Archive for May, 2011

May

27

2011

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I’m Puzzled | Game

Today’s game is an inside game designed for kids to be paired up and work together.  The objective is to help children work together and lead up to a lesson on serving or helping.

This game requires partners (in a situation with an unequal number, it is OK for a group to have 3 people).  One partner is blindfolded and will be completing the task at hand, while the other partner can see and give instructions, but is not allowed to touch any of the puzzle pieces.

The goal of the game is for partners to work cooperatively to complete a puzzle.  They are to take turns working on the puzzle – one blindfolded and one sighted.  The facilitator can determine when the partners will alternate.  They may trade places after 2-3 minutes have passed or trade places after successfully connecting or placing 4 puzzle pieces.

Variations of this game could be used as separate tasks to be completed or additional stations in a rotation around the room.  The variations are only limited by your imagination.  A couple of activities that utilize this same blindfolded partner setup are coloring in the lines, cutting simple shapes out of poster board, tying a shoe, moving an item from one place to the other.  There are also games or competitions that can be played by asking one partner to lead the blindfolded partner to a certain location.

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.

May

26

2011

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OMC | The Official Game Kit

Every Thursday of this summer, kids will be playing OMC at  CentriKid Camps.  It is the signature game of our recreation program that involves the whole camp!  You may have seen the recently released OMC special editions …. but here is where it all starts…

OMC stands for Organized Mass Chaos, and that is just what it is.  Every player knows exactly what task he is doing, but each player in the game is doing something different.  Players attempt to complete as many tasks as possible (one task at a time), but players are interrupted to help other players complete their tasks during the game.

One description of OMC that I love is that it “looks like an ant bed was stirred up!”

OMC is best when played in a large space outside with a few hundred participants, however it can be adapted to play inside if weather or darkness do not allow outside play.  Plan to use a big space like a gym or large fellowship hall.  This is not a classroom game!

 

Inside the package for OMC | The Official Game are playing cards and a DVD with videos to help get you prepared.  All the rules, a setup diagram, and a supply list are included on the DVD-ROM portion of the disc. And something left off the disc, but available for free download here or at facebook.com/CentriKid is a t-shirt design for scoring OMC that you can use at your VBS or DNow event.

You can get OMC | The Official Game for $39.99 online, through your local LifeWay Christian Store, or at the CentriKid Camp Store this summer.

We love feedback!  Contact us with new task ideas, pictures of your event, stories about the gameplay, etc by emailing our camp office at centrikid@lifeway.com.

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.

May

24

2011

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It’s Time for a Big Apple Adventure!

As everyone knows – or at least everyone who is anyone and reads this blog – the two biggest events of the year are just around the corner: CentriKID Camp and VBS!

While I am privileged to work with the great guys and gals in the CentriKID world, my main responsibility at LifeWay is VBS (Vacation Bible School) training and events. By now VBS 2011 events are behind us and most of the training is history as well, so let the adventure (the Big Apple Adventure) begin!

VBS is not the newest kid on the block – in fact it has been around since 1898 – but the ministry continues to result in some of the greatest evangelistic opportunities many churches have all year. Part of my job is to collect statistical data on, what else, but VBS. Each year we gather information from approximately 26,000 churches, and the info is amazing.

Did you know that approximately three million children, teens, and adults register for VBS each year? Did you know that each year there are between 80,000 and 100,000 professions of faith during the weeks of VBS? Did you know that approximately 10 percent of those registering claim to be unchurched, yet provide their name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address for follow up and relationship building? Did you know that each year between 2,000 and 3,000 people commit their lives to vocational ministry as a result of VBS?

There are a lot of lives being transformed as a result of the proclamation of the Gospel through VBS.

VBS requires a lot of work and a huge commitment on the part of a congregation, but for me these stats make it all worth while.

How about you? What will you be involved in this summer that results in so much transformation? I hope when someone in your church says, “We need more VBS workers,” you will be the first in line for the adventure.

Clue #207 Show Stopper from LifeWay Kids on Vimeo.



