Hubs

Every year I create a 'hub' for our church's holiday club. The images below show the main screen, which is projected above the stage, and almost every object on the screen is a clickable element which plays a jingle and shows a logo for a different part of the programme. Game timers, attention-getting klaxons, song music and lyrics, etc. are all accessible from within this same file which streamlines the technical side of running the club and creates a fun audio/visual language which can help children understand whereabouts in the session we are - usually by the second or third day they're dancing along to all the music! Click on the Mega Makers thumbnail for a video with more information.

Mega Makers, 2014

Arctic Explorers, 2015

Arctic Explorers Still.png

Land Lubbers, 2017

Landlubbers Hub Still.png

Sketches

When we originally announced our 2017 holiday club, we thought we were going to use Scripture Union material as we had done in previous years, and so advertised a 'Land Lubbers' theme using their branding. However, as we approached the summer we realised that we wanted to use a different set of Bible stories and the more we looked at the Scripture Union materials, the less we found we could use. In the end, I rewrote all of the up-the-front material pretty much from scratch. This included short character skits which introduce the theme of each day, as well as a series of sketches which tell an ongoing story throughout the week for which I conceived completely new characters and scenarios.

Below is an example of one of these daily dramas. The premise of the sketches is that three characters - Katy Cutlass, Tiffany Jones and Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Wilson (aka 'Posh' Wilson) - are trying to get their "pirate's licenses". They are guided in their efforts by Pirate Paula and occasionally rescued by Captain Chris (who - in the best Sunday school tradition - is our Christ analogue).

This sketch, which was written to be performed on Day 3, illustrates a session on 'Jesus Our Guide'.

Day 3 - At Wits End (NB - Each sketch had a pun title based on one of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies!)

Enter KATY holding A BOWL OF WASHING UP, WILSON holding A FEATHER DUSTER and TIFFANY holding A BROOM. They position themselves around the deck and start doing chores.

ALL: [singing] A pirate’s life for me, a pirate’s life for me…

TIFFANY: [singing] ...A bottle of rum to warm my tum…

ALL: [singing] ...A pirate's life for me.

TIFFANY pushes her BROOM into the ground and pushes it rhythmically back and forth a few times. Then she points the broom at KATY and they resume singing.

ALL: [singing] A pirate’s life for me, a pirate’s life for me…

KATY: [singing] ...A bottle of rum and Wilson is dumb…

ALL: [singing] ...A pirate's life for me.

KATY pulls TWO SPOONS out of THE WASHING UP BOWL and taps them on the side to play a little drum solo. Then she points the spoons at  WILSON and they resume singing.

ALL: [singing] A pirate’s life for me, a pirate’s life for me…

WILSON: [singing] ...A bottle of rum, I miss my mum…

ALL: [singing] ...A pirate's life for me.

WILSON turns the feather duster around to hold it like a guitar and mimes along as SFX OF AN ELECTRIC GUITAR SOLO plays.

Enter PAULA.

PAULA: What's all this racket? Wilson - what have I told you about shredding awesome guitar licks during sea shanties?

WILSON: You said it wasn't historically accurate, Paula.

PAULA: That's right - not historically accurate. What's next? You'll probably start trying to use the parrot to send a tweet!

TIFFANY: Parrots don't tweet they squawk.

PAULA: It's a pirate pun! I've got my eye on you, Tiffany. And you Wilson.

KATY: What about me?

PAULA: Ah Katy. Dear sweet Katy!

WILSON: [to Katy] Is she talking about you?

PAULA: Sweet tempered, friendly Katy.

TIFFANY: [to Katy] It doesn't sound like you.

PAULA: Quiet and gentle, Katy.

KATY: I think you must be thinking of someone else, Paula.

PAULA: The point is, I don't need to keep my eye on you. You could never disappoint me. And that's why I'm making you captain of the practice pirates…

TIFFANY: What!

WILSON: No!

KATY: Ha! In your faces!

PAULA:...for an hour or two.

TIFFANY: Why do we need a practice pirate captain, Paula?

PAULA: I’m glad you asked me that, Tiffany because it gives me the chance to explain the plot. The next task you need to complete so you can stop being landlubbers and get your Pirate's License is a short voyage by yourselves. All you have to do is take the boat and row around the island. Nothing can possibly go wrong. What can possibly go wrong?

TIFFANY, KATY and WILSON: [in unison] Nothing, Pirate Paula.

PAULA: Glad to hear it. And Wilson?

WILSON: Yes Paula?

PAULA: Don't take the plug out of the bottom of the boat this time.

