Thursday, June 22, 2017

And We Have Liftoff

Charles & the VBS Rocket
When summer comes, Vacation Bible School is not far behind. Every year our church provides a week long opportunity for boys and girls to learn about the God who created them and Jesus who provided salvation for all mankind. It’s also an opportunity for the adults in our church to use their creative talents to make VBS a fun filled experience for all the children who attend. The theme of this year’s VBS is:

Maker Fun Factory—Created by God, Built for a Purpose

To support that theme, Charles was asked to build a rocket ship for the display at the front of the sanctuary. Asking an aerospace engineer to build a rocket is like asking a nerd to build a computer. You can bet that the new creation will be the biggest and best with all the bells and whistles and lots of bragging rights.

His steps for building the rocket were as follows:
  • Sketch a design on an industrial paper towel in the basement workshop.
  • Brainstorm how to transform the design into an actual rocket.
  • Visualize the components. Where could we find a tall cylinder, a nosecone, a set of fins, and something to simulate the engine and lights? 
  • Take scouting trips to Home Depot, Walmart, and the Dollar Tree to look for potential components.
  • Make more trips to Home Depot to get various glues, drywall putty, screws, paint, etc.
  • Spend every off hour, evening, day, and weekend assembling the perfect rocket.

After all that work, the rocket couldn’t just stand there, it HAD to do something!  So Charles worked with others at the church to create a recorded launch sequence accompanied by a loud drum roll:  “10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 All Engines Running, We have liftoff, We have liftoff.”   Each countdown is accompanied by simulated smoke coming from a fog machine.

The kids yell the countdown and the rocket blasts off each morning at 9:00 AM announcing the start of another great day of Bible School. Just as the boys and girls were created by God and built for a purpose, that rocket is fulfilling its purpose during this week of VBS.

One final question remains – “What do you do with a used rocket when VBS is over?” 


  1. Super idea! Those kids are going to remember this year's VBS for a long time. How clever. Keep us posted on what becomes of the rocket :-)

  2. The Charles and Frieda Team can accomplish anything they are asked to do! I can think of MANY ways that impressive rocket can be put to good use at TVBC. Please don't let it disappear. By the way, your account of its creation and its use at Vacation Bible School grabbed and held my attention!

  3. Good for Charles and CONGRATULATIONS! Don't throw out the rocket!!! Some VBS is probably just waiting for some great rocket to get truth across to their young ones.

  4. Check with the schools and placed that do after school to help learning in science.

  5. Congrats to Charles! Anything he does or creates is always first class! A school or children's museum would enjoy and profit from his talents. And good for you, Frieda, for your always well-written and interesting blogs.

  6. Absolutely terrific, Most days I would like to take off in that rocket right here in Gulf Breeze FL. I am so impressed and someone will just love to have this for their VBS.