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Last Updated March 04, 2000

This page provides a collection of ideas and tips growing out of my 25 years of VBS leadership experience.  Please use the Sunday School Discussion Forum to add your ideas and suggestions; I'll definitely consider adding them to this page for easier access.  Here's the first of more to come:

Bullet Keeping on schedule

Keeping on schedule

With the rotation schedule used in recent years, the children's departments change from one activity center to the next on a 25-minute schedule.  It is essential to keep everyone synchronized so that one group is not kept waiting until the next group leaves.
We have used the computer to help keep on schedule for the past two years, with very good success.  I program the Windows 95 scheduler (contained in the Plus! pack or in later service releases) to play a short 4-minute warning sound bite (about 5 seconds duration), then to play the entire VBS theme song as "traveling music" when the groups are scheduled to move.  This has kept us on schedule plus helped the kids learn the theme song.
Our AV department already have a computer hooked into the PA system, so that was easy to use.  I simply used the Windows sound recorder applet to record the song segments as .WAV files, then scheduled the sound recorder to play them at the correct times each day.
The command line required for the Windows 95 sound recorder is

c:\windows\sndrec32.exe /play /close SoundFile.wav

This will automatically begin playing the specified SoundFile and close the applet when it completes.
[Note one additional hint for using sndrec:  it starts out with a limit of 60 seconds for recording a sound file.  The StarQuest theme is about 150 seconds.  To bypass this limitation, record 60 seconds of silence, then copy and paste the file in sndrec twice to get a 180 second .WAV file "template."  You can then record over this template file and use the sndrec "Edit: delete after current position"  function to trim the file to size.]

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Updated: Saturday, March 04, 2000