Archive for December, 2011

Dec

30

2011

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Poll: New Years Resolutions


Jen Hall

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

Dec

29

2011

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4 Keys to Wrapping up an Event

It’s Not Over til It’s Over

Your calendar is full and particularly the summer ministry calendar (and the spring, fall, and holiday seasons too!)  How do you end an event?  When is it done? How do you wrap it up?

At CentriKid, we never consider a week of camp “done” until we do a handful of very intentional things.  Here are 4 keys to wrapping up an event:

  • Encourage.  We love to celebrate a job well done.  There are hugs and pats on the back for all involved.  We will talk about ministry success, problems that were solved, and high points (large and small) from the week.
  • Evaluate.  We believe that there are always things we can improve on.  In evaluation, we will take time to share ideas for improvement that come from the staff and we always take the feedback from group leader listening sessions.  There are always a number of things we can improve and changes we can implement week to week.  It is important to evaluate soon after your event while things are fresh on your minds.   Remember – evaluation isn’t talking about just the bad things, nor is it a time to get discouraged.  
  • Execute better next time.  Encouraging and evaluating are only exercises unless you make specific, actionable plans for next time.  Some events are repeated monthly, yearly, etc… Others are one-time events but it’s still important to finish that event with a time to debrief what happened.  There are transferrable principles that you can carry over to other things you do later on.
  • Make it Fun.  Meeting to wrap up an event doesn’t have to bore people or make it super formal.  Just gather the key leaders and get their feedback.  There are fun and creative ways to gather feedback, but this can even be done over a meal after the event wraps up.

Share your tips with us on the CentriKid Facebook page for how you wrap up an event and how you make evaluation fun.

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.

Dec

28

2011

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What I’m Reading: 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

I’m a part of a Book Club. Now, this isn’t your traditional Book Club. This one consists of JE, Jessica, myself, and John Maxwell’s book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. The Revised and Updated 10th Anniversary Edition, in case you were wondering. 

Once a week, we all walk down to the LifeWay cafeteria, grab a table, and talk about one of these laws. The laws are widespread leadership principles, such as influence, leader’s intuition, and respect. Maxwell is a great story-teller and I love how he takes stories and helps you really catch the vision of each law. 

At the end of every chapter, there is a section that helps you apply that specific law to your life. There are some questions to ask yourself, questions for others to answer about where you currently are in leadership, and also some suggestions of things that you implement in your life to grow your leadership. Being in the position that I am, coming up on my 2nd year of directing camp, I have loved evaluating my leadership skills and seeing potential for growth. But that’s not it, Maxwell doesn’t just want you to see the potential, but to equip you to actually strive for that growth. 

I’ve learned so much from this book and I would encourage anyone to pick it up and read it. As John Maxwell would say, leadership is a journey and it develops daily!

Check out our other posts in the “What I’m Reading” series:
What Andy is reading
What JE is reading

Jen Hall

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

Christmas Hangover

 

Nope. I’m not talking about that kind of hangover. I’m referring to that feeling that you get after you spend over 2 months preparing for Christmas Day only to find yourself on December 27th asking the question, “Is it over already? What now?” It is that void you find in your spirit that screams (no matter how you feel) that you are not satisified just yet.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love the Christmas season. I dig all of the presents, the cold weather, the snow, the caramel brûlée lattes, the trees, and the music. It’s a lot of fun to me. But what I found myself doing, especially the past few years, is focusing all of my attention on all of these shadows instead of on the One who is casting those shadows. I’ve gotten myself lost in these shadows too many times. And recently, this has led me to an act of repentance in my own life. By repenting and re-focusing my heart and spirit on Jesus, that has helped me to enjoy all the fun with the Christmas season while never getting lost in the shadows.

I know in ministry, especially, the shadows can be overwhelming, especially during the Christmas season. As a constant reminder to myself, have fun & enjoy the shadows, but know where the shadows come from. Know the One who is casting them. This holds true not only during Christmas, but all throughout the year!

 

Andy Dukes serves as a Camp Specialist and works closely with our T&E Productions team. Dukes also serves on the VBS Preview & Kids Ministry Conference event teams. Keep up with Dukes and his interests on Twitter.

 



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.

New Year, New Goals

New Year, New Goals

I’m a huge proponent of writing goals down.

In the new year you get to start fresh, “turn over a new leaf”, and begin new things! Instead of making New Year Resolutions, make New Year Goals! Resolutions are easy to mess up, as most include working out every single day or eating only things that are green…which is just not always feasible. However, goals are a different story.

1. Goals are measurable.
You need to be able to measure your progress. Set goals that are challenging, but attainable. When you reach them, you can always set more! It doesn’t have to be January 1!

