Archive for January, 2014

Ministry Through Relationships: Part 3

A phrase we use often at CentriKid is “life-change happens best in the context of a relationship.” We believe that ministry through relationships is vitally important. When you come to CentriKid, our staff will invest in your kids’ lives by showing the love of God through they way they live. Staffers aren’t performers; they are ministers. Meanwhile, we take care of all the details of camp so you can also focus on relationships with your kids.

Recently we’ve featured a few stories about staffers that excel at living out ministry through relationships. Check out this awesome story that Sadie Sasser shared with us:

sadie-sasser-centrikidI worked last summer on CK3 at Millsaps! Recently I was in Memphis visiting my aunt and uncle, and I went to their church. I remembered that the children’s ministry attended CentriKid at Millsaps, and in the back of my mind I was wondering if I would run in to any kids I had met. It just so happened that they were having a baptism service, and one of the girls that I distinctly remember from my Bible study was getting baptized! Even better, her dad is the worship pastor, and he was the one who baptized her!

He talked about how over the past few months, she had been asking questions about Jesus, which reminded me of the impact camp probably had. I went to introduce myself to her parents after the service, and I saw Caroline an gave her a hug. It was the biggest coincidence that I was able to witness her baptism. It was so special!

God used all of this to remind me of how He works. Even when I am removed from the situation or I forget, He is still working in the lives and hearts of every child from camp. He is so faithful, and He doesn’t need me at all, but He chooses to use us for moments just like this- to realize His faithfulness and rejoice in it.

This was also a huge reminder for me to keep praying for the kids that crossed my path last summer. I know that He is at work even when I cannot see it, and I know that His love is big enough to reach them at any time. I hope this has been an encouragement to you as much as it has been for me! I pray that you all know that the work you are putting in to the coming summer is well worth it, and the work you put in to last summer is STILL bearing fruit.

We are looking forward to another awesome summer of ministry through relationships, and we hope to see you there as we explore RESET: God Redeems!

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!

Jan

29

2014

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Camper Care Packages Are Back!

We know this winter weather has probably convinced you that summer is nowhere near, but it will be here before we know it– and will hopefully bring warm weather with it! In Summer 2014, camper care packages are back and better than ever! Below, you will see a picture of all the items in the care package this year (excluding the staff poster). Each camper who orders a care package will receive a backpack, an OMC t-shirt, a pair of sunglasses,  a pair of socks, eye black, a buff, and a staff poster — all in their team color! This is a $35 value for $30.

 Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 7.40.28 AM

In summer 2014, for the time ever, we are also including a golden task card in each camper care package. I can’t give you all the details just yet on exactly what the golden task card is (mainly because I just really love surprises), but trust me, it’s as fun as it sounds! Golden task cards are not for sale individually and can only be received in a camper care package.

In order to make sure each camper who wants a care package receives one, you must fill out this preorder form by April 14. Keep checking our blog and social media for more awesome sneak peaks of the store!  We’re already getting so excited for camp, and we hope you are, too!

 

 



Khan Academy: A New Tool to Help Kids with Schoolwork

Khan-Academy-LogoIf you have kids in your ministry that struggle with schoolwork, you might be interested in a relatively new tool known as Khan Academy.

Khan Academy is a non-profit organization with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free, world-class education for anyone anywhere. All the learning tools are available online and include video lessons, practice problems, and other numerous other resources. All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, or an adult returning to the classroom after 20 years. Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.

Khan Academy’s library of content includes lessons in numerous subjects (math, biology, physics, chemistry, economics, finance, history, civics, et al), plus the site gives you the ability to measure your progress and reach goals.

Here are a few tips on how you can use Khan Academy to help kids in your ministry that are struggling with schoolwork:

  1. Awareness: Khan Academy is beginning to gain traction and recognition in the education world, but a lot of folks still have not heard about it. Make sure that the kids and parents in your ministry know about this great tool. Keep your ear to the ground, and if you hear of a particular kid that is struggling, set up a meeting with his or her parents to get them acclimated with the site.
  2. Accessibility: In order to access Khan Academy, kids need some type of internet-capable device. If you know of kids that have a hard time finding a safe place to get online, consider providing a time for them to use church computers.
  3. Accountability: If you have kids in your ministry that struggle with schoolwork and that have little or no support at home, come alongside them to support them, and consider signing up to be one of their coaches on Khan Academy. Click here for more info about being a coach.

