.

First Day Information

Groups will be in the field at the Oak Grove Picnic Area in Brecksville Reservation (Cleveland Metroparks). Please arrive between 9 and 9:30 (on Monday), go to the registrar table at the picnic table on the parking lot side of the shelter. Our registrars will tell you what group your child is in. You will be able to pick up your child’s t-shirt and CD at that same table. You will see groups on the lawn holding a sign. Find your child’s group and their crew leaders, and drop them off. This will be the same location from which you pick them up and sign them out each afternoon. You do not need to sign them in but you do need to sign them out at the end of the day.

Each day after that the group will be in the same location, just drop your kids off to their crew leaders. Coming closer to 9:30 the rest of the week is fine, as you will not have a line to stand in. At the end of each day stop by that same group and sign your child out.

VBS Get Together on Tuesday evening

Join us for a VBS potluck get together on Tuesday July 9 at 6 pm at our Oak Grove Shelter. It will be a nice way to get to know each other a little better. Please RSVP to Jenny Gee or let us know at VBS on Monday. We will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, condiments and buns for the event.

Join us for Worship!

You are warmly welcomed to visit Brecksville UMC on Sunday, July 14 for worship at 10:30 am. The kids will have the opportunity to go up front and sing one of the songs they learned during the week. We would love to see the kids again for this special time of worship.


We tried very hard to accommodate all the requests that came in… and there were a lot! It is so awesome that friends sign-up together. That is one thing that makes our VBS so much fun. Unfortunately due to some extensive requests and age discrepancies we may not have been able to accommodate all requests. Our ‘finished with preschool and kindergarten’ children go through a different schedule with different teachers who tailor their lessons specifically to your child’s age and stage of development. Trust that if your child did not end up in the group you had requested, it is going to be great anyway… VBS is an amazing place to make new friends.

Communications throughout the week:

We will set up a group text chain for the week of VBS. You will receive a welcome text before Monday, July 8. Please accept the invitation so that you can get updates regarding inclement weather or other pertinent information. If we have a day that week with very bad weather we may need to cancel VBS for that particular day. You will not be able to text back within this group. I promise not to text more often than necessary – probably just once a day. At the end of VBS week we will disable the group.

-Jenny Gee, Director of Education