Bubblegum 'n' Fluff arrived in Helensburgh this year as a replacement for the Christmas event that had been running for the last few years.
With youth worker, volunteers and schools all experiencing it for the first time, there was lots of volunteer nervousness, youth worker excitement and school confusion around just what Bubblegum 'n' Fluff was all about.
During our training evening our volunteers went from nervous to excited, as they heard how the programme would work and started to imagine it in action. This time I was the nervous one, asking for people to speak in front of an entire class by sharing the stories of Jesus.
I was amazed at the willingness of so many to be involved in this over the three days and put themselves in volunteer positions they might not previously have undertaken.
We had five schools visit us this year and they all found it a positive experience. The staff found the programme engaging, well planned out and with a good range of activities. They are keen to do it again next Christmas.
The volunteers all commented on how much they enjoyed being part of the programme with some volunteering for extra “shifts” to fill in where we may have been short.
However, it was comments from the young people that made it worthwhile, knowing that the message we had been sharing had reached them:
"I learned that Jesus is an amazing person and he changes people’s life”
“I learned that although we get so many nice gifts at Christmas the best gift of all was the birth of Jesus”
”Jesus is a life changer”
“Underneath all the excitement we need to really remember what it is all about”
With the majority of classes leaving the church still singing 'Bubblegum 'n' Fluff' and chasing me down in school corridors for their craft activity, I reckon Bubblegum 'n' Fluff made its mark in Helensburgh.
Next year we aim to take it to ten different schools in our area, having made minor adjustments based on this year's feedback!
Bubblegum 'n' Fluff helps children remove the 'fluff' that surrounds Christmas to uncover the real message of Jesus' birth underneath.