Khan Academy is a great resource that helps make learning easy. Be sure to check it out today!

Henry Dutton

Henry received a MA in Christian Studies and a BA in English, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

Jan

24

2014

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Ministry Through Relationships: Part 2

JL9A9225This is a guest post by Bryan Mauldin. Bryan has been serving as a CentriKid staffer since 2010, and he excels at building relationships with kids and adults that attend our camps.

“See you next year maybe, heaven definitely,” this is one of my favorite quotes from camp. My friend Henry Dutton used to say this on the last day of camp as we were saying goodbye. It’s so true that the chances of us seeing kids and adults after camp are slim at best; however, in some cases, the “maybe” does happen.

I have one church that I have kept in contact with over the years. The church is First Baptist Church of Marion, Arkansas. God has truly had his hand of guidance over our lives and has kept us in each others’ paths. FBC Marion has attended CentriKid for several years now. They previously attended camp at Millsaps College, but one summer they decided to change locations and go to camp at Shocco Springs. This just so happened to be my first year working for CentriKid, and I was randomly assigned as their church group host. I got to hang out with them all week. The next year they decide to change locations again and attended camp at Southwest Baptist University. My team happened to be at that location, so I requested to be there church group host again.

Last summer was my third year working, and I was assigned to work all summer at Campbellsville University in Kentucky. I knew at this point that our paths would not cross again. Then, a staffer on a different team was injured, and the team needed someone else to help out with recreation for their biggest week of the summer. I agreed to go serve with them at Ouachita Baptist University. At that point I didn’t even think about the fact that Ouachita might be the location that FBC Marion would attend. Needless to say I was ecstatic when I saw their bus pull up on campus.

This church group has encouraged me in so many ways over the years. We have become really close even though we live so far apart. Because of our continued relationship, the children’s minister from the church contact me and asked me to speak at their children’s revival later in the Spring. It’s amazing how God has allowed us to grow together and maintain a relationship over the years. I love this church so much, and look forward to continuing to grow with them in the future.

At CentriKid, one of our promises is ministry through relationships. We would love to have the opportunity to minister to you and build a relationship with the kids and adults from your church. Join us for camp in 2014!

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!

Jan

22

2014

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6 Interview Tips to Help You Succeed

One of my favorite parts of my job is interviewing new camp staff applicants. I really enjoy meeting all the new people, getting to know them and hearing their stories. During any given summer, we hire about 200 staff, so each season we conduct A LOT of interviews. Of all the interviews I’ve led, I’ve seen quite a few folks that really have their act together, but I’ve also met a few people that could use a few tips. If you are preparing for a interview (for CentriKid or any other organization), be sure to check out these interview tips for success.

