Archive for January, 2012

Jan

31

2012

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2012 Camp Prep #1: Group Leader Information

We are so excited to have you at camp this summer!
At this point in the office, we are working hard to put the final details on all the things you’ll see at camp this summer. You are probably wondering what you should be doing at this point to get down the details of your week at camp as well, so we are committed to helping you and making preparing for camp easy.

For the next 14 weeks, our goal is to answer every question you could have about preparing for a week of camp. First things first, make sure to check out our CentriKid promises (http://www2.lifeway.com/centrikid/index.php/promises/) to know what to expect at camp. These are great to share with your church and the parents of the kids who are coming to camp so that they know what to expect as well.

Today, we want to get you acquainted with your Group Leader Information. You can download your location and week of camp at here. (http://www2.lifeway.com/centrikid/index.php/group-leader/)

Here are the 3 new things not to miss in Group Leader Information:
1. NEW Camper Care Package!
2. NEW Daily Schedule
3. NEW Follow Up for After Camp

Check out this screencast that will help you understand Group Leader Information:

Camp Prep #1: Group Leader Information: Today!
Camp Prep #2: Camp Store/Camper Care Package: Feb 7
Camp Prep #3: Fundraising Ideas: Feb 14
Camp Prep #4: Team Assistant Program: Feb 21
Camp Prep #5: What You’ll See at Camp this Summer: Feb 28
Camp Prep #6: Spiritual Direction: Mar 6
Camp Prep #7: Parent Meeting: Mar 13
Camp Prep #8: Parent Packet: Mar 20
Camp Prep #9: Location Specific Details: Mar 27
Camp Prep #10: Before and After Camp Devos: Apr 3

Camp Prep #11: Planning the Road Trip: Apr 10
Camp Prep #12: Two Weeks Out: Apr 17
Camp Prep #13: What to Expect When You Arrive: Apr 24
Camp Prep #14: Follow Up: May 1

Mary Carlisle serves on the CentriKid interview team and is the voice behind Group Leader Information each year. She serves as Camp Director for the CK3 team at Millsaps College and loves helping church leaders prepare to be at camp! Follow Mary on twitter.

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.

Jan

30

2012

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GAME IDEA: 4 Corners

Need to play a game in a classroom? Do you have little or no equipment? 4 Corners is what I call an oldie but goodie that requires NO EQUIPMENT. We use this game at my church when we are waiting for kids to get picked up by their parents, and kids go crazy over it! Here’s how it works:

1. Label, either verbally or written, each corner in the room. Number the corners 1-4, or use a certain word or series of words related to your focus for the day (GROW – G – R- O – W, or FEAR, or LEAD, or PAUL, or HOPE… you get the point.)

2. Appoint a counter. That person stands in the middle of the room with their eyes closed and counts to 10. While they are counting, the rest of the kids run to one corner, as quietly as possible.

3. After counting to 10, the counter calls out the number, or letter, or word that represents one corner. Every kid standing in that corner is out, and comes to sit in the middle of the room, or on the side of the play area. When 4 kids or less are left, each one must occupy a different corner.

The object of the game is to be the last kid left standing… that person then becomes the counter for the next round!

Meredith Teasley helps plan recreation for camp each summer. She loves helping #kidmin leaders learn new games they can use in their churches! Find more games from Meredith here… follow her personal blog to keep up with what she’s doing when she’s not planning games.

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.

Jan

27

2012

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If I Weren’t a CentriKid Staffer, I Would Be a …

Obviously, being a CentriKid staffer is the greatest job ever! I mean, who wouldn’t want to play games, hang out with kids, and teach kids about Christ? Most, if not all, staffers will tell you that serving with CentriKid Camps has changed their lives. But we all can’t be a staffer forever. With that, I posed a statement to some of our staff, “If I weren’t a CentriKid staffer, I would be a…” Here is what they said:

 

