The Arizona Southern Baptist Vacation Bible School team welcomed about 70 VBS directors from 45 churches to the state’s first VBS Directors’ Conference on Saturday, Feb. 9.

“I discovered last spring that some churches were still scrambling to recruit their full slate of VBS workers just weeks before their scheduled Vacation Bible Schools,” said Kelcey Fry, state VBS team leader and family pastor at HiWay Baptist Church, Mesa. “This directors’ conference was our attempt to help directors effectively recruit volunteers far enough in advance to get them trained.”

The conference, held at Royal Palms Baptist Church, Phoenix, replaced the VBS Jumpstart conference held in previous years and was free for directors. Additionally, attending churches received two complimentary tickets for the upcoming statewide VBS clinic, Saturday, April 6, and two churches won free curriculum worth hundreds of dollars.

“I also provided all the directors access to all the graphic design work I’ve created for my own church’s VBS,” added Fry. “I taught them how to access it online, how to download and edit it for their own churches and how to use it effectively. I wanted to make this job as easy as possible for the directors.”

Fry reported that directors attended from churches throughout the state, but they also represented non Southern Baptist congregations and two SBC churches from Utah and California. While the state VBS team had expected possibly 30 directors to attend, they had prepared for about 60. So, when close to 70 people showed up for the training, they still had to scramble to provide seating and materials.

With such good attendance at the directors’ conference, Fry hopes to have more than 300 attend the April 6 statewide VBS training, also hosted by Royal Palms. And once again the team plans to make it worth the trip. Lunch from Jason’s Deli is included in the $10 ticket price, and attendees will receive freebies, along with the opportunity to win VBS-related prizes totaling more than $1,000.

Anyone volunteering for any position at a local VBS is encouraged to attend the workshop for specialized training in each area of service, from snacks and recreation to age-level teachers. For more information and to secure tickets, go to azsbc.org/vbs/.