2. Goals are exciting.
So often, we guilt ourselves into creating resolutions: deleting things in our lives that we feel are bad. Setting goals changes the perspective! Your goals need to be something that you really want to achieve and something that will drive you to chase after them.

3. Goals allow progress, even when you stumble a little.
Resolutions normally get thrown out the window when you drink that first coke January 15th that you said you wouldn’t drink at all this year. Goals give room for set backs, but are always something to strive toward. Stumbling once doesn’t mean failure. It just means that you are still needing to continue striving toward your goals.

4. Goals create vision.
You know where you want to be… and it’s not just a person who only drinks water or goes to the gym often. Goals are the roadmap to a destination. When you know where you are going, you can then determine how to get there. When you don’t really know the end goal, you will almost always get lost along the way or maybe end up somewhere you don’t want to be. Write goals down and keep them in front of you daily. I’d even suggest writing them down at least a few times a week and reviewing your progress toward them.

5. Goals are scalable.
Resolutions are normally thought of in a one-year frame, not a progressive journey. I like to create goals every year (at least) for one year from now, three years from now, five years from now, and ten years from now. Goals can absolutely change, but this gives me a vision of what I really am striving toward. I also like to include “be” verbs in these goals, including the character that I want to continue to grow in.

Here’s your challenge: Make goals, not just resolutions today for your personal life, as well as your ministry.
Ready. Set. Go.

 

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.

Dec

23

2011

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5 Ways to Prepare for an Interview with CentriKid Camps

Want to work camp this summer? Or next summer? This post is for you!

I spent a number of days this fall interviewing college students and young adults who are interested in getting hired by CentriKid Camps to serve on a team next summer. From my time interviewing, here are some things I’ve seen that are very important… 

1. Focus on your relationship with God. It’s THE most important thing. We want staffers who are growing in the Lord, maturing in their faith, seeking to learn and be mentored by others, and not just doing the Sunday thing. A growing walk with the Lord is key, whether you get hired by us or not. 

2. Work with kids. Spend time with them, hang out with them, show us you really do enjoy ministering to kids outside of camp. One of the best ways for us to know that you’d be great at kids camp is to prove yourself in other areas of ministry. We love to see students who have a passion for ministry, especially kids ministry. Your experience shows! Don’t have any? That’s ok. Not everyone does, so be honest about where you are in life. VBS, student ministry, and even babysitting are all great places to start!

3.  Demonstrate that you are teachable. No one is perfect. Nobody has all the answers, and that’s okay. Be willing to learn and grow. Do you listen to other people? Do you have older/wiser Christ followers pouring into you? Would your old boss say you asked questions and worked hard to learn? There’s a big learning curve at camp, so a teachable spirit goes a long way!

4. Work hard. At school, at home, at work, at play… wherever you are, work hard! Don’t be a slacker. Be the go-to person for any project or task that you’ve been given. 

5. Be a team player. You may be the shining star at school or at work, but when you get to camp, it’s not all about you. You’ll have a huge opportunity to be a part of a fantastic team of people who love kids and want to do great ministry! Demonstrate that you have experience being a team player!

This list is not exhaustive. Most of all, be yourself. We want to really get to know you. CentriKid is not a fit for everyone, and we certainly can’t hire every person who applies. Don’t stress out about that! God has a plan much bigger than camp for your life and for mine. Let’s trust that, and do our part to be faithful to his calling. 

Sound fun? Apply here!

Meredith Teasley works on our recruiting team, and posted some “what not to do” tips on her personal blog. You can read more about what we look for in camp staffers by reading about our cultural imperatives. Follow Meredith on twitter to keep up with what she’s doing when she’s not on the road.

Meredith Teasley

Meredith studied at Samford University and Beeson Divinity School. She worked camp for 8 years, then served in full-time children's ministry in Virginia before joining our team in January 2009.

Dec

22

2011

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5 Family Christmas Traditions for Kids

Here are some of the Christmas traditions we are continuing and a couple that we are beginning with our new baby girl!  Madison is 9 months old and this is her first Christmas … so we have enjoyed seeing her reactions to all the lights, music, and festivities of the holidays.

In this video, we share 5 of our Echols Family Christmas Traditions…  What traditions do you enjoy at Christmas?

 

 

Jeremy Echols loves his family and blogs about them often at CoachEchols.com. He posted an update to the “25 days” book mentioned in this video on his blog today.  You can see more antics from #BabyMadison on JE’s twitter.

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.

Always Reading, Always Learning

As a kid, I never wanted to carry around multiple books, so I would only read one book at a time until it was finished.  Now I’ve got a few books going, and as always I’ve got a stack lined up to read “soon.”

