Each year around this time, I help plan and execute a vacation Bible school at my church.  We call it Kids Club.  Each year, I am given a theme and my creative partner and I attempt to bring the theme to life.

With the help of another church member (a retired carpenter who built the awesome building facade seen below), and a few dedicated volunteers, Susie & I have tried to bring the Rodeo area to life.

When you enter the rodeo, you encounter the check-in.  This is where we break the groups of children into smaller groups of 8-10.  We have punch cards that help us figure out what activities they experienced the day before and which places they still need to visit.  We then send them to one of 8 stations around the room.

Our first station is the racing station.  There are two events that happen at the racing station.  The one shown here is the barrel race.  The children have to use a broom to herd their balloons around the barrels.  We created barrels out of pop-up hampers, yard bags and duct tape.

Our next station is the Prospecting area.  For two days, the kids get to search for a needle in a haystack (yarn needles with no sharp point) and then the last two days, they will pan for gold.

Next is the Saddle Shop, where we are making paper bag vests and God's Eyes throughout the week.

Adjacent to the Saddle Shop is the Lasso Practice Range where the kids can test their aim by throwing horse shoes, doing a rope toss and a jar lid toss.

Branding is our next station.  This is where my fabulous teen volunteers paint the kids' faces or arms with western designs and the kids can get brand-style temporary tattoos.  There is a mirror and some cowboy hats so they can dress-up while they wait or get their picture taken.

The next area is the camp area, where we assembled s'more kits for our volunteers (similar to these, but much more rustic).  We will be teaching the kids to tie a few different kinds of knots at the camp area in the days ahead.

Target practice is the next station.  We made some pom-pom poppers using cups and balloons for the kids to shoot the targets.  Tomorrow, this station will be a pin the star on the sheriff game.

Our last station is what we are calling agility games.  This is the overflow station, meaning that when we get a large number of groups in the room and there are no open stations for the kids to go to, they go to agility games.  We've played "hog-tie" where you grab hands and try to untie yourselves, showdown, and hot hay bale.  Thankfully, we've had a pretty even numbers of kids coming through and haven't needed to use this station much.  However, this is what we look like when we end up with 100+ kids in the rodeo at one time! (not that there are that many kids in the photo - they may have been on the way in.)

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