Archive for April, 2011

Top 5 Ways to Make Memorization Fun

Do you remember playing this game as a kid? I sure do! I loved it!

My sweet church here in Nashville started a children’s ministry a few months ago, and I have been blessed to get to teach some precious kids every few weeks. We spend a large amount of time on learning the verse for the week. I think teaching kids to internalize Scripture is of utmost importance and is a building block for a strong foundation grounded in the Word. Here are some ways to make Scripture memory fun:

1. Always write the verse on a piece of colored construction paper or posterboard. Visual learners need to see it. The more fun it is, the better!

2. Have kids stand in front of the poster (getting them up and moving to memorize the verse helps those kinesthetic learners… and makes it stand out from the rest of the lesson). Then, have them read the verse 4-5 times in different voices. Here are some examples: really quietly, really country, with a British accent, like they are under water (keep mouth in a bubble shape the whole time), while sticking out their tongue the whole time, etc.

3. Cut up the verse word by word. Have groups of 2-4 arrange it correctly. If you have a large class, you can divide them into groups and have them race.

4. Have kids line up across the room in a straight line (one behind the other). Give the first kid a white board marker. Have him run to the white board and write the first word on the board. He then will pass the marker to the next kid, who will run and write the next word on the board. Have  them compete against their best time by doing the relay a few different times. (You also can do the verbally without writing, having each kid say one word. It gets confusing and really fun quickly, as kids accidentally say two words instead of one, etc)

5. Designate one area of the room to be where verse memorization happens. We call ours the “Memorization Corner.” It sounds corny, but kids LOVE it. Each week, we journey to the memorization corner and do something fun to remember the verse. My personal favorite is to have the kids make up motions to go with the verse to help them remember it. The bigger and more exaggerated the motions, the better.

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.

Apr

28

2011

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Leaders are readers… and then what?

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase before… “Leaders are readers.”  Cheesy?  Perhaps.  But I believe it to be absolutely true. Reading leads to knowledge, can challenge your way of thinking and expose you to a wellspring of ideas.

Bottom line: for a society that is changing faster and faster each day, it’s critical that leaders are reading.

If you’re not learning on a regular basis, the rest of the world will move on without you… rendering your business, organization or ministry ineffective and irrelevant.  You may squeeze by without reading and “doing what you’ve always done,” but you sure won’t be making the impact that you could make.

Read the blogs of some of the best leaders of today, and they’ll often give you a list of the books they’re reading.  Like Brad Lomenick, Seth Godin, and Michael Hyatt.

So… you know to read and read and read.  But then what?  How do you apply what you’ve learned?

I asked JE and Lance, two of the best leaders out there, to offer some practical ideas on putting to practice things that they learn.  In a nutshell, here’s what they said:

  • Apply it… Directly (if you can) or “theoretically.” If you’re not in a position currently to apply what you’re learning, develop a hypothetical situation in your mind and apply it there.  Never know when that situation might arise in the future.
  • Outline and highlight it… You can even do this with most e-readers! This serves as a great reference tool when different leadership situations crop up.
  • Write it down… If you read something that really sticks out to you, write it down on a sticky note and post it in a conspicuous place!
  • Find places to talk about it… Nothing helps you remember something better than teaching or sharing that information you’ve learned. Talk about it with your co-workers and friends!


((My one practical idea…err plug…: get an eReader or an iPad!  The books are typically cheaper, it’s lightweight and it’s all there — at your fingertips!))

Two more nuggets of wisdom I learned from those conversations:

  • “Leadership is not a destination but a journey.  I want to learn something new every day and then find a way to implement it.” – Lance
  • “The difference between school and the real world is that there isn’t a test at the end of the semester… and nobody cares what you did or didn’t read….so that is what makes it a discipline and what makes you have to figure out what will work for YOU.”
    – JE

If you’re looking for a good place to start, I’d personally recommend John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of LeadershipThis one’s a comprehensive book with essential leadership qualities, practical steps and great anecdotes!

What other books have helped to shape you as a leader?  Leadership or not?

 



Apr

27

2011

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CentriKid Camps Worship…Live!

For the first time ever… CentriKid Camps…live from the web! We are excited about the opportunity to bring CentriKid Camps Worship to your living room on July 27 and July 28. This will be an awesome time for you to show your friends in children’s ministry what CentriKid Camps Worship looks like! We have a lot of other fun surprises in store for this live streaming event, so you’ll want to mark these dates on your calendar. Whether you watch just one night  or if you can catch both, you won’t want to miss this! Click Here for more info.

