I’ve been wanting to write this post since we got home, but time’s been tight and it’s been nutty around here. Yesterday (Monday) school required a lot of effort. We’d shelved a couple of things with Bee preps so yesterday was our first “real” day back with a full schedule. Ouch! LOL! We also had laundry to finish up, unpacking from the trip, etc… It’s always good to be home after a trip – long or short!
OK, so Bible Bee stories!
First, before leaving I thought we were fairly well prepared. The kids KNEW their verses, we had finished our study and reviewed it a few times, they knew their Greek words cold, and they had practices on Quizlet a bunch. They were nervous, but excited…
On Friday of the Bee we traveled about 3 hours to the “local” Bee and stayed a hotel. It was too far to drive for a 7:30 am check in, so we made a fun day of it and hit the pool, went out for pizza, and stayed up too late watching Food Network (we don’t have cable, so hotel tv is a treat, LOL!!!).
The next morning we ate breakfast at the hotel buffet and headed to the Bee location. We had scoped it out the night before so we’d know where it was and how long it would take to get there. On the way I spied a Dunkin Donuts, so a nice iced coffee was picked up on the way!
We got to the check in at 8, which was well planned. They were super organized and had all out our schedules, name tags, etc. ready to go. After check in we went to the chapel and had a welcome and prayer time. I was so impressed with our coordinator and his family – they were so kind and encouraging throughout the whole process!
After check in the three groups met with their Commanders (escorts). The Junior division went to take the written test while the Primary and Seniors did their orals. Parents can sit in for the orals, but not the written, so while the kids were testing I was a judge for the oral round. It was awesome!! I highly recommend volunteering if your kids participate in a Bee. It was a huge blessing to me! (There is a training video you have to watch to be a judge. The kids and I watched it together and it helped all of us so I highly recommend watching it before your local bee!)
After the kids and I finished up the first round they headed to the oral round. Our Bee had a lot of judges so the kids could cycle through pretty quickly, which I thought was great. I think as a contestant the hardest part would be the waiting after the months of prep work! I got to sit in and observe the oral rounds (parents are seated where the judges can see them, but the kids cannot). It was super fun and interesting to see how the kids did after all their hard work.
Our morning Bee session wrapped up around 12:15. All testing was done and the contestants were free to head out to eat lunch. Some went out to restaurants in town, many packed picnics and hung out at the location. We had about an hour for lunch, then reconvened for the awards. I LOVE how they did the awards. Each kid was called up for their participant certificate, and they had the option to recite a passage they had learned. Some did one solo, some families did one together, and some kids passed. Mine passed. They were pretty worn out by that point! LOL!! After all the kids were brought up, they did the division awards. The top 5 in each category were awarded special prizes. Following all the awards there was a reception, but we had a long drive home so we headed out.
How did my kids do? Well, they said they got destroyed on the written test, LOL! I have no idea how true that it, since the official results don’t get released until Wednesday. They did struggle with time (it’s a TIGHT test) but I think next year it’ll be a lot easier. The oral round did not go as well as I had hoped. One kid shocked me with a couple of bumbles that were out of left field, and the other stumbled a little bit with closing references. I think nerves hit them both a bit. SO, competition wise neither placed in the top 5 for their division.
Bible Bee was an AMAZING experience for our family and I HIGHLY recommend participating. We loved it so much we hope to have our church HOST next year!! The kids and I learned a TON about 1 John and we memorized (COLD!) 61 verses. Yes, we worked pretty hard (I would estimate we did 20 minutes on the study 5x/week, and memory/review 20-30 min 6-7x/week), but it was so worth it!! As we looked over the summer on our way home from the Bee we counted up that our family was gone from home for nearly 5 of the 12 weeks of Bee prep time. For us to have completed the study, memorized all the verses, and prepped a bit extra – that’s HUGE!!
I will admit that I think we were all a little disappointed that the kids didn’t place better at the local round. Then we went to church Sunday morning… The pre-sermon which the man leading (we are men led – no pastor) just felt he needed to cover had… maybe half of our memory verses in it… and a whole bunch of references from 1 John (which the kids could quote, too!). I told him later what a blessing his lesson was. Then the lesson itself was on John 8… which was covered (and memorized a lot) in the Bee. The kids and I all saw firsthand that the real victory was knowing God’s Word better and growing closer to Him. For the kids to see their work pay off in connecting so closely with a sermon, that’s pretty sweet. I think it was pretty awesome of God to set that up for us!!