We want every kid to have the life-changing experience of attending CentriKid. We are constantly trying to keep the cost of camp low so that more kids and adults and churches can attend. It is certainly not easy for every family to afford the cost of camp. This is where your church can step in and offer ways to help make sure that every child in your ministry can get to camp: fundraising!
From bake sales, to spaghetti suppers, to having charity nights at local restaurants, we have blogged on fundraising many, many times. Check out some awesome blogs from our archives to get ideas how you can fundraise and help get your kiddos to CentriKid this summer!
Now, head over to our Facebook page to join the discussion on fundraising tips and ideas you have!
This past week at Kids Ministry Conference, we explored what it truly means to be a culture shaper. Through practical break out sessions, meaningful times of worship, and impactful main sessions, we hope that everyone at KMC15 left feeling restored and ready to radiate the love of Jesus to the kids in their ministries.
We know the light, we have light in us. And we are called to let our light shine to world. Light can be uncomfortable to those who are accustomed to the darkness. (John 3:20). Yet, we are called to share the good news of Christ in love to glorify the One who made us, who called us, and who will never leave us.
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14 – 16
You don’t have to look very hard to see that we live in a dark world. The news, social media, and even the people in line at the grocery store will remind you of that fact. Yet, when we take a look at Matthew 5 we see that Jesus is the light of the world. What does it mean to be the light of the world? A quick Google search provides this definition of light, “the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.” Makes things visible. As you seek truth in Christ all things will be made visible.
So if the God we serve is light, how can we shine for Him? How can we radiate? As we focus on our relationship with Him and as we allow Him to transform our heart we will live for him and our works will glorify Him. We cannot emit any sort of light without Christ. The whole point of your life is to point to Him. Whatever you are doing, God wants to be glorified, because all of this, this whole thing is His. As we look to Him to direct our steps we shape the world we are in, we do not allow others to tell us who we are. We tell the world whose we are.
We hope you enjoyed KMC15, and really hope you’ll join us back in Nashville next year as KMC becomes ETCH, a family ministry conference! Find out more about ETCH here!
Here is a fun look at CentriKid Camps history. I realized that while the logos and the themes have changed, there have always been summer staff committed to sharing the Gospel with kids.
When CentriKid began, there was an huge need to connect the name of the camp to Centrifuge Camps, which was the camp we got our name from. In the original logo there was even a dash and a bunch of colors to demonstrate the kid-friendliness of this new camp. (By the way, we now format our name as “CentriKid.” NOT “Centri-Kid” or “Centrikid.”)
This is the inaugural team that piloted CentriKid at Linden Valley in 2000. I only know a few of people in this picture. I remember that my friend Tim directed this first pilot week of CentriKid, but these guys are not celebrities, in fact CentriKid culture has never been one that is a “green room” culture, nor have we tried to create celebrities.
We’ve had some pretty awesome people through the years, but basically our staff are a bunch of ordinary college kids and young professionals who choose to give their summer to serve in kingdom work and promoting the Gospel.
This picture is the very first stack of OMC cards that weren’t printed on computer paper and hand-cut during the summer at camp. OMC began as a grab bag adventure… And has evolved and improved every year to become the phenomenally fun game that you know at camp now!
CentriKid has used a lot of themes through the years, we’ve played a lot of games through the years, and we’ve offered a lot of track times through the years. All of these are tools to help make the message of Christ clear in the lives of kids.
How many themes did you attend as a camper, staffer, or church leader?
It is that time of year again: the weather gets a little cooler, the leaves begin to change, and you need to start thinking about what in the world you are going to do for the fall festival. If you are looking for some additional game ideas…look no more! Here are four of my favorite fall game ideas:
Pumpkin Ring Toss
For this game you need a few good sized pumpkins with long stems and a few round objects (maybe ropes, or rings of some sort.) If you are doing your fall fest at night, glow sticks might work well. Place the pumpkins and assign different point values for each one. Then, mark a throwing line, and you are ready to play Pumpkin Ring Toss!
This is a game that will look good tying in with the fall theme and is simple to do. All you need to do is hide a few items of your choice preferably in some hay bales, but loose hay can work fine as well. You’ll want to spread the hay a bit so kids can reach down inside. Before you begin, determine the amount of items you will allow each kid to find and how many kids can be searching at once.
All you need is a few rolls of toilet paper. The object is to see how fast one person can wrap the other, like a mummy, with a whole roll of toilet paper. I would suggest making this a race between two teams of two. Maybe I like this one so much because it reminds me of OMC…nonetheless, kids are bound to love this game.
Fall Fest OMC
Add a fall twist to our timeless game: check out the additional fall-themed cards here.
I hope these ideas are able to help you out, and that you are able to use your fall festival to allow kids to have a ton of fun and be in a Christ-centered environment.
In my first summer as a Camp Director, I learned more about leading well than I thought possible. The Lord walked beside me through new challenges, before me as I faced unforeseen obstacles, and with me as I navigated the sometimes murky waters of leadership. In this journey I was not alone, as I was blessed to serve alongside 29 of the most servant-hearted, hard-working, like-minded followers of Jesus that I’ve ever known. The Lord taught me much and continues to teach me from my 2015 camp experience. Let me share with you two lessons in leadership that I took away from my third summer with CentriKid Camps, and first summer as a camp director.
