Hello, Summitview family from Maggie Kelleher. My husband and I have three kids who love Backyard Kids Club and I want to share with you my personal experience with it. I joined our first BKC with some reluctance. To be honest, I was a little bit miffed. For years I had been hearing about Vacation Bible School going on at our church, where parents would blissfully drop off their children and leave, knowing that they were in good hands and growing in their faith all while the parents were absent. Now that my kids were finally old enough to participate, that was not happening anymore. VBS had been broken down into smaller groups happening in backyards and put on by the moms. I felt like that was not what I wanted to sign up for.
To be fair, I did not help much with our first BKC. I was invited by another Summitview family who lived in the neighborhood we had just moved to and decided to tag along. It was a lot of work to keep track of my one-year-old son and keep him out of trouble. In fact, it was exhausting for me; but my girls had fun and I was thankful to have been included. If I had any ideas of not attending another one, those were quickly squashed by my daughters’ adamantly asking if we could do it again next year.
The next summer, we were part of a BKC put on by our own small group. I was much more involved in the planning and execution this time and I found the whole experience to be more enjoyable when I had an active role. You see, having an active role required me to apply faith. And when we apply faith, God never fails to do His work. Not only did my children have fun and learn a lot (they absolutely adore the music team every year), but I had fun, too.
In the several BKCs that our family has been involved in since, we have both hosted and attended at the homes of others. For me, opening our home up to the families that join is a blessing and a joy. I love hosting others and making them feel comfortable; it was a great experience for my kids to be out in the backyard with me each morning before the others arrived, cleaning up after the dog and getting materials prepared. They learned how to serve and had a chance to watch me doing it as well.
Backyard Kids Club is not just about teaching kids about Jesus, although that is obviously a very important aspect. It is about loving people. It is a chance to love and serve the families on your small group, your neighbors, your friends’ neighbors and whoever chooses to attend. It is an opportunity to grow in relationship with other parents as you divvy up responsibilities, plan, compromise and work together. It gives you an opening to invite other families and neighbors who may be looking for summer activities for their kids anyway. As a neighborhood outreach tool, BKC really cannot be beat. One of my favorite Kids Club experiences is when the mom of one of the new kids comes as well. Then we have a chance to grow in relationship with her all while teaching her kiddo about Jesus. Over everything else, BKC is a chance to love and serve like Jesus. It is pretty fun, too.
Summer is quickly approaching and the plans for this year’s BKC are in full swing. My kids are looking forward to it as always. Although it can take a bit to get myself motivated to do the work and the planning, I know that I will be blessed through this BKC week. I look forward to seeing the lives of others be blessed as well. If you are feeling a little unsure about BKC or thinking it sounds like a lot of work, I hope that you will give it a chance like I did. Whether you just tag along or decide to get in and get your hands dirty with planning and execution, I hope you will join in a Backyard Kids Club of your own. If you do not know of one, you are always welcome at ours.