Welcome pirates, to a week of fun and adventures! This week we're going to be on a treasure hunt to look for...treasure, of course! First we're going to learn a bit about pirates and what they're like and what kind of pirates we're going to be.
Where have you seen pirates before? On TV in your cartoons, in the movies, or coloring books? Are the pirates nice or not so nice?
Unfortunately, if you did a study on pirates you'd realize they aren't very nice people. There might be some good pirates out there but most pirates aren't very good. Real pirates are usually out to steal other people's money and valuables and will do just about anything to get it, including hurting others.
I don't think there are many real pirates anymore but chances are, you won't run into any. Pirates live on boats somewhere far out in the ocean.
The neat thing about pirates is that we can be like them in some ways. We can be good pirates in search of treasure without hurting or stealing from anybody.
I'm about to tell you a story but instead of just listening, imagine yourself in the story... What if, today while at VBS you were walking around by yourself or with a friend and you discovered a treasure map. What would you do? My guess is that you would probably do a little dance of excitement and then go look for it.
As you start to look for the treasure you realize that it's not going to be easy to find. In fact, you'll have to go through many obstacles to get to it and maybe won't even find it, but you decide to try anyway. You tell a friend or two so that they can help and together decide that you'll share the treasure with each other if you find it.
Then off you go, to deep dark attics with spiders and their webs, to dark places in the basement where there are more spiders and webs. Luckily along the way you find a flashlight which helps a lot to find your way, except you only get a better look at all those spiders.
Finally, after climbing ladders, slithering through tunnels and crawling on your hands and knees you think you found the treasure. What do you think is in it? What would you like to be in it?
Just as you're about to open it a spider quickly runs across the top of the old trunk and you're all startled. If you are girls you scream and if you're boys you... yell? Anyway, the spider scurries away and you all decide to open it together on the count of three... One, two, three and it's stuck! Lets try it again, maybe we should all count real loud and maybe it will open. ONE, TWO, THREE and it opens!
As you begin to take things out of the treasure chest you find video games, princess dolls, candy, and toys of every kind. It's packed full of stuff and it seems just like Christmas. Finally you get to the bottom and there is one last piece of the treasure that's wrapped beautifully.
The special piece of treasure is wrapped in sparkly wrapping paper with bows and ribbons to match. Just as you undo the bows there is a note attached. It says: "Before you open, read this first!" You unwrap the note and it says (in very fancy printing), "You have found the treasure, good for you! I actually found the treasure myself and found all this great stuff and just like you found a wrapped gift at the bottom. What you will find in here is one of the greatest gifts we can have on earth. It's a special book written to us by the person who made us. It's like instructions for how we should live and gives us answers to many questions. You'll also find out who are Maker is and how to become one of his chosen people. Treasure this gift the most because all the other gifts won't last and you'll probably get bored of them but this gift will help you as long as you live. Choose the treasure wisely! Oh, by the way I took the wrapped gift when I found the treasure and decided to come back and wrap a new gift so that whoever finds the treasure can have one for themselves."
Each of you look at each other and ripped open the gift and inside were 3 small Bibles. Not exactly what you expected but realized out of all the gifts this would be the easiest one to carry back, and it seemed to be the most important as well.
Just before leaving you ate as much candy as you could, grabbed the Bibles and ventured back to the group. It was much easier to find your way back because you already knew where to go.
Through the rest of the week you're going to learn more about God's love and how it is a treasure for us. You'll also hear stories of other people in the Bible that learned about God's love as well. Then, on the last day you're going to learn more about being a good pirate in search of God's treasure he has for you.
So... be good, have fun and listen to your leaders. Good pirates (even bad ones) listen and learn or they get in trouble. So be good to your 'commanders' this week and they won't have to punish you... ARRRR!