Trust the Uncomfortable
Be vulnerable. Have tough conversations. Embrace sacrifice.
No, these things aren’t easy, but they are absolutely necessary as you seek to lead a group in Christ. As a leader, don’t be afraid to open up. Look past the lure to avoid the problem and see the worth in wading through messy circumstances with someone in the hope of a better end. Surrender your ease to lighten the burden of someone beside you.
Being responsible for a group of 29 staffers along with 300-900 campers weekly is quite the challenge. I learned quickly to plunge into the trenches. Choosing to get messy and invest, no matter the cost, always brings forth the richer reward.
Honor your team
Romans 12:10 says, “Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
I was lucky enough to not just lead a bunch of college kids who were labeled as a “camp team,” but to serve brothers and sisters in Christ who became my family.
We did not just “love on” one another, we loved one another. A way that I did this as a leader was making my best effort to never take credit for something that I didn’t directly do. I learned that as a servant-leader you should always be quick to give recognition and credit where credit was due. Keeping the mindset that Paul spoke of in “out-doing one another in showing honor” was a driving theme throughout the summer.
I value each lesson I learned throughout the summer and hold them dearly. Leadership, at camp and in life, is a life-long journey that I am happy to walk. In this pursuit, I hope to always walk in step closer to Christ.
About the Guest Blogger:
Meg Brown has worked CentriKid since 2013, and has served as a Bible Study Leader and Assistant Director, and most recently as Camp Director at Lee University, Austin College, Lousiana College, and Shocco Springs. She’s a senior at Campbellsville University where she studies Educational Ministry and Public Relations.
On the CentriKid office team, we love podcasts! Most days on my commute home from work, I don’t crank up the car without first clicking on the newest episode on one of the podcasts I follow. Recently, I’ve added a new podcast to my subscriptions: The LifeWay Kids podcast!
Every week, our friends at LifeWay Kids release a new podcast featuring helpful tips from a leader in the kids ministry world discussing essential topics in kids ministry. The podcast is designed to resource, train, and encourage Kids Ministry Leaders and Volunteers! It’s hosted by Jeffrey Reed (Kids Ministry Specialist) and Chuck Peters (LifeWay Kids Director of Operations) who bring conversation and interviews talking about current trends and resources and how to best communicate these to the kids you serve. You can subscribe to the LifeWay Kids podcast (and catch up on episodes) by following this link!
Here are some fun ways to use this podcast:
Be on the lookout for an episode soon where our team leader, Jeremy Echols, will be chatting about CentriKid, and how best to train our staff to be leaders at camp.
KMC is approaching rapidly, and our team is working full speed ahead to create an incredible experience for you! The conference is only two weeks away, but there is still time to register. This will be an unforgettable experience, and we hope to see you there. Sign up today, or call 800-254-2022 to register.
Check out these details about the conference:
Some of our guest speakers include Eric Mason, Kelly Minter, Ed Stetzer, Sherry Surratt, Ryan O’Quinn, and more. Plus, don’t miss a special concert event featuring Cindy Morgan, Mark Schultz, Kelly Minter, and Andrew Greer!
Be sure to check out kidsministryconference.com for more details, including hotel information, the conference schedule, and a list of breakout sessions.
Imprint These Words on Your Hearts (guest post by Kelly Minter about #KMC15)
Over my first summer as Camp Director, I traveled over 6000 miles, met hundreds of new friends, ate fast food way too many times, and learned several key leadership lessons along the way. One of the best things about working CentriKid is getting to work with about 20 fellow staffers. The Christian fellowship we enjoy is uncomparable, and I have incredibly fond memories of times spent with these friends over my 4 years of working camp. This summer, beyond the incredible time spent with my teammates, I learned the value of two leadership tools: investment and preparation.
Now, I’m not talking stocks and mutual funds here… I mean investing in those who you are leading. Investment goes a long way. It shows you care and allows you to build a better relationship with your team, which improves how you get tasks done together. This action can be a game changer in your ministry. Individuals love to feel valued and poured into especially from those who are leading them.
Investment begins with knowing those you are leading. Knowing about their day-to-day lives (where they went to school and where they work), what hobbies and interests they have, and about their family is vital. Once you begin knowing them, you may start to dig deeper to a more personal investment through providing helpful tips and guidance. Beyond this, spiritual investment may begin as well. Encourage them to spend time in God’s Word and in their walk with the Lord, in general.
Preparation is a key leadership tool in all things. Time spent in preparation is always worth it. Taking the time to prepare allows you a few benefits:
Take the time to prepare for events, conversations, etc. that you have planned or foresee occurring in your ministry. Mentally walk through everything that will be taking place and however works best for you, prepare for it. For me, that involves typing up plans and a breakdown of the order and flow of things. For you, that might just be providing yourself with outlines or simply thinking about what needs to be done. Different events and people will lend themselves to different preparation, but whatever it looks like for you, it is important to prepare ahead of time. These skills I learned are incredibly important in leadership, and it is always good to raise our skills in these areas as we go and grow as leaders.
About the Blogger:
Vincent Thomas is the newest member of the CentriKid office team! Originally from Georgia, Vincent has served as a team leader, recreation leader, and most recently, Camp Director of CK8 this past summer! In the office, Vincent oversees all things recreation and tracks times. We love having Vincent as part of the office team, and are excited about God is going to use him to make CentriKid even better!