All my reading material lives in the #3 basket at home.  Generally it is half to three-quarters full of books, magazines, or articles. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, so I love having a few different books going at the same time. My Kindle is my favorite device for reading, but I never pass up free books, so I’ve got a number of “physical books” in basket #3 as well as e-books on my Kindle.

Books I Read in 2011
Linchpin – Seth Godin
Beyond Talent – John Maxwell
Out Live Your Live – Max Lucado
The Final Summit – Andy Andrews
Max on Life – Max Lucado
The Confession – John Grisham
Lions of Lucerne – Brad Thor
Theodore Boone: The Abduction – John Grisham
Transformational Church – Ed Stetzer & Thom Rainer
Do the Work – Steven Pressfield
Poke the Box – Seth Godin
Casino Royale – Ian Fleming
The Cardinal in the Kremlin – Tom Clancy

Currently I’m Reading
21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John Maxwell with the interns at work.  This is one of my favorite leadership books to read over and over again with young leaders.
The Steve Jobs biography – Walter Isaacson
Path of the Assassin – Brad Thor

What is in Basket #3…to be read next? 
The Litigators – John Grisham
What is the Gospel?  – Greg Gilbert and D.A. Carson
Worlds Apart: Understanding the Mindset of 18-25 Year Olds – Chuck Bomar
Bringing Up Girls – James Dobson
The Grace of God – Andy Stanley
EntreLeadership – Dave Ramsey
80/20 Principle – Richard Koch
Wealth Is it Worth It? – Truett Cathy
The Best of Guerilla Marketing – Jay Conrad Levinson

That’s what I’m reading right now, and what is coming up next … here are some of my favorites too!  Share what you are reading now or books that you love on our CentriKid Facebook Page.

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.

Dec

20

2011

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Group Leader Info: IT’S HERE!

 

Group Leader Info is usually on our website on January 1, 2012… but MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU! It’s available TODAY! 

What a great way to start the new year!

You can access them here: http://www2.lifeway.com/centrikid/index.php/group-leader/

Here are 3 things you will want to do as soon as Group Leader Information is available:

  1. Check out the parent packet. There is more information than ever that we want to get into parents’ hands. This will help them understand what is going to happen at camp, even if they aren’t coming, and will give them questions to follow up with their kids spiritually when they get back from camp.
  2. Explore the follow-up section. This is the first time we have provided you with a plan for follow-up after camp. We are very excited about what this means for the continuation of learning and discipleship. We know many leaders already do this, but for those who don’t… we wanted to make it simple for you!
  3. Have parents order care packages for campers and dvds/church group photos at your parent meeting. This summer, we are going to provide the option for parents to order a care package for their campers. It will include a backpack, an OMC T-shirt (in their OMC color), a pair of sunglasses, a watch, a missions bracelet, a poster of the staff for them to get signed with verses from their staffers, a carabiner to keep up with their keys, and a handheld fan to keep them cool. This is a $35 value for $30. Parents can also write letters to their camper to also go in the backpack care package.
    DVDs from the week of camp include all media seen on the screens (except for song words) and are $30 (this includes the Variety Show for performance tracks and every flashback video). Group photos are $6, and can be funny or serious.

Camp this summer is going to be great… Game On!

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.

Dec

19

2011

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Christmas Game Ideas

The Holidays are always filled with tons of parties and get-togethers with family, friends, and neighbors. Whether your family is getting together for Christmas festivities or your children’s ministry is celebrating the Holiday season, games are most always played. Here are 2 games that you can play to keep kids entertained and having tons of Christmas fun!

Dress Up Santa

Supplies: oversized sweatsuits (red color), green and red balloons, and a whistle.

How to play: Divide the group into 2 teams. Each team picks a team leader to be dressed up as Santa. Give teams a sweatsuit and balloons. Blow the whistle to start the game. Give team 4 minutes to complete the game. Each team helps their team leader put on the sweatshirt and pants and stuff as many ballons into the suit as possible without popping any balloons.The team to stuff the most balloons in the sweatsuit without popping any wins the game.

Burst the Snowball

Supplies: Large basket or box, white balloons

How to play: Divide group into 2 teams. Blow up balloons and place in the basket or box across the room from the teams. Ask the first person from each team to grab a balloon, pop it, run back and tag the next person in line. Teams continue in this way until all the balloons are popped. The team that pops the most balloons, wins the game.

**Be aware of children that are frightened of loud noises or popping baloons.**

If you’re looking for more Christmas-themed games, check out some Christmas Minute to Win It games from LifeWay Kids.

 

Jessica Herrell, Department Intern, loves to play games… in fact, that’s what she studied in college! Jess posts lots of games on the blog, so check them out to find some you can use

Jessica Herrell

Jessica is a Maryville College grad with a Physical Ed and Health degree, and has worked at camp since 2009. Jessica joined our office team as the department intern in August 2011.