NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Kids will head out West for VBS 2010.
Saddle Ridge Ranch is the 2010 Vacation Bible School destination where participants will be roundin’ up questions and drivin’ home answers. Set among snowcapped peaks and wide open spaces, the Bible study focus will be on questions real kids ask: “Who am I? Does God care about me? What is God’s plan for me? How can I be like Jesus? What do I do now?”
The VBS 2010 Scripture is James 1:5—”Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him” (HCSB).
The video for LifeWay’s VBS 2010 follows the adventures of four young cowboys and cowgirls and their wrangler friend, Jed, as they discover that the best adventure is more than riding horses or looking for rattlers—it’s about discovering Jesus who wants to be the Lord of their lives.
Jeff Slaughter has written the music for VBS for the past 14 years and performed in the music videos for all 12 that have been produced.
The music segments of VBS 2010 happen in fields, by lakes and near snowcapped mountains. Slaughter uses these segments to teach not only the music and lyrics, but the motions, too.
“I love doing the instructional musical videos,” Slaughter said. “The kids get so much out of them. Some are fun and silly and others are more serious and thoughtful. Sometimes I mess up and we just leave in those bloopers. The kids seem to think it’s fun when I make mistakes. I just laugh about it, too.”
The CLazyU, a working 9,000-acre guest ranch near Granby, Colo., serves as the backdrop for the VBS video.
Lynne Norris, LifeWay’s producer for the VBS video, said the ranch location offered the opportunity to have the video come alive for the children.
“Watching almost 200 horses run down the street of the ranch is a beautiful sight,” she said. “The run—the jingle—happens twice a day on the ranch as the horses are moved from the corral during the day to the pasture at night, and we had the opportunity to use that as part of our story.”
The whole point of VBS is teaching preschoolers, children, youth and adults about Jesus. While that message never will change, the method for teaching the message changes with each generation, according to Bill Cox, VBS video director. The video does so much more than entertain.
“The video we do for VBS is important,” Cox said. “Children today know their world through media so they respond to what they see and hear on screen. They connect with visual stories. This story, the video message, teaches them a valuable lesson on sharing and caring like Jesus.”
Paul Klees, who plays Jed the wrangler in the video, really is a wrangler at the CLazyU. Klees, who graduated from college last year with a degree in economics and management, also serves as project manager at the ranch.
“I grew up loving horses and love working with them on the ranch,” Klees said, “so even when I graduated from college, I didn’t want to give that up.”
Taryn Gardner, comfort and amenities coordinator at the ranch, coordinated the local casting auditions in Granby and encouraged Klees to try out.
“He’s cute and has a great personality,” Gardner said. “I’ve seen how he really plays to the audience at our talent show nights here at the ranch.”
Klees said he was hesitant, but auditioned anyway. He got the part and, after filming completed, said he’d had a great time.
“It was really fun, but I think I’ll keep my day job,” Klees said.
Part of a Package
While churches shouldn’t only show the video for the week of VBS, it is an important part of the total VBS experience.
“It is important to remember that VBS is not just one thing, but a combination of many parts,” Norris said. “It’s five days of Bible study, missions, recreation, evangelism, crafts, music, the video and so much more. No part of our VBS program is ‘fluff.’ Everything ties together. We want churches and the children to get everything possible out of VBS.”
She added, “As we shoot the video I can’t help but think about the millions of kids who will be touched for Christ by the music and the storyline. It is really my prayer that every song, every motion and every word will be a blessing.”
Churches who use Club VBS for 2010 will go on a wild cross-country adventure from the nation’s capital to Southern California on Route 254.
They’ll find their destination isn’t determined by miles traveled, but is found in a relationship with Jesus.
Route 254 is an updated version of the popular Ramblin’ Road Trip VBS theme.