–          A survivalist trainer like Bear Grylls—Ricky Platt

–          A whale trainer at SeaWorld—Hannah Hoover

–          A professional ice cream tester—Allyson Wicker

–          A ballerina—Kathryn McCutcheon

–          A pro coloring book colorer—Kelsey Sneed

–          Tinkerbell—Nicole Wood

–          A superhero—Will Ward

–          A Disney princess—Chloe Vanlandingham

–          A pediatric nurse—Anna Jones

–          Willy Wonka—Ashleigh Piper

–          A professional football player—Kacey Campbell

–          A snake milker or an elementary school teacher—Caroline Boswell

–          A professional mascot or Captain of a cruise ship—James Ingram

–          A stunt double for Captain America—Kyle Brown

–          A CIA operative—Daniel Teague

–          An ice cream girl—Laura Register

–          A professional skydiver—Megan Hall

–          A professional tennis player—Justin House

–          A back-up singer for Josh Groban—Ginny Lou Henley

–          A professional ice dancer—Jordy Tippins

–          A Gap employee—Kara Rhodes

–          Professional channel surfer—Jeremy McCullough

–          Sonny’s waiteress—Bethany Pappas

–          An actress on the Disney channel—Kristin Cox

–          The guy that builds sets for the challenges on Survivor—Jeremy Echols

–          A professional photographer—Meredith Teasley

–          A writer and illustrator of children’s books and discipleship for kids books—Mary Carlisle

–          A Crime Scene Investigator—Jessica Herrell

 

Clearly, we hire folks with high aspirations and creativity. What would be your dream job?

 

Jessica Herrell, Department Intern, has a Physical Education degree in real life. Another of her dream jobs is to be a Physical Educator in an elementary school. 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.

Jan

26

2012

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5 Ways to Prepare to Lead Well

Becoming a great leader doesn’t happen overnight. It is years of learning, reading, and experiencing compounded together… and the discipline of continuing to do those things even while leading.

At camp, we know that we can’t through our leaders into the summer without any preparation. We are careful to provide reading, plenty of experiences to exercise problem-solving, and training for leading at camp. Whether you are leading a team of volunteers in your church, leading your family, or working at camp leading a team or leading kids, you need to know where you are going and have a plan to get there.

Here are 5 ways to help you prepare to do just that:

  1. Grow spiritually. Spend time in prayer and in the Word. Without being poured into, you will not be able to pour into those you are leading. Have daily time with the Lord. Have people pouring into you. Seek out a mentor from someone who has been where you are.
  2. Read articles and books about leadership. Find some people who talk about leadership and read anything you can get your hands on. By reading tips and other people’s experiences you can curtail the process and not have to experience the same mistakes that they did. Tons of these are blogs or online articles, so they are free! Here are a few I’m a fan of: Seth Godin, John Maxwell, and Jim Collins.
  3. Get to know your team, preferably before you begin leading them. Ministry happens best in the context of relationship, and the best way to lead is by ministering to those that you are leading.
  4. Clearly define what success looks like and create a plan to succeed. You don’t have to know all the answers, and need to be honest from the very beginning about not having them. Prepare by knowing what you need to accomplish. Have a plan, and know that your plan can be flexible.
  5. Ask those you are leading for insight. Let them know they are a valuable part of the team. Be the final decision maker, but collect ideas when you can and think they will be helpful. There is a massive amount of creativity and knowledge floating around in the people that you lead.

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.

Jan

25

2012

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Rest

God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity we plan only the things we can do by ourselves. -AW Tozer

 

Today, I read this quote and cringed. Most days, I am the person he is talking about. The one who plans only the things I can do by myself. It’s interesting how we do that. We say, “I believe that God will provide for me…now, what do I need to do in order to get there?” 

I’m always asking myself what I should be doing about a certain situation, even if I’ve “given” it to God. I’ve been taught to work hard for everything I have, however, sometimes, I think I need to apply that to my spiritual life as well. So wrong. God made the entire universe. I’m not even letting Him show me that He will provide for me. 

