Montrose Church VBS 2017 Training

Thank you so much for choosing to be a part of Montrose Church VBS 2017. The average kid spends about 40 hours a year in church. During VBS alone, kids will spend 15 hours in church and, for some of the kids, those are the ONLY hours they'll spend in church this year!

That is only part of the reason why YOU and your role at Vacation Bible School are so important. YOU play an essential part in helping kids know just how much Jesus loves them and that is why we won't ever be able to thank you enough for choosing to be a part of the Montrose Church VBS 2017 team.

Serving side-by-side with our church family is a huge honor and gift. We pray that God will guide every heart that walks through our doors this week, and that every child, volunteer, parents, and friend will leave understanding that we all having amazing gifts to share with others as we serve alongside each other. 

THANK YOU for being a part of this incredible event!


Erika Jackson
Children's Director

Vacation Bible School Training

Safety Overview

The #1 concern is the safety and well-being of our kids. It's important that we establish effective trust and supervision practices.

  • TrustParents trust us to care for their kids, their most prized possession. Kids trust us to look out for their best interest. We trust you to make sure that the trust is not broken.

  • Supervision - Keeping kids safe is not a passive role. Safety comes when you actively engage in the care of others.

Trust - 5 Key Components

Trust - 5 Key Components

1. Be a good observer.  Kids tell you how they feel by their behavior. If you wait for a child to tell you that they feel unsafe, lonely or afraid, then you have not been paying enough attention to that child.

2. Avoid distractions. Simple things like talking to friends, fooling around, using cell phones can quickly distract you from your main job. (In fact, we will help eliminate one distraction by collecting all cell phones each day.)

3. Plan transitions. Kids need to know what will happen next. Prepare your kids for the next activity. Give them time warnings when it’s almost time to do something else.

4. Intervene early. Stop situations before they escalate. Remember that what seems like playful banter (whether teasing or wrestling) quickly results in hurt feelings or hurt bodies.

5. Model good behavior and appropriate language. Kids mimic EVERYTHING they see and hear. Words and phrases that you think are funny and clever may not be things parents appreciate hearing from their four-year-old. Also, consider the topics that you are discussing in front of the kids. VBS is not the right time to discuss the latest R-rated movie you saw last weekend.

Supervision - 5 Key Rules

5 Rules that need to be followed:

  1. WATCH. Supervise kids at all times. Keep your group within eyesight.

  2. LISTEN. Keep kids within earshot. When you can’t keep your eye on them (i.e. restroom breaks)…make sure you can hear them.

  3. PROTECT.  There should be 2 adults present at all times, especially when taking the kids for restroom breaks. Should you find yourself in a situation where it is not possible for 2 adults to be present, find a staff member or VBS director so they can help. 

  4. OBSERVE. Look for over-stimulation and unhealthy risk-taking behavior. Stop it immediately.

  5. ASK. The second you feel overwhelmed please stop and ask for help.

Managing Behavior


  • Establish Routines – Start early and be consistent, without yelling!
  • Take them aside – Take a child away from the group if necessary.
  • Redirect them – Stop dangerous behaviors immediately – make a change.
  • Keep them busy – Participation by YOU is the key to keeping children involved. If you have unexpected downtime, you need a plan.
  • Get backup – Get help from supervisors as soon as you think you might need it.
  • Stay positive – Be encouraging!


  • Play fight or wrestle – These behaviors are not under control and can escalate quickly.
  • Verbal put-downs – Adults use sarcasm as a weapon that kids don’t understand.
  • Hazing or bullying – Any negative type of “rite of passage” is not allowed.
  • Leaving minors alone – Never leave a minor unattended!

Internet and Privacy Guidelines

Guidelines for use of Internet and private information

  • Social Media - Do NOT disclose your personal “page” of ANY of your social media accounts.

  • Posting Photos - Parents must give us permission to photograph and post pictures of their child. Montrose Church will be taking professional photos and posting them. You may share these photos, but you may not take and post your own photos.

  • Your Personal InformationYour personal life is just that – YOUR personal life. What you share with the kids must be in the context of the VBS program activity.

Safe and Appropriate Touch


There are generally 3 safe places to touch someone.

