Archive for August, 2010

Aug

31

2010

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Who’s ready for a game?

Fact. We all like to win.   

Fact. Now is your chance.   


We’re launching our FALL 2010 TWITTER PRIZE GIVEAWAY in a BIG WAY.

How BIG, you ask?

Here’s what the winner will receive for our FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON:

  • One red OMC t-shirt
  • One LifeWay Kids messenger bag
  • One CentriKid water bottle
  • TWO CentriKid wristbands
  • TWO CentriKid pens
  • One CentriKid picture frame

Here’s what the winner will have to do to receive said HUGE PRIZE PACKAGE:

  • Follow CentriKidCamps on Twitter! (Check out our page by clicking here…)
  • Retweet the posted “Tweet” on the CentriKid Twitter page (if this doesn’t make sense, read below!)

If you DON’T have a Twitter account:

  1. Register an account with Twitter.  It’s FREE!
  2. Once you establish an account, click on “Find People” at the top of the page, and search for “CentriKidCamps
  3. Select “CentriKidCamps” and then choose to “Follow” CentriKid
  4. At the top of the CentriKid page will be a phrase (tweet). Simply click on the word “retweet.”  Now check your Twitter page by clicking on “Profile” at the top of the page.  The phrase at the top of the CentriKid page should now be on your own personal Twitter page.
  5. You’re done!  Game results will be posted, via the CentriKid Twitter page, on Thursday., Sept. 2 by 9 a.m. CST.

If you DO have a Twitter account:

  1. Follow CentriKid Camps on Twitter by clicking here.
  2. Retweet the tweet at the top of the CentriKid Twitter page.
  3. You’re done.  Game results will be posted, via the CentriKid Twitter page, on Thursday, Sept. 2 by 9 a.m. CST. 

THE GAME WILL BEGIN AT 6 a.m. on Wed., Sept. 1 and run until 11:59 p.m.

*The winner will be selected using Twitrand.com.  The contest results will be announced, via the CentriKid twitter page, on Thursday., Sept. 2 by 9 a.m. CST.  Multiple retweets will garner you bonus points but won’t help you win.



Aug

30

2010

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An Insider’s View: Traditions

I love traditions.

Last week, we spent the majority of our work week at Eval Week. It’s a long-standing tradition of the camp team to spend some time away from the office talking about what God did over the last summer, ministry and business goals, and how to make camp even better for the next year. We had an absolute blast at the lake. We got to ride to dinner in the boat, play in the water, and hang out with each other inbetween the times of evaluating, dreaming, and talking through ideas and changes.

Traditions observed:
1. Eval Week: Lance told the stories of eval weeks that happened at the lake house where we were twenty years ago.
2. Cornhole: This has become a frequent favorite for our team. We even had quite the tournament. The winners? — Jen and Lance.
3. Nertz: Not a day went by that we didn’t compete in this high-speed card game. It’s our “reset and escape for a moment” game that never gets old.
4. Drawing rocks: JE has a set of rocks that are all different colors. Each rock has a matching color. We draw rocks before we play nertz/cornhole. It also is tradition that you don’t look at your rock until everyone has one, you hold out your fist with the rock inside, and then at the appointed time you flip your hand over, revealing the fate of what team you are on.
5. Chick-fil-a: I’ve heard it said that JE’s life goal is to visit every Chick-fil-a (not from him of course). Nonetheless, we always stop at Chick-fil-a…and now we have decided to take pictures at every Chick-fil-a we visit. If you visit Chick-fil-a, wear you CentriKid shirt, take a picture, and email it to us!

I can’t wait to see what God does in the summer of 2011 as we talk about God as the Ultimate Provider. I am looking forward to watching kids and adults alike ‘get it’, as they realize that God is providing for us each day and with every breath.

 

What a blessing it is to be on a team that plans camp by continually asking the question, “Will this change make the Gospel message even clearer for kids?!”

Do you/your church have a question that you ask as you make decisions like this?

 

Mary Carlisle

Mary is a University of Mobile grad, with a BA in English and Theology. She worked with CentriKid Camp starting as a staffer in 2007 and began working in the camp office in 2010. She joined the VBS team in November of 2012.

Aug

27

2010

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This Summer I Learned….from Courtney

This summer at camp I learned … being a camp staffer is HARD work. No I’m serious, it was really hard, but let me begin at the beginning.