May

23

2011

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2011 Camp Prep #10: What to Expect when you Arrive at CentriKid

1. You pack up the van and head to camp

2. Drive onto campus – Follow the signs and the jumping staff in Carolina blue t-shirts

3. The Group Leader gets off the bus and follows a staffer to indoor registration

4. The kids and rest of the adults follow another staffer to track time introductions.

5. Kids will choose their top 5 tracks, and will get 2 of those for the week. (Adults will assist them in this process)

6. Adults and kids get their camp t-shirt and start getting set up for the group photo.

7. The group leader rejoins their group, grabs a camp t-shirt, and the group picture is taken.

8. You will go get your luggage off your bus/van/cars and move into your room.

9. Hang out/get settled/get ready for a great week of camp!!!

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.

May

20

2011

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4 Essential Leadership Tips for Staff

 

As you have been getting ready for camp this summer I know you have been thinking about and preparing for a host of leadership responsibilities.  If you have not thought of yourself as a leader, let me encourage you to begin to do that now.  Each of you are leaders this summer.  Whether you are leading staff or leading a track and Bible study of kids, you are a leader.  Over the years I have read a host of leadership books from John Maxwell to Lee Cockrell and with each book I have learned something.   So let me share 4 essential leadership tips as you begin the summer:

  • Be a person of character – In our office we hire for three things in this order: Character, Chemistry, Competency.   Not originally mine but we have embraced it and made it our own.   Character speaks not about what you do but who you are.  It is the core of your being. I love the golf analogy that a person of character, when playing golf, takes the extra stroke even when no one can see them.  In simple terms it is who you are when no one is watching you.  It is living what you say and it is the most important aspect of leadership.
  • People are important – In everything you do working with people is vital to success.  My mother used to say “you get more from honey than vinegar.”  Great leaders have earned the respect of people.  They put other first.  They are servants to those they lead and are more concerned how to help others than themselves.
  • Leaders work hard – In anything you do hard work is a key principle of success.  Every great athlete put in more time at the gym than his or her teammates.  Every great CEO was in the office first and most often leaves last.  In everything you do, doing it well requires hard work and sacrifice.  Every director needs someone they can go to when they have something that needs to be done who they know will do it with a smile, even if it requires them to stay up later than everyone else.  Being a great Bible study leader requires spending time with kids during hang time, being with the church you host each evening, greeting kids before worship, parties and I can’t wait.  There is simply no substitute for hard work.
  • Spend time with God – In the fast pace camp schedule there can be little “free time,” and what can often take a back seat is time with God.  You simply can’t give what you don’t have, so making time for Him each day is vital to your leadership success.  Spending time with him builds your character, helps you see the importance of people, and helps you see the eternal importance of your work this summer, which drives us all to work hard.  HE makes you a better leader.

 



May

19

2011

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Summer Activities For Kids!

  Summer is quickly approaching! Those precious children of yours are getting ready for their last days of school. Whether you are a Children’s Minister, babysitter, or parent, we want to give you some ideas on how to keep the kids around you active during the summer. Get ready for a summer where the words “I’m bored” are never spoken!

 

-Limit TV/video game time! During the school year, kids love to spend time after school playing video games. That time is normally limited by the fact that they spend most of their day in school. Be careful not to let all of their free time be spent sitting on the couch!

-Have a party for no reason. Every kid loves parties! Invite over their friends and do something fun. If you can’t justify having a party for no reason, here are some holidays that you could celebrate:

  • June 1: National Say Something Nice Day
  • June 17: National Flip Flop Day
  • June 25: Backyard Campout Day
  • July 15: Gummy Worm Day
  • July 17: National Ice Cream Day

*You can find more unusual holidays by searching for “random summer holidays”!

-Exercise. If you already have a gym routine, plug your kids into that!

-Plan something special for your kids to do every week. Even if it’s just going to the park, give them something to look forward to. Hype it up and they will love it!

-Take your kids out into the community to volunteer. There will always be food or clothing that needs help sorting or elderly people that need company. Kids are great with opportunities like that and it automatically gets them thinking service-minded.

What are some of your favorite summer activities to do with kids?

Jen Hall

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

May

17

2011

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Debrief this Picture (Stuffed Animals)

At CentriKid, we encourage our staff to always be looking for opportunities to have intentional conversations with kids.  Sometimes an intentional conversation may just be a teachable moment.  Other times, it will deal with how the movement and work of God can be found in all parts of our lives.

CentriKid staff are trained to look for debrief-able moments and spiritual applications that can be shared.  After a while it becomes second-nature to look for object lessons in daily life.