  1. The Shoulder

  2. The middle of the upper back

  3. The upper arm (just not too hard!)


  • Hugs: Hugs should be side-to-side and brief!

  • Lap SittingWith kids 5 and under – lap sitting is more common but should still be avoided when possible. When you are the leader, someone older than 5 should not be allowed to sit on your lap.

  • Carrying a Child: Never carry a child. If they are sad, then we can walk beside them and encourage them. If they are injured and cannot walk, leave them where they are and ask another volunteer to go find the nurse.

  • Children Touching You: Sometimes we don’t like to be pulled or grabbed. It is ok to set appropriate boundaries.

Abuse Disclosure

There may be a situation where a person discloses sensitive information to you. Follow these guidelines…

  • Stay calm – How you react to information will determine how the person handles the situation.

  • Acknowledge them – Tell the person that you are glad he or she came to you…but don’t press the issue.

  • Encourage them – Tell the person you believe them.

  • Get Help! – The person may want to “swear you to secrecy.” Tell a supervisor. A victim needs to know that people at church can help and make sure the person is safe.

  • Mandated Reporter – At Montrose Church, the pastoral staff is charged with being mandated reporters.

Special Friends

One of our goals is to create a welcoming environment for all kids who walk through our doors, especially those with special needs. The good news is that they are not that different from other kids! In fact, we want to treat our friends with special needs just like other kids. Most of our kids with special needs will have a buddy to work with them specifically, but they are still part of the larger group - make them feel like it!

Tips for Getting to Know Special Needs Friends

Use person-first language!

  • We want to put the person before their disability, so instead of saying “autistic child”, you would say, “child with autism”.

Be patient!

  • If you cannot understand what a child is saying ask him/her to repeat it slowly. Do not just pretend like you know what he/she is saying.

  • Ask and wait for the child to accept help; do not just assume they need it.

Plan your transitions!

  • As you are telling your group how much time is left in an activity, make sure our friends with special needs hear and understand so the transition will be easier on them too.

Engage with them!

  • Talk to our friends, not just their buddies. Let them know that they are a part of your group!

ABCs of Salvation

At Montrose Church, we use the ABC’s of Salvation to explain the way of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ in three simple easy to remember steps for kids. 

Admit: Admit that we mess up

Believe: Believe that Jesus died for our sins and has the power to forgive us

Choose: Choose to follow Him

If I child in your group decides that they would like to commit to following God, you can use the ABCs above to guide them in prayer. Your prayer may look something like this:

Dear God, I admit I make mistakes and I need You. Please forgive me of my sins. I believe Jesus died and rose again for my sins. I choose to follow you every day. Thank you for loving me and for saving me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Leadership Expectations

As a leader at Montrose Church VBS 2017, you are committing to each of the following:

  1. Attend mandatory training on June 11th at 1:00pm at Montrose Church and the VBS Kick-off on June 25th at 1:00pm
  2. We will provide dinner for all volunteers Monday - Thursday at 5:00 pm. We expect you to arrive on time each evening and in your volunteer uniform. Your volunteer uniform should consist of the following:
    • VBS T-shirt (provided to you) - do NOT alter this shirt in ANY way (ie: no cutting, tying, embellishing, etc).
    • Comfortable, appropriate pants/shorts - pants should allow you to move comfortably, and shorts should be an appropriate length (mid-thigh or longer)
    • Comfortable, CLOSED-TOE shoes
    • If anyone is not in the uniform described above, you will be sent home to change.
  3. If you are a group leader, we will collect your phone at the beginning of each night and return them at the end. 
  4. Be enthusiastic - if you are participating and excited, the kids will be too!
  5. Pray for the kids who will be attending VBS!


The ONLY way that VBS ever happens is thanks to YOU, the volunteers. You are the reason we can put together this crazy, fun, Jesus-filled week for the kids of Montrose Church, their families, and their friends. So, THANK YOU! We look forward to serving with you!

To complete your training: 

  1. Complete the question on the next page
  2. Select "Home"
  3. Select "Finish Course" from the top right-hand corner
  4. Select "Submit Results" - If you do not do this, we will not know who has completed training and you may have to re-do it!

I have completed the Montrose Church VBS 2017 Training and understand and am committed to my role as a leader in this event.

  • Yes!
  • No.

Name (first and last) and T-Shirt Size: