Every summer when I was a kid, my parents sent me to Vacation Bible School. Not because they were particularly religious -- they just couldn't afford to send me to a real summer camp. Vacation Bible School was my *free* substitute. And what the hell difference did I know anyway?
Vacation Bible School was run by the local evangelical church for one week every July or August. At the time, I assumed they hosted VBS out of the kindness of their hearts, but now I realize it was part of a "get 'em while they're young" strategy.
I just loved VBS! We got to do all kinds of fun things -- singing (but no dancing), making crafts, listening to Bible stories and putting on a concert that our mothers attended. There was also a coveted prize for Bible memorization. Thanks to VBS, I still have a voluminous knowledge of Bible verses, committed to memory in a vain attempt to beat the perennial contest champion. She had an unfair competitive edge because her parents were Holy Rollers who made their kids read nothing but the Bible. Eventually the day came when she was too old to attend VBS and then -- sweet, sweet victory! -- the first prize pencil case was mine!!
There was only one thing that I didn't like about VBS. They always gave us a daily snack of cookies and Kool-Aid. But in an attempt to keep their costs down, they never put any sugar in the Kool-Aid. Or perhaps sugar was considered sinful, I don't know. Anyway, I hated drinking that flavourless coloured water. But nowadays, after Jonestown, I look back and feel much better about it.