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.

Apr

26

2011

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May 1 is quickly approaching!!

Camp is right around the corner! I’m sure you are getting forms notarized, finalizing travel plans, figuring out where to eat lunch on the way to camp, and asking parents if they want to purchase a camp DVD… but during all that craziness, don’t forget about our May 1 Deadline!

All cancellations made after May 1 will incur an additional $50.00 fee for each person dropped. When cancellations occur, deposits cannot be applied toward balance due. So, if you need to lower your numbers for camp… make sure to give us a call or take care of it online before May 1.

Only a few days until May!! We can’t wait to see you at camp!!

Picture Source

 

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.

Apr

25

2011

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CentriKid Tweet-Up at Orange Conference

Do you TWITTER? Do you LOVE CentriKid Camps? Do you want to see Paca the Pinata before you get to camp? Do you want to meet up with other fun #kidmin leaders? Are you going to be at the Orange Conference this week?

If so, then YOU’RE INVITED!

WHAT: CentriKid Camps and LifeWay Kids TWEET UP… complete with bottled Cokes and retro candy… and our own Paca the Pinata!

WHEN: Thursday, April 28 @ 3:30pm (the afternoon break!)

WHERE: Outside the Gwinnett Arena… follow @CentriKidCamps tweets for more detailed info, but just look for our CentriKid Flags and our tailgate tent.

WHO: You, your friends, Paca the Pinata, Meredith, Courtney, and other LifeWay friends!

 

CentriKid

CentriKid is a 5 day, 4 night camp for 3rd - 6th graders to experience the time of their lives and learn more about the message of Jesus Christ!

Apr

25

2011

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2011 Camp Prep #6: Location Specific Details

All the information you need to get ready for camp can be found on the Group Leader Info page of the main CentriKid website.  Contact us anytime with other questions that you still have about getting ready for camp.

We also have some specific welcome videos for a few of our locations where there are updates and important details to make you aware of … click on a camp location below to watch a video message for this summer.

In case you missed some of the earlier posts in the Camp Prep series, you can catch up on them here … and don’t forget to check in each Monday for a new post in the Camp Prep series….right up til camp starts!

 

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.

Apr

22

2011

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Fun on the Ride to Camp

This is a guest post by our good friend, Chris Giddens, who lives in Atlanta, GA and is the children’s minister at Pleasant Valley South Baptist Church.

Car, van, bus, roller coaster, zoo train, bicycle, on foot….

However you are getting to camp…Chris can help make it fun.

The ride to camp is quite interesting, and it can set the tone for your week (especially for the first time campers… and their bladders).  Depending on your travel arrangements to camp (we’re assuming no one lives close enough to walk) you’ll either be bringing cars, vans or a bus.  So here are a few things to do on the way to camp:

Cars:

  • Have each car name their car.  Use a window marker to write the names on them. (get car owner permission first)
  • Before camp, get a mix CD together of camp music and fun songs.  Give to each driver.
  • Create a sheet of Car Bingo with items like “state trooper” “cow”  “boat” “Quiznoes” and other things and give to each car.
  • Use old fashioned walkie talkies to communicate between cars.  Tell the worst knock knock jokes EVER.

Vans:

  • All of the above, but put VAN in for CAR.

Bus:

  • All of the above, but put Bus instead of Van or Car.
    If the bus has a DVD player then get a short film that reflects the theme of camp. (we played Cars one year and Ratatouille last year).  Pause the movie on occasion and discuss it.  “So why was it a big deal that Lightning went and helped Mr. The King?  (I so get misty thinking about it)”
    * protip: Media consumes community time, so use sparingly.
  • As a leader, rarely sit down.  Just go around and blab with your kids.  Especially watchout for your first time campers, they need to know you and know they can talk to you.  (especially about their small bladders)
  • Use mic on bus (with express permission the driver… and I really want to stress that) to give “tour guide” like information as you go along.  Make it up of course and be silly.
  • Try not to laugh when the third grader says “MR CHRIS, IS THIS THE OCEAN?” when crossing a lake in Alabama.  But know you cannot help it.
  •  Play rounds and rounds of “Would you rather…” (in the game Zobmondo) or make up your own “Would you rather be bald or have no toes?”  “Would you rather have to eat a worm or gut a fish?” for example.  Ask them to explain to their seat mate why.  Make adults say it out loud (good to let kids get to know them)
  • If you stop on the way to eat.  I highly suggest places like CiCis or Stevie B’s Pizza.*  You can get in and out, kids like food, managers usually will help you out on price if you have a big group (call ahead),  and there’s little “I ORDERED MINE WITHOUT ONIONS” you have to deal with.
    *pro tip:  I do not allow them to play games in the arcade on the trip down.  I do on the way home.