I got the great privilege of working for one week with CentriKid team 5 this summer in Bolivar, MO. I was welcomed with loving arms by an amazing team of staffers. They impressed me in every way. I was so excited to be a guest on their team, but by the end of the first day I was exhausted. The heat index that week was over a hundred degrees, I was completely sun-burned, and I had awful blisters on my feet. It was not a pretty picture. That first night I had a pretty serious conversation with God about how I was completely out of my league, after all it had been seven years since I was a “real” staffer. I was tired, I couldn’t sleep I was so sun-burned, and our air conditioner stopped working. If I was going to make it, it was completely up to Him.

God answers prayers. Not only did I have an amazing week at camp, but one of the girls in my Bible Study came to know Christ that week. So this summer at camp, I learned that when God wants to use you, it doesn’t matter what you think you can and cannot do.

 

 

 

Check out all of Courtney’s adventures at camp::

Courtney Goes to Camp: Part 1

Courtney Goes to Camp: Part 2

Courtney Goes to Camp: Part 3

Courtney Goes to Camp: Part 4

Courtney Goes to Camp: Part 5



Aug

25

2010

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This summer I learned….from Bud

For the first time this summer, I learned what it meant to find true joy in leading.  That joy for me?  The process of watching how the Lord used different tools to change and shape us as both individuals and as a team.

In John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, he writes:

  • An event encourages decisions; a process encourages development.
  • An event motivates people; a process matures people.
  • An event is a calendar issue; a process is a culture issue.
  • An event challenges people; a process changes people.
  • An event is easy; a process is difficult.

While we spent every Wednesday (Day 2 of Bible Study) talking about how the Holy Spirit changes us when we are adopted into God’s family, the Lord used this biblical concept to motivate me personally as a leader.  He allowed me to learn and experience the joy of leading a team of people by witnessing how He was at work changing each one of us.

…a process encourages development.

During our third week of camp, CK5 experienced something unique: the opportunity to minister to a child who was legally blind.  You can check out that story here.  I firmly believe that the Lord used Cody and his special situation to prepare us for the needs that we would face over the course of the summer.  Three weeks later, while doing camp at Eckerd College in Florida, we were faced with an incredibly broken week of camp.  Because the Lord had developed in us a deeper awareness of special needs, He used our team that week to minister to kids in a very dynamic way.  The team’s brokenness over the week encouraged everyone to make ministering to kids with special needs an absolute priority.  We were changed.

…a process matures people.

Wide-eyed and overwhelmed for the first few weeks of the summer, a new staffer named Stan was surely in for an adventure that would unquestionably stretch him far beyond his “perceived capabilities.”  The youngest staffer on the team, he looked at me during camp our first week and said, “Bud, I just can’t do this.”  Fumbling for the right words to say, I looked at Stan and said, “Just wait and trust that this is going to get better.  The Lord has you on this team for a very specific reason.”  And He did.  During week five of camp, I watched as Stan – who taught Flag Football – debriefed his track time.  Every last child was engaged and plugged right into what Stan was saying.  Stan made himself available for the Holy Spirit to change and grow him.

…a process is a culture issue.

I’ll be the first to admit that giving encouragement is a big area of growth for me.  I’m just not natural at it.  On the contrary, however, the Lord allowed me to lead a very encouraging team of young men and women.  Time after time, I would hear staffers comment on how encouraging other staffers had been toward them.  The encouragement not only motivated staff to continue laboring for the Lord, it also changed them.  Through the use of encouragement, CK5 had developed a culture of love and edification.  This aspect of our team’s culture helped me to realize the importance of valuing one another.

…a process changes people.

It’s so easy to let yourself become consumed with the “details” of camp, no matter the team position.  Do I have the right supplies for Bible study, including my egg for the story of Peter walking on water?  Have I contacted that one church about camp next week?  Do I have enough powdered sugar for Kitchen Chaos today? While those details are imperative for great camp, the “talk” of details should never outweigh the importance of taking time as a team to reflect on how the Lord is working.  CK5’s remedy?  BOG time.  BOG = Brag on God.  Every Wednesday night, we’d sit down as a team to talk, pray, laugh and cry over what the Lord was doing through the lives of campers, adults and us.  That team-wide awareness of how near the Lord was kept us motivated and eager to keep giving all we had.  The Lord used that time to keep changing us.

…a process is difficult.

The name of the game with camp: flexibility.  And just like any other CentriKid team, CK5 also dealt with its fair share of difficult situations.  Two rainy day openings?  Check.  One 20-hour van ride from Missouri to Florida?  Check.  Several locked Bible study rooms or many days of abnormally hot temperatures?  Check and check.  But perhaps one of the more difficult situations that demanded great flexibility was when CK5 had a Ryder break down in the middle-of-nowhere Arkansas on the way to Missouri … at midnight.  Some staffers threw around a Frisbee, one was playing his guitar, and a few even managed to sleep on the concrete of a church parking lot.  You can see Stan Uroda sleeping in the back of the broken-down Ryder as he and two other teammates waited on the replacement truck.

Flexibility was kicked into high gear as we waited for about an hour to establish a good game plan.  Eventually, 21 of us loaded the vans and one working Ryder and trekked on to Missouri while three brave staffers stayed behind to trade out the broken truck for a new one.  The entire experience helped us to establish what it meant to really “suffer” as a team.  The Lord used the difficult experience to strengthen our bond as a family.

Our experience this summer was a process of change; a process not centered on my leadership or on any of the individuals who made up CK5.  The Lord used our experiences, opportunities, weaknesses and strengths to create in us the ability to work as a team … all for the ultimate manifestation of His glory.

So, at the very end of the day, what did I learn this summer?  I learned that leading a team of 24 people through the process of being changed into Christ’s image – and getting to witness it – was my greatest joy as a camp director.

How did the Lord change you this summer?  In what ways were you stretched and challenged to overcome some obstacles … and left changed?  It happens everywhere, so tell us about it!



Brand New Day

A Brand New Day for children’s ministry is right around the corner. Kids’ ministry doesn’t look like it did twenty years ago, or even last year…and October 11-13 we’re going to be exploring this Brand New Day at LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. Rick Burgess, famed radio personality of the Rick and Bubba show will be there. Will you?

Check out the Kids Ministry Conference line up here. Networking with other children’s ministers, 50 workshop options, Jeff Slaughter and VBS Premieres, and big talent that kids love today: Yancy, The Rubyz, Tommy Blaze, iShine, and Mission 6…who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that?

Mary Carlisle

Mary is a University of Mobile grad, with a BA in English and Theology. She worked with CentriKid Camp starting as a staffer in 2007 and began working in the camp office in 2010. She joined the VBS team in November of 2012.

Aug

23

2010

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This Summer I Learned… from Jen

I love camp.  Everything about it!

But what I love the most is the fact that after 8-10 weeks being on staff at Centrikid, you come home with a whole bunch of friends from all across the U.S…and if it’s a really good summer, you come home with family!

 

I’ve had an ongoing theme lately in things that God has been teaching me. He is teaching me so much about relating to people. When you are on a team of 23 different people with different personalities, there is a lot of relating to do! I loved times when I could have one-on-one conversations with my staff. Getting to see a bit of their heart for ministering to kids was a blessing beyond what I could ever imagine. It was an honor to serve with so many people who were focused on being a person that God could use to draw kids close to Him! While my staff was being intentional with kids, my heart was to be intentional with them. I tried to make sure I was able to be there to comfort them when they were overwhelmed or laugh with them when they had a crazy kid story.

 

In the past couple of years I have learned the importance of entering into someone’s story and really pouring into them. When you choose to enter into someone’s story, it should be intentional. You should be real. Laugh with them, but also cry with them. Be with them in their pain so that you will know when to send up praises for their joy! We were never put on this earth to be alone. Spend time working on those relationships that God has given you and look for opportunities to enter into the story of someone new!

 

Jen Hall

Jen graduated from Morehead State University, and has worked at CentriKid Camps since 2007.

Aug

20

2010

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Meet the New Interns!

Today is the first day in the LifeWay office for our brand new interns.  Jen Hall will serve as the camp intern for the year and Bud Harlan will be in a department position that serves camp, training, and all the other childhood events that our team works on.

Jen graduated a year ago from Morehead State University with a degree in Elementary Education and Bud graduated this May from Northwestern State University with a degree in Journalism.  Both are head of the class in our book and we look forward to having them serve with us this year.

Both will be blogging here next week sharing what they learned at camp this summer.  Please join us in welcoming Jen & Bud to Nashville and to the CentriKid office!

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.

Aug

20

2010

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There’s Something New for You at the VBS Preview

Last week at LifeWay, there was a live-streaming VBS Rally featuring music from Jeff Slaughter and elements from “The Big Apple Adventure.”  Our Childhood Training & Events team helped with some of the details and there were lots of other folks involved too from several different areas of LifeWay.