In the end, I end up driving myself crazy, exhausted, and thinking that I still have to solve all of my problems myself. Meanwhile, the Lord is saying “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)

Today, I urge you to give up on having a plan that only you can accomplish and take part in the plan that only He can accomplish. 

 

Jen Hall is our camp intern. She loves to use what she has read and learned to encourage people. She can’t wait to direct CK2 at Campbellsville this summer! Keep up with Jen via twitter.

Jen Hall

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

Why I Love CentriKid

I love camp. Surprised? Probably Not. After all, it’s what I do most every day of the year. However, it’s not just camp that I love, it’s CentriKid Camps. Why?

It’s gospel-centered. Here at CentriKid Camps, we keep our Bible study curriculum focused on the gospel and its impact on our lives. I love this about our camps! This summer we will learn about living a transformed life, knowing that transformation comes only through the gospel, God’s work in our lives. What better way to assist churches than helping kids understand the message of scripture? What better thing to teach kids at camp than the good news of Jesus Christ?

It’s all about relationships. We believe true life-change happens best in the context of relationships, so we provide a group of well-trained, relational staffers who LOVE kids and have a deep desire to help them grow in their relationship with Christ. Our staff teams are totally focused on kids at camp. This also helps you focus on relationships. As a leader, you aren’t throwing together lesson plans at the last minute, hiding away preparing for the evening message, or answering questions from confused or unprepared volunteer Bible study teachers. Instead, you, too, can hang out with your kids, play football with them, have quality conversations, and invest in relationships.

It’s organized. We are professionals. We plan year-round. I’ve seen a lot of camps, and one of the things I love about CentriKid Camps is the attention to detail and the strong emphasis on organization. We hear from group leaders all the time who love CentriKid because it’s organized. Even our most loyal fans know that we certainly aren’t perfect. We mess up. We don’t always get it right, but we work hard to plan, evaluate, and stay organized… so that people like you can enjoy the camp experience to the fullest.

It meets a true need. Camp is one of those things that you, as an individual, can spend month and months preparing to do on your own. It dominates your spring and summer, leaving you little time to work on other ministry needs. Or, it gets handed off to your intern who’s never done this camp thing before. Instead of opting for one of these options, let us meet a need for you with CentriKid Camp… all you have to do is get the kids there, and we’ll do the rest! Your kids still have TONS of time to connect with you, your leaders, and kids from your church while they are at camp. In fact, I would argue that you have MORE time to really hang out together than if you’re busy teaching and leading and cleaning up the rec field!

Our team is completely passionate about what we do, and totally invested in our program. We always want to make it better. We always want to improve. We want to continue to meet the needs of churches… so keep letting us know how we can better serve you!

Want to come to camp for FREE? Share this blog with another church leader… They sign up for camp, your spot is free and so is theirs!

Meredith Teasley has been involved with CentriKid Camps since her first summer on staff in 2002. She even brought kids to camp while serving as a full-time #kidmin… at a church she met while serving as a camp director. Follow Meredith’s love for camp on twitter.

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.

Jan

20

2012

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Greetings from VBS!

A few weeks ago, I attended my first VBS training event of the year. We are so excited about Amazing Wonders Aviation! I really love the theme verse for this year. It so clearly teaches kids about how powerful our God is but also how much understanding He has for his people.

“Our Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite.” – Psalm 147:5

The VBS event was so much fun! I had a great time on the road trip to Ridgecrest, helping JE hang 5 huge globes in the Registration area, and meeting all of the VBS fanatics!

Here are some fun pictures from VBS Events:

Jen Hall, our camp intern, loves to travel and be a part of VBS events. She will direct CK2 at Campbellsville this summer. Keep up with Jen via twitter.

Jen Hall

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

Jan

19

2012

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Meet ParentLife, maybe get a free subscription!

