Last-Minute Tips for a Smooth VBS

July 10th 2019

Vacation Bible School is here! For some, that means this is the moment you’ve planned and strategized for this entire year. For others, it creates a sense of fear and dread because you’re not the organized type. Just in case you fall into the latter category (no premade binders, label makers, and a specific color-coded filing system?), we’ve put together a list of last-minute tips for a smooth and safe VBS.

Background Checks

The first thing that should be done when it comes to your VBS volunteers is conducting a background check on each volunteer. This can be done easily with tools such as Protect My Ministry. Hosting a safe VBS is one vital component to a successful event and background checks for your VBS volunteers help make that happen. To learn more about the importance of background checks, check out Why You Must Use Background Checks for VBS Volunteers.

Smooth Check-In and Check-Out Processes

Another vital task to organize is the church check-in and check-out process for parents and children. Church check-in is the first thing parents will do when they enter your church building. You want this process to be as smooth as possible, so be sure to over-communicate with signs and volunteers so parents know where to go.

Also, make sure each volunteer is equipped with whatever tools they need to be successful. Whether it’s providing a campus map so volunteers can show parents exactly where their kids will be or stacking the appropriate forms at the check-in desk, ensuring all volunteers have the supplies they need will help the first morning go smoothly and efficiently. Here’s a checklist we’ve created for you to follow:

Check-in and Check-out Checklist

    • Place directional signs at the road when people pull into the church
    • Place signs on the right doors to enter and signs on doors that parents should not enter
    • Place signs where parents check-in their kids
    • Identify at least X number of volunteers to help check-in kids
    • Place the following at the check-in location
      • Pens
      • Permanent markers
      • Post-its
      • Name tags
      • Blank VBS forms per child – make sure parents write down any allergies and emergency contacts
      • Photography and videography release forms
      • Instructions for parents on how and when to pick up child
    • Identify at least X volunteers to hold campus maps and make sure children get to the right classrooms
    • A security officer or identified security personnel in the main area where children are located

Bonus: the right church management software can make this whole process simple and streamlined! Learn more at

Classroom Needs

In order to make sure the children are positively impacted during your safe VBS, it’s important to have a plan in each classroom. If you need last-minute Vacation Bible School curriculum ideas, check out Sharefaith Kids.

Outside of curriculum needs, each classroom should be equipped with safety information so volunteers understand what to do in case of an emergency. This emergency preparedness document should be placed near each door so it can be easily accessed.

Each volunteer should also have an up-to-date, daily list of students in their classroom along with a list of allergies and emergency contacts for each child. Placing this type of roster in each classroom helps volunteers quickly access any information they could need in an emergency. After all, our goal is to create a safe VBS for all people involved. Here’s a short checklist you can use daily for each classroom:

Classroom Checklist

    • Curriculum supplies
    • Emergency preparedness document
    • An up-to-date roster of children in the classroom containing allergies and emergency contacts

Next Steps

Hopefully, we’ve helped you create a successful start in hosting a safe VBS this year! If you need further help with managing all the responsibilities that come with hosting a safe VBS or any other event, check out the check-in capabilities Elexio has to offer through the Elexio Church Management System. Click through to learn more and attend a webinar that explains it all.

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