  1. Get to know the organization with which you are interviewing! Make sure that you are familiar with the company. Be sure to check out the website. Many companies post their mission statement or core values online. Also, the reason that most organizations post things online is because they think the content is important. If it is important to the company, and if you are serious about working for them, it should be important to you. It may also be a good idea to check out other social media outlets such as Twitter or Facebook. It really means a lot to an interviewer when you show them that you have done your homework. (Warning: It DOES help you to do your homework, but it doesn’t help you to be over zealous and come across as creepy.)
  2. Be on time. There are very few acceptable excuses for being late to an interview. I don’t know of a single company that doesn’t value punctuality. Being punctual is an indicator of professionalism and a good work ethic. You could be very professional and the hardest worker in America, but if you are late, you’ll have a very hard time convincing me. Occasionally your interviewer might fall a few minutes behind schedule, but you should always do your best to be on time.
  3. Dress for success. Many companies today have a casual dress code, so a suit and tie may not be necessary, but you should always look clean, neat, modest, and professional when you show up for an interview. Here again, this is where knowing the company and doing your homework pays off. If you aren’t sure what to wear, call or email the organization and find out about the standard dress code.
  4. Relax. Your interviewer really wants to get to know the REAL you, not the nervous you. On the other hand, make sure that you aren’t so relaxed that you abandon professionalism. Even if you know the person with whom you are interviewing, remember that they are considering you for a job. In that moment they are not necessarily your “buddy” or “pal.”
  5. Strive to be memorableMost likely the organization that is interviewing will be considering several different people for the same position. It will help you to be memorable (in a good way). I’m not suggesting that you show up to your interview wearing a funny hat or that you do anything “gimmicky.” That will make you memorable in a bad way. Rather, if you have done something notable or if you have high experience or unusual skills that really help qualify you for the job, make sure that your interviewer knows about it! These things usually stick with the interviewer.
  6. Always ask a question. At some point during almost every interview, the interviewer will give you an opportunity to ask a question. This relates to tip #1. When applicants ask me a question, it shows that they really are interested in our organization and it demonstrates assertiveness. If you don’t ask any questions, it makes me feel like you really aren’t that interested in our organization and you are just ready for the interview to be over (even if that’s not necessarily the case).

These are just a few tips that will help as you prepare for an interview. For other tips check out some of these posts:

5 Ways to Prepare with an Interview for CentriKid Camps
3 Things Not to Do in an Interview

3 Uncompromising Qualities of a CentriKid Staffer

Henry Dutton

Henry received a MA in Christian Studies and a BA in English, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

Ministry through Relationships: Part 1

One of my favorite parts of CentriKid Camps is our emphasis that ministry happens best through the context of relationships. We believe that investing in a child is more than just preaching and teaching to your kids. If you are not sharing the gospel and biblical principles with your kids you are doing it wrong, but not building relationships with your kids can be equally as irresponsible.

Jesus did his fair share of preaching, however you could also find him eating and building relationships with his disciples and others he was teaching (Luke 5, Luke 14, Luke 22). Jesus also retreated to a mountain with Peter, James and John in Matthew 17 allowing those men to know him further. Paul demonstrates a unique relationship with Timothy calling him his “true son in the faith” (1 Timothy 2: 1).

The importance of building relationships to invest in people is clear, but it is not always easy. It means at times you will have to put down your calendar, sermon notes, meetings, and other administrative duties. Check out this post to see how you can best communicate and engage with your kids. You build relationships by visiting your kids at their sports games, singing loudly with them in the church van, or just sitting with them and talking with them about their lives anytime you get the opportunity. While you are building relationships you can create teachable moments, but do not force it. Simply enjoy them, their stories, their personalities and they will without doubt enjoy your company.

The time you spend investing in your kids by developing relationships with them will pay off while you are teaching them. CentriKid Camps this summer can allow you to devote all our time during camp to building relationships with your kids. A comment I always hear at camp is group leaders thankfulness that we take care of the details, so they can be intentional with their kids. If you are not yet registered for CentriKid, you can join us by registering online.



Jan

17

2014

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10 Reasons You Should Work for CentriKid Camps

Serving at a summer camp is one of the best places a college student can gain life experience and prepare for ministry. At CentriKid, we are blessed to be able to have the very best camp staff around.

I came across this list on another camp blog, but I knew that it fit our program so well, I wanted to share it here. In the original post on the Merri-Mac blog, this is a list of 10 reasons an employer should hire a former camp counselor. You can read more about each one on their site.

  1. A good communicator.
  2. A life-long learner.
  3. A self-starter.
  4. A resilient individual.
  5. A problem solver.
  6. A creative thinker.
  7. A detail-oriented worker.
  8. A leader.
  9. A team player.
  10. A solid work ethic.

CentriKid Camp experience also equips a staffer with tools for sharing the gospel with kids and a great perspective on the wide variety of churches we serve.  Our online application and more FAQ’s can be found on our Become a Staffer page.  Here’s more information about serving with CentriKid and our heart for kids ministry.

