Get ready for the wildest and wettest ride in the wilderness with “Rolling River Rampage – Experience the Ride of a Lifetime with God,” Cokesbury’s 2018 VBS Theme. Focusing on what you can “find on the river,” we’re reminded of the tree planted by streams of water (Jeremiah 17:8). When the river you’re planted by is God, you find adventure, acceptance, joy, rest, and peace.
BIBLE POINT: The beauty and adventure of a rushing mountain river is the perfect metaphor for a life lived following Jesus. The daily bible stories and “rapid reminders” point kids to Jesus as they try to find a variety of great things on the river! On Day 1, kids are reminded to find adventure on the river like Jesus disciples did when they decided to follow him. Day 2 tells the story of Martha and Mary and helps kids to know that they can find acceptance on the river. The story of Jesus welcoming Zacchaeus helps kids find joy on the river on Day 3. Then on Day 4, the Last Supper illustrates that kids can find rest on the river. Finally, Day 5 focuses on Jesus’ promise that he is with us to show that we can find peace on the river. Adventure, Acceptance, Joy, Rest, and Peace!
“Every day is gonna deepen our faith, ridin’ the rapids of amazing grace.”
ROMPER THE RIVER OTTER: There’ve been a lot of cute puppets and plush toys available through various VBS programs, but our favorite by far is Romper the purple river otter who sings, plays, and gets into a little mischief on this river expedition. He’s adorable as his cartoon illustration, but the plush toy version of him is cute beyond words. We gotta get one!
PRO-TIP: Puppeteering is a great way to teach at VBS It keeps their attention and helps them connect to the material. BUT it does take a talented volunteer to make the puppet believable. We’ve all seen a cringe-worthy puppet show where the characters seem to be staring at ceiling tiles and mouthing to an entirely different recording. When choosing a volunteer to perform Romper – or any other puppet for that matter – select an upbeat person who has some experience with theater and spend time working together on the script and practicing. Your older kids are more cynical, so they will definitely tune out if they sense the puppeteer doesn’t know what they’re doing.
VBS MUSIC: Kids love to sing, jump, shout, and dance, and Rolling River Rampage music won’t disappoint them! Christian music producer Andrew Wilson, the founder of Crosskid Nation worship resources, took the job of lead oarsman and rowed out some pretty amazing wild-water tunes. With high energy and thumping dance beats, these songs kick loud and don’t let up. The mix of hip-hop and dance-pop will get kids and young parents off their seats to boogie all morning long, and in the car on the way home. If you grew up in the 70s or 80s, you’ll grin big when you hear the modern take on Zacchaeus (Wee Little Man). The big guitars on Life With You will get your head bobbing like a raft in a rapid, and the quiet sweetness of No Matter What Comes My Way will remind you to seek peace like a river.
“Join the adventure and you will find God’s love is so deep and wide!”
EXTRAS: It takes a lot of equipment and know-how to have a successful river rapids excursion. And Cokesbury has lots of fun little extras to make sure you and your VBS kids have a safe and exciting ride down the river.
- Scripture Treasure Tag Set – As designers, we’re kinda partial to cool graphics. So when we saw the paddle shaped memory reminders on a carabiner, we fell in love. The retro-camp style graphics on the Bible Point side is our favorite, but the side with Romper learning the verse of the day will make your kids smile.
- Science Experiments – Grab these cool science lab activities to help drive home the daily Bible point. Our favorite is the Solar Paper. It’s great to see kids harnessing the power of the sun to spread light to the world.
- Inflatable Raft – If you go down the river without a raft, you’re bound get all wet! Grab a few of these fun props to place all around your stage, classrooms, and games stations.
DECORATION HACK: Try turning a hallway into a deep section of the river and float a couple rafts from the ceiling for a fish-eye view of the VBS action.
Purchase or pre-order your copy of Rolling River Rampage from Cokesbury HERE.
Ride The Rushing River: Request a free digital mockup of your 2018 VBS t-shirts today and get your team excited for next Summer!