Best Practices

The Hidden Gem for VBS Volunteers

By November 2, 2021 No Comments

There’s no way around it… VBS needs volunteers and sometimes it can be a bit tricky to find available adults. That’s why we want to talk teen volunteers! They can be such a valuable and crucial part of your team. But don’t just take our word for it. Read below to see what other VBS Directors said about their teen helpers.

“Yes!!!! We had close to 20 to help make VBS happen this summer! Some serve as asst. Crew Leaders and some as asst. Station Leaders. And some even help with tech/sound! They have just as much fun as the kids and when the kids (especially cool 4th/5th graders) see teens singing and dancing, they more eagerly get into it too! So many kids tell me they can’t wait to come back and help once they age out. Growing our own volunteers. Winning all around!” – Emily Layser 

“This past VBS I had a group of youth do the Bible skits to go with the lesson for the day. Everyone loved it. I want to include them again this year in other areas as well. I try to get them to serve some on Sunday mornings as well. They are usually willing to help when asked and do a great job.” – Jessica Grimes

“We love our teens!! They are crew leaders and assistants, station helpers, assist with tech and setup, snack runners. We couldn’t do our morning VBS without students, and the kids absolutely love when they get a teen as their crew leader because they are way cooler than mom. ;)” – Jessica Brandt

“We’ve engaged our tweens to be Assistants to Rotation or Crew Leaders. Our teens are invited to be Rotation Leaders (helping our Pastor with games is a huge hit for our teen boys), Crew Leaders, A/V, decorating, welcome, singers/dancers, skit actors and Spotlight VBS. It hasn’t always been easy to get teens involved, but this past year I had 15 youth join us in every capacity and it was wonderful. I even had them up on stage the last day to thank them and let the kids and adults applaud them.” – Janet Hilsmier

“We have the teens serve as the Theater Tropue. We also have the teens run the games and help with snacks. Basically, team leaders are adults and the teens work the “fun.” I even have some really theologically grounded Juniors and Seniors serve as small group leaders. But the teens are essential for building and prepping the set (no power tools though).” – Sherry Tataren

“We had 7 “Servanteens” last year. They are always paired with an adult group leader and help herd campers from activity to activity.” – Julia Crumbaker

“Our teens are superstars! They love to “graduate” from being a participant to a leader. They still learn and grow so much during VBS week and take ownership of helping the little ones get the most out of VBS.” – Jessica Brown Van Lehn

“We don’t run VBS without our teens. They help decorate our sets, lead teams, games, crafts, perform skits…our campers love them!” – Elaine Yau

“They love getting “promoted” to crew leader and can’t wait to help (especially when they have younger siblings who are still campers.) We do one older and one younger teen with each crew.” – Dee Johnson

“Our teens are the heart & soul of our VBS! I don’t know how it started but has become part of the culture at our church. Kids who attend can’t wait to become crew leaders (after finishing 6th grade). We hold a 90 min. training for them. There are teens who don’t want that “relationship” type job so there are spots for them to help a station leader, do A/V, help with snacks too. Our youth leaders hold a pizza lunch & dodgeball time for middle schoolers & high schoolers after our morning VBS during the week.” – Tracy Bramwell

“I couldn’t run my VBS without teens! They are Crew Leaders, and station assistants. (And oftentimes are more engaged and more responsible than the adults are.) Actually mores of my crew leaders are high school students who have been volunteering with me since they were in 6th grade.

This year I had high school boys run my games station. I met with them, talked about planning, and some classroom management techniques. They ran with it, and by the end of the week they are coming up with their own games.” – Shelly Lantz Akins

“They are the crew leaders. A few put on the skits and songs at the beginning and ending. Others assist the station leaders in their stations.” – Linda Ziemba

“Our youth lead PreK, Exploration Station and KidVid (our Seniors do KidVid and are ah-mazing!) Older youth help to be crew helpers for our rising youth so they can use that time to introduce themselves and help rising youth feel connected. The crew leaders tend to be the ones who are the adults- so having youth lead some of the stations has been a huge hit! They have energy and love doing things in teams 🙂 And this year we had a youth who is great at photography. I gave him the Spotlight video station and he rocked it!” – Sarah Hurt

So as you’re gathering volunteers, don’t forget your youth! You’ll find they’re dedicated, passionate, kind, and eager to help in any and all areas. Plus, your campers will LOVE them… We guarantee it!