We are excited to announce a new addition to what you’ll find on centrikidblog.com.  Each month, we will feature a guest post from Parent Life Magazine (found online at http://www.lifeway.com/parentlifeblog).  Don’t worry if you aren’t a parent … you work with kids in ministry so I’m pretty sure you’ll benefit from the things they share.In order to kick this off right, we are giving away a subscription to ParentLife magazine to somebody who writes on the CentriKid Facebook page and completes this sentence:  “I’d like to hear from ParentLife about….”   (it can be something funny, serious, ministry-related, kid culture-related … anything).  We will choose one person to get the subscription from those who comment.  It won’t be based solely on “likes” for your comment, but it doesn’t hurt to have a lot of “likes” beside your submission.

Here are 3 things you might want to do today as a show of support for our friends at ParentLife Magazine…
  1. “Like” ParentLife on Facebook (and jot a note on their wall!) if you want to see their updates in your News Feed.
  2. Check out a sample issue of ParentLife Magazine – download it from their main site… lifeway.com/parentlife
  3. Bookmark the ParentLife blog so you can check it out from time to time.
  4. Try winning the OMC Game Kit they are giving away today over on the ParentLife blog….. we’ve partnered together today for great giveaways!
Don’t forget to finish this sentence:  “I’d like to hear from ParentLife about….”  on the CentriKid Facebook page to try winning a free year-long subscription to ParentLife magazine!

 

Jeremy Echols leads the CentriKid team and is a new parent … so he will be trying to win that ParentLife subscription today too!  Keep up with JE and Emily’s antics with thier sweet little girl Baby Madison through the twitter hashtag #BabyMadison and 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.

Jan

17

2012

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Have you taken FLYTE?

LifeWay’s new preteen curriculum, FLYTE: faith. life. together, launched last June. FLYTE speaks to the issues that preteens are facing today—issues like acceptance, self-esteem, sex, drugs and eating disorders. Preteens gave their input during the development of FLYTE, and the issues they face are confronted from a biblical perspective in this new resource. We’ve received feedback from many Kid’s Ministers and parents who say FLYTE is radical, easy to use, engaging and meeting spiritual needs. You can read some of their comments here.

What do you get with FLYTE? Each volume gives you 13 sessions of sound Bible study, bumper videos, music videos, life application and more! As of today, volumes 1-3 are available for purchase. There will be a total of eight volumes. To view the two-year FLYTE plan and to see the topics discussed in each volume, click here.

You may be interested to know that you do not have to teach FLYTE in order by volume. If you want to start with volume 3 and then teach volume 1, this resource provides you with that flexibility. It’s not a dated curriculum and is perfect for Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, or any time you have a group of preteens! If you’re teaching preteens this year, take FLYTE—the curriculum that preteens can call their own.

View testimonials from Kids Ministers using FLYTE. We’d love to hear from you too! If you are using FLYTE with your preteens, please share your feedback.

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!

5 Ways to Plan for Change

Plans change. Here are 5 ways you can plan for your plans to not go as you planned them.


1. Have a backup plan…and a backup backup plan.

Be prepared. Know exactly what your plans are and what a few possibilities could be if they need to change. This is especially true in arranging teachers for Sunday school. You will either need to be the backup, or have a backup ready. You never know when someone will be sick or will suddenly have to go out of town for some reason.


2. Flexibility is the name of the game.

Sometimes things happen that are completely unforeseeable. Be flexible. If you are calm, the people handling the issue with you will be calm as well. When those things pop up, just handle them with grace, knowing that plans change and that it’s no big deal.

3. History is a great preparer.
If something went wrong with the projector during children’s church a month ago, you may want to check it a little while before it is needed. This will help you do the next point.

4. See the potential “plan interrupter” before it interrupts.
Something we seek to do at CentriKid is meet needs before people know that they have the need, and this is true in any kind of planning. Meet the needs of your people and your ministry before they become a need.

5. Keep answers in your back pocket.
You don’t literally have to keep a notecard in your pocket, unless you think that would help, but if you are in children’s ministry, it’s always good to have a few games that have spiritual debriefs ready to play at any moment. This may also come in the form of a post-in on your steering wheel with verses to calm your nerves when something just doesn’t go as planned.

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.