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

15

2014

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3 Tips on Getting the Most out of Serving on Summer Camp Staff

Summer camps are something I’m extremely passionate about, especially after working two summers for CentriKid Camps. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if God hadn’t led me to CentriKid, and I know several people who would say the same. In my experience I’ve found that there are certain things you can do to make the most out of your experience of serving on summer camp staff for any kind of summer camp, and the lessons you learn are lessons you’ll keep with you for the rest of your life. I’m so thankful that God has taught me and so many others these lessons.

1. Preparation begins long before camp does. If you’re working a camp this summer or just considering it, your spiritual preparation begins NOW. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and it usually goes back to the fact that I had not allowed God to fully prepare my heart and mind. I can guarantee that I’m doing it differently this summer, and I encourage all of you to begin praying and searching now, and let God speak into your heart specifically about this summer and the ministry you’ll be doing.

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8

2. Give it your all. At the end of a long day working camp, when you’re barely able to walk, seek God and let Him comfort you. I know I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world, and that’s how God gets me through those days. Give God your all, give the campers your all, and give your fellow staffers your all. Being a camp staffer is one of the few experiences that puts you in the position to serve incredible amounts of people with Christ-like character. Don’t let it go to waste.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

3. Stop comparing. I have DEFINITELY learned this one the hard way. I’ve struggled with comparing “my” successes with kids to the ones who haven’t really understood what God is trying to teach them and seeing it as a failure. However, that is a completely wrong way to look at things. When a kid accepts Christ, it’s not my success, it’s God’s. My successes are when I commit to follow God no matter what happens with a camper or anyone else. That’s what we all need to remember.

There are many more ways to get the most out of your experience working as a camp staffer, these are just the three that stuck out in my mind. If you want information on working for CentriKid, be sure to check out www.centrikid.com/become-a-staffer!

summer-camp-staffThis is a guest post by Joey Koogler. Joey is a CentriKid Camps staffer, and in 2014 he will be serving as one of our Recreation Leaders.

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!

Jan

10

2014

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How to use your Box of Chaos to Promote Camp

If your church registered for CentriKid 2014 while you were at camp last summer, you got a Box of Chaos this fall. Here’s Courtney with all the details about what is in your Box of Chaos and how to use it.

Didn’t get a Box of Chaos? There are plenty of resources and videos you can use to promote camp with the kids at your church.

Not registered for camp yet? There’s still space at many of our camps, but some are already full or close to full. Register online or give us a call at 1-877-CAMP-123 to reserve your spots. Registration for camp is open all the way up til camp, but after Feb 15th, each spot requires a $50 deposit to reserve it.

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.

Follow Jesus’ Example: Practice Servant Leadership

When leading a team, it is so important not to create an atmosphere of servant vs. leader, but, instead, to practice servant leadership.

In Mark 10:43-45, Jesus says, “But it must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life – a ransom for many.”

However, in today’s society, when we hear the word “leader,” we almost always think of someone who is powerful, who is dynamic, and who has it all together. But in this passage of Scripture, Jesus flips it around and tells us something completely opposite. He doesn’t say that who wants to become great should tell everyone else what to do or step on others to get to the top.  He tells us that whoever wants to become great must become a servant to all.

So, how does this work?  How do we effectively lead while serving?  It starts by loving our teammates with the same love Jesus has for us.  He didn’t serve out of obligation; He served out of love — a love so strong that He gave His life as “a ransom for many.”  When we love those around us, we have their best interest at heart regardless of circumstances.  We’re not concerned about how we look or if we get the recognition we deserve, so serving comes naturally because we are focused on the wellbeing of our team as a whole, not just on ourselves.  Serving just to serve or to feel like a martyr isn’t the point.  When we follow Jesus’ example and serve out of love, we find ourselves satisfied and our team unified.

Examine your heart today and reflect on how you’ve been serving others lately while you read Philippians 2:3-8: “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead he emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.  And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.”