How to Accommodate Unregistered VBS Attendees

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It’s almost inevitable. You encourage parents to preregister weeks in advance of your VBS start date and you remind them to register as VBS approaches, but Monday morning, when VBS begins, a dozen unregistered children show up at the door. No one wants to turn children away, but how do you accommodate these latecomers?

Facebook user Janet had this same question and posed it to the community at our Answers VBS Discussion Group. They shared some advice on what to do with last-minute, at-the-door registrations:

We set a limit, but I've never had to turn anyone away. I usually move some of the kids around to make the room if a class is full.
We have set an "in-house" cap only known to my staff. I start shifting kids based on group size (like pushing capable kindergarteners into the 1st grade class to balance numbers). We also have expanded to have two assembly times. We do the Pre-K–2nd graders at 9 a.m., and the older kids come for assembly later. Our sanctuary has a fire marshal capacity of 345, so by dividing we can have a larger reach.
What an opportunity and an encouragement to your church and VBS staff. If your church won't hold your group anymore, rent a tent or ask a rental place to donate one.
Our groups have all been beyond capacity for years; we just make extra groups that follow in the rotations.

If you’re a VBS leader or volunteer, we’d love to connect with you on our Answers VBS Discussion Group. You can ask questions and share advice with others from across the country. And be sure to visit to get the scoop and special early bird savings on our 2019 VBS.

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