ALL EXIT.

Enter KATY, TIFFANY and WILSON. They are carrying the BOAT from Day 2. They place the BOAT in the middle of the stage and then sit in it with KATY facing forward at one end and the others in front of her facing towards her. TIFFANY and WILSON mine rowing.

KATY: Faster. Row faster. I want to do this voyage faster than anyone's ever done it before!

TIFFANY: Why?

KATY: Well I can't have one of you bozos becoming Paula's favourite can I?

WILSON: Perhaps if you helped we could go even faster.

KATY: Nonsense! I'm the captain. You know what that means?

TIFFANY: It means I don't like you any more?

KATY: No. It means I'm the best and you have to do everything I say or I'll bury you up to your waist in sand and throw seashells into your mouth.

WILSON: You do that anyway!

KATY: Quiet, posh-boy. I've just had a great idea. Stop rowing for a sec.

TIFFANY and WILSON stop miming. As KATY explains her idea she points at what she is looking at and TIFFANY and WILSON look where she is pointing.

KATY: Look. If we go around the island the way Paula showed us, we'll have to go through those huge rocks. But if go that way there's a nice wide channel right through the island. I bet we can use that as a shortcut.

TIFFANY: I don't know, Katy. We can't see what's beyond that bend.

WILSON: Yes, it might not be as easy as you think.

KATY: Shut up! I'm the captain and you'll do what I say.  Now: row!

TIFFANY and WILSON start miming rowing again, faster than before.

KATY: Row like your lives depended on it. If you mess this up for me they just might, you know.

WILSON: I'm still not sure about this.

TIFFANY: And I think this channel is getting narrower already.

WILSON: Those trees ahead seem to be hanging awfully low over the water.

TIFFANY: And I'm almost positive that the water beneath them has turned to rapids.

A SMOKE MACHINE begins billowing smoke from off-stage.

WILSON: Oh no. Fog!

TIFFANY: This is a disaster!

They stop rowing (with oars) and start rowing (with raised voices)!

WILSON: Are you trying to kill us, Katy?

KATY: It's not my fault. Don't blame me.

TIFFANY: Not your fault? What happened to ‘in charge means you're the best and we have to do everything you say’.

WILSON: We're all going to die.

KATY: Well you should have done it better. I didn't tell you to row into the fog.

WILSON: [shouting] Help!

TIFFANY: You did tell us to do that! You literally did!

WILSON: [shouting] Help!

CHRIS: [v/o] Calm down Wilson.

TIFFANY: What's that.

WILSON: It's Captain Chris! We're saved

KATY: I'm going to be in so much trouble!

CHRIS: [v/o] Don't worry about that now. Listen very carefully. I need you to follow the sound of my voice. Just row forward carefully.

TIFFANY and WILSON start rowing again.

CHRIS: [v/o] There's a tree coming up, I want you to duck in 3...2...1...DUCK!

ALL duck down.

PAULA: [v/o] Quack!

TIFFANY: What was that?

PAULA: [v/o] It's a pirate pun.

KATY: Paula's there too? Oh I wish someone else had been put in charge.

CHRIS: [v/o] I told you not to worry. Now look can you see this?

A TORCH begins flashing from off stage.

KATY: We can see it.

CHRIS: Good. Just head towards the light. You're almost there.

THE SMOKE MACHINE stops billowing smoke.

TIFFANY: The fog is clearing. Perhaps we won't die after all.

WILSON: I wasn't scared. I knew we'd be alright.

KATY: Speak for yourself.

Enter PIRATE PAULA and CAPTAIN CHRIS. PAULA is holding a torch which she switches off as they walk on. TIFFANY and WILSON stop rowing.

CHRIS: Hello you three.

PAULA: Thought you'd take a little short cut did you?

KATY, TIFFANY and WILSON climb out of the boat.

KATY: It looked so easy.

PAULA: But it turned out to be harder than you thought, eh?

KATY: Are you really cross?

PAULA: That depends…

CHRIS: Are you going to do it again?

KATY looks down and shakes her head.

PAULA: Then I'm not cross. Or at least, I won't be for long.

TIFFANY: But how did you find us?

CHRIS: You're not the first practice pirates to try taking that shortcut. In fact, if you hadn't that really would have been a first.

PAULA: But sometimes the rules are there for a reason and I think you've learned that now.

TIFFANY, WILSON and KATY: [in unison] We have.

CHRIS: I’m glad. Right, back to the boat everyone.

Exeunt ALL.

CHRIS: [as they exit] I think we’ll take the long way back.