This look behind-the-scenes at the Worship Rally gives you just a small taste of what is available at the VBS Previews in January.  We’ll have a few CentriKid folks there helping out at the events, so we would love to see you there!

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.

Aug

18

2010

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This Summer I Learned…From Andy

Wow. If anyone would have asked me 6 years ago what I would be doing with my life, I don’t think my response would have been, “I’m going to work camp for the next 6 years of my life.”

To me, that was inconceivable.  Ironically, a good friend just the other day asked me this question, “What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you currently are doing?”  I stumbled at the question, but my response was simply that I didn’t know. God has used camp in so many different ways to shape who I am now. When I started working camp in 2005, I distinctly remember my prayer being that I would follow after God’s plan for my life. I did not want to anywhere outside of God’s plan, whether that included camp or not.  That has been my prayer ever since. And this summer was another evident reminder that God has me right where he wants me as He is continually using camp to teach me and form me more into His image, and I am in turn able to use camp to show adults, staff, and kids who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for me.

So what did I learn this summer? I learned that the Gospel is best played out and shared through the context of community. This summer was the largest team that I served with to date (32 staff not including our bands and pastors), and to be honest, I was very apprehensive. I began to fear all the problems that happen with having so many people on staff together. Not just interpersonal conflict, but just simple logistical issues such as our travel to and from locations, meals off-campus, etc. But what God quickly taught me is that all things work for His good and for His purpose.

He arranged for these 32 to be brought together in order to make the Gospel known to the thousands of kids we would encounter.  The Lord used all 32 team members of CK1 in different ways and He brought them through very specific and unique journeys during the summer of 2010.  And I can honestly say that I saw evidence of Him using each and every one of us. I found myself leaning on my team in so many different ways. I would be exhausted walking into a staff meeting, but the Lord would use someone on our team to lift me up and energize me when I least expected it. When one of us was down, another would be there to pick us up. Where one was weak, another was strong.

When you look at this picture, you see a bunch of college students wearing Skittled-flavored t-shirts. But when I see this picture, I am reminded of how God used each of them in awesome ways for His glory. This picture truly is worth a thousand words. We came together at the beginning of the summer complete strangers, but we left as family and having successfully completed the mission God had laid out for us. And that my friends, is how the Gospel is meant to be shared and lived out.

Andy Dukes

Andy serves as Event Coordinator for LifeWay Kids. He graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky. He served on summer staff (Crosspoint & CentriKid) for 7 summers and moved full-time at LifeWay in 2008. Andy's wife, Meghan, is a 2nd grade teacher and they attend Redeemer Church in Hendersonville, TN where he serves both on the worship team and also as a community group leader.

Aug

16

2010

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This Summer I learned… from JE

Over the next couple of weeks, the CentriKid Camps office team will begin sharing from our personal experiences at camp this summer…. so keep an eye on this blog for some of those posts and other posts that are more behind-the-scenes in nature will be seen at www.behindtheomc.com.

“There’s no substitute for preparation.”  This old adage became real to me at every bend in the road this summer because I learned that I do my best work when I’ve taken time to prepare for the task at hand.  One of the greatest challenges we face is preparing for a task that is both “spiritiual” and “logistical” in nature.

Part of preparing for camp is purely logistical:  interviewing staff, ordering supplies, travel schedules, and ironing out details with venues.  These things take a lot of time and energy and truthfully they should.  There is no substitute for thinking ahead, putting pen to paper, and anticipating trouble areas.  It takes a lot of time and effort to be prepared for campers to arrive….but that’s not why we do camp.

Our calling is a spiritual one, and there is no substitute for spiritually preparing for the ministry at CentriKid Camps.  It is a key ingredient in how the Lord uses CentriKid to impact kids for Christ.   It was refreshing this summer to see how God used camp staff who were diving into the Bon Appetit Bible Study materials with their minds and with their hearts because they know what God can do in the lives of kids during small-group Bible Study sessions.

Because of all the time spent preparing to share in Bible Study, we were able to make the message of Christ clear and be more intentional with relationships along the way.

A portion of staff meeting each morning before camp is given to prayer and quiet time for staff.  The first picture is from Norman Park and the second one is from Eckerd College as CentriKid staff sought the Lord before beginning the day with campers.

These pictures are some of my favorite memories from the summer because they visually represent the spiritual preparation that goes into every single day of camp….and there is no substitute for it.  The Lord deserves the credit for success at camp from the completion of logistical planning to the celebration of kids who made decisions for Christ for the very first time.

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.