In the end you use any of these suggestions no matter your mode of travel to camp. (If traveling by horse, CiCi’s probably won’t give you a bus driver discount).  Take the time to use the hours on the trip strategically.  Build some trust and communication.  It’s ok for them to have some time to yack and giggle without you programming it.  Use that time to walk about the bus, be silly in the van, or jam out in the car.  Pray for that time, and the wisest way to use it.

Be goofy, be warm, be fun, and be in charge… be real. They’ll see your heart and Who lives there.

CentriKid

CentriKid is a 5 day, 4 night camp for 3rd - 6th graders to experience the time of their lives and learn more about the message of Jesus Christ!

Apr

21

2011

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New! Camp Pouches

You asked for it and we delivered! Say hello to the new and improved name tag pouches! These new pouches are reinforced with a plastic front and back and then sealed together with high quality nylon. With this new nametag pouch, you’ll find it so much easier to carry things with you around camp…things like the new CentriKid treasure map, money, chapstick, room key, lipstick, or an extra pair of shoes (okay, maybe not). The new pouches also come with a zipper that keeps everything safe and dry. Are you excited yet? Make sure you pick your new nametag pouches up from our staff at registration…<span >only at CentriKid Camps!!

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.

Apr

20

2011

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Do you know what success is?

One of my closest friends and I talk leadership constantly, and most of his leadership analogies have to do with sports.  He is a sports fanatic.  He knows the players’ names, their stats and where they went to college.  He knows the coaches, where they played professional football, how they got into coaching…

I, on the other hand, like sports, watch it, have my favorite teams and know where they stand in the rankings… but that’s about it.

When we talk leadership, he has a lot of great analogies, and I throw in some counterpoint.  There are so many great concepts of sports that work great when talking leadership, but the one that works best is the idea of what success looks like.

In sports, success is crystal clear.

If you play in the NFL, ultimate success is winning the Superbowl.  If you’re a major league baseball player, ultimate success is winning the World Series.

And there are stats for everything and everybody.  During a football game, a graphic will appear on the screen with the number of completed passes, interceptions and rushing yards for the quarterback.  You instantly know if the quarterback is succeeding just by his personal stats!  And then the announcers proceed to compare your stats to other teams’ stats!   It doesn’t always sound pretty, but at least you know if you’re succeeding or not.

So, why is it important that you know what success looks like? Well, how can you succeed if you don’t have a very clear idea of what true success looks like for your specific position?

It sounds overly simple, but it’s true.  If you don’t know the goal, you don’t know if you are hitting the mark.

If you’re not hitting the mark in sports and your stats aren’t where they should be, you’ll be sitting the bench, facing the threat of being traded or being forced to retire.

That same idea applies to most every other job.

Do you know what success looks like for you?  If not, talk to your pastor, or whomever you answer to, and ask them.  Make sure that you know what winning the Superbowl looks like for you.



Apr

19

2011

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“Use Your Superpowers for Good”

Alright friends…
After reading through an account of how camp 2010 went via a blog… I thought about how accessible every word we post online is. Whether positive or negative, our blogs, Twitter feed, and Facebook updates set our reputation for our readers and followers.

((Sidenote: We frequently sit at our desks in super hero costumes and respond to emails. It just makes email processing seem much more noble. Although, if we showed you pictures of our alter-life-saving-egos, we would cease to have powers…therefore, we borrowed this picture from a comic book company.))

Our potential employers will access our blogs, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Our friends and family will read it to keep up with us. Kids at camp will read it because they think we are the coolest people they’ve ever met. Random people may stumble upon your blog by searching for the brand name, event, or John Mayer concert that you mentioned… broadcasting your opinions to a world that has never met you. You have so much influence! You can tell the world how great something is… or how lame it is instantly. You can encourage or tear down. You can inspire. You can motivate. You can cast a vision of leadership, of life, and of loving others. As a friend of mine who you might know, Jeremy Echols, always says, “use your superpowers for good.” What impact are you having on your readers?

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.