2015 Camp Prep Series Recap

Check out the links below for a recap of the 2015 Camp Prep Series! Check out these blogs for all you need to know to be ready for CentriKid 2015, FIT: Faith in Training!

#1 Online Tools

#2 Fundraising

#3 Promoting at Your Church

#4 Team Assistants

#5 Spiritual Direction

#6 Camper Care Packages

#7 Sneak Peek

#8 Pre-Camp Planning

#9 Meet Your Camp Leaders

#10 Track Times

#11 Participant Lists and Other Details

#12 Recruiting Adult Sponsors (What Not to Do!)

#13 Arrival at Camp
Thanks for checking out the 2015 Camp Prep Series Recap!

As always, if you have any questions at all you can either call or email your Camp Director and Assistant Director. You can find their contact information on the Location Page of your camp location!

Micheal Walley

Micheal started working CentriKid in 2011 and has served as a Camp Director the past two summers. He graduated from Mississippi College with a degree in communications and public relations. He joined in the office team in 2014. Micheal loves talking kids ministry, leadership, and coffee.

May

20

2015

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Peach’s Quest!

Everyone loves Peach! When Peach was first introduced back in 2012, no one could have predicted how popular he would become. We’re so thankful for how you guys showed your love for Peach back in our April Fool’s joke. Have no fear, Peach WILL be back for FIT: Faith in Training this summer! He may also be joined by some familiar other friends from CentriKid’s history as well.

Last summer, we saw Peach’s Quest to earn 5 dollars so he could buy the video game, Reed’s Quest!

Check out the Peach videos from CentriKid 2014:

What do you think Peach will do this upcoming summer to get FIT?

Micheal Walley

Micheal started working CentriKid in 2011 and has served as a Camp Director the past two summers. He graduated from Mississippi College with a degree in communications and public relations. He joined in the office team in 2014. Micheal loves talking kids ministry, leadership, and coffee.

May

15

2015

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2015 Camp Prep Series #13: Arriving at Camp

The bus is packed, the kids are on board, and the 2014 CentriKid CD is playing through the speakers. You have been preparing for weeks doing paperwork, making calls, having parent meetings, and preparing your kids to grow deeper into their faith in God or maybe even starting a new faith in Him. But what happens when you pull the van in and their are staffers jumping around and going crazy with pool noodles? When you arrive at camp, your group leader will be directed to check in while the kids have fun playing games and getting their FIT shirts.

When you get to check in be sure to have the following:
1. Release forms
2. Track Time Cards
3. Statement of Compliance
4. Special Attention Cards
5. Group Order Summary

  1. Every child who comes to camp needs to have a notarized release form. These can be in one envelope and given to the Assistant Director. Need some release forms? Check out this link.
  2. One of my favorite parts of camp is Track Times! We assign kids to tracks by having them fill out the Track Time form before they arrive at camp. You can find the form in your location specific Group Leader Info on page 5. Each camper will pick their top 6 choices for Track Times and we will assign them based on what they choose.
  3. The statement of compliance is a very important part of camp planning because we want to ensure the safety of every kid at camp. By filling this form out you ensure that you have done a background check on every adult sponsor you are bringing to camp. You can find this form on page 21 of your Group Leader Info.
  4. Special Attention Cards are an important way we can serve your kids better. We take special attention cards very seriously. Whether it is a physical, emotional, or spiritual need, we want to serve you better as a group by being aware of these. These can be found on page 22 of your Group Leader Info.
  5. This year, we want to make ordering pictures, DVDs and Camper Care PackGroup-Order-Summaryages easier for you! We have created this form so that you can write everything that you want to order and give it to the store manager. This will make it easier to deliver the items to the correct churches and for you to deliver it to the correct camper. We are excited for this to make check in smoother and easier for you! You can find the form on page 16 of your Group Leader Info.

After you have taken care of all the paperwork and met the director and assistant director, it will be time to meet up with your group and take a beautiful picture with your camp shirts on! You did it! You made it through check in and now you get to jump around with the kids at Opening Celebration. We can’t wait to see you at camp!

Isaac Kierstead

Isaac graduated from Florida State University in 2014 with a degree in studio art and editing and writing. He started working camp in 2013 and has served as a rec team member, stage host, and camp pastor. Isaac joined the office team in 2014.

May

13

2015

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Celebrating an Awesome Teammate— Collin Spindle

Today we celebrate a truly incredible teammate—the one and only Collin Spindle. Collin has been a part of CentriKid Camps since 2010, and he has served as a team leader, a recreation leader, and a camp director. For the past two years, Collin has also served as a very integral member of our office team. Sadly, this is Collin’s last week to serve with us, but we are excited about his new opportunities. Collin will be serving with Preston Taylor Ministries in Nashville, TN, and he will be helping impact the lives of countless children and youth.

While many of us would like to curl up in the corner and weep unconsolably because of Collin’s departure, the only fitting way to honor him is by remembering some of the best times we shared with Collin.

On one of Collin’s first days on our team, he plunged into a mirky pond to find a frisbee. We knew right then there is almost nothing this guy won’t do. As such, he frequently got “volunteered” to appear in CentriKid videos.