 

Today’s challenge is to comment and share an object lesson, spiritual aplication or life lesson from the picture above.  It shouldn’t be a whole sermon, so share just a thought …

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.

May

16

2011

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2011 Camp Prep #9: T-Minus 2 Weeks, and Counting

Did you know? For camp staff, we are just 2 weeks from training … and for our very first weeks of camp, we are 3 weeks out from having you guys join us at CentriKid!

Nobody panic.

Group Leaders…we want to make it easy for you to get the kids to camp.  All the info and instructions are in Group Leader information which is online at our main CentriKid site.

Here are a couple of other reminders that will make your arrival at camp very smooth.

  • Email us your participant list.  This is the roster of all the kids and adults coming to camp with you.  It goes to the camp team’s email address (this is found in Group Leader Info on the very first page).  Please notify us if there is a change to your roster.
  • Take the call.  We are working on housing in advance and we want to get in touch with you to ask questions or update you about it.  The director or assistant director for the team will get in touch with you prior to camp, so be ready with your questions for them too!
  • Make final payments.  The balance of your camp fee is due 2 weeks out, so make your payment online or by calling the folks in Events Registration at 1-877-CAMP-123.

We look forward to seeing what God does in the lives of kids and adults at camp.  By taking care of these details up front, we’ll have a smooth start to the week so you can focus on your kids!

 

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.

May

13

2011

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new! 6th Grade Hangout

Do you have any 6th graders*** coming to camp this summer? Well, if you do, did you know this will be their very last chance to experience CentriKid Camps? That is hard to believe! Well, we want to make this last year of camp the best ever and a part of our strategy is creating a special event, just for the 6th graders at camp….introducing our new! 6th Grade Hangout


Contrary to what the title suggests, we have actually planned a unique experience for your 6th graders on the last night of camp.* Following your church group time on the last night, you will instruct your 6th graders to meet their team leaders at the auditorium on campus at 9:45PM.** From there, team leaders will guide your 6th graders through a set of unique challenges around campus. After they complete those challenges, the entire group will come back to the auditorium for a final word from the camp pastor. The entire event will last approximately 45 minutes and team leaders will return campers to their dorms at 10:30. As a group leader, all you need to do is make sure your 6th graders show up at the right time…leave the rest to us.

We want this event to be a ton of fun, but we also want to challenge them in their walk with Christ as they leave their kids ministry and transition into youth group or student ministry. We’ve designed this event especially for that reason. We will tackle things like leadership, being a role model, and talking about how God has equipped them to be leaders now! Feel free to let your 6th graders know about this special event and get them excited about getting to hang out with their team leader and getting to take part in something designed just for them! Get excited!!

 

*Unfortunately, we are unable to offer this event at our Weekend camps. Only full week camps apply.

**9:45PM is our standard start time. For specific details for your week, check with your camp director.

***This event is ONLY for those who have COMPLETED 6th grade and are on the RED team at camp.

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.

May

12

2011

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Why Social Media?

Why should you, as a children’s minister, parent, volunteer, or young adult be involved in Facebook, blogging, and Twitter?

Lance shared this video with our team. It has pretty serious shock value in its facts about social media.

This video is relevant not only to business, advertising, and products…but the children and youth in your church have grown up in a world where they know no different. Conversation between peers can be going on all day through multiple channels…and if they want to tell the entire online world they are going to the grocery store, they can do that. Of the 175 million people who log in to Facebook everyday, almost 20% of those are under the age of 17. Of Twitter’s 105 million users, 12% are under 17. Bebo.com (Blog Early, Blog Often) is the most used social media tool for children, as 40% of their traffic comes from those under 17.

Why Social Media?

1. Instant updates to your students, volunteers, and parents….. You can opt in to receive tweets on your phone via text on Twitter and can read any status updates of a person or an organization (via fan pages) in your newsfeed instantly. With the popularity of smart phones, almost everyone has all of these tools at their fingertips.

2. Social Media presence can help you monitor the presence of kids in your church. Sometimes parents don’t know the dangers of the web, and you can help communicate with them if their kids seem to be flirting with the line of safety.

3. Provide a place for students to go to connect.  You can share devotional thoughts, encourage them to participate in the conversation, and to foster relationships with each other and with you. Blogging will let them in on who you are, and will allow them to comment. More and more relationship building is happening via social media.

What is your church doing to adapt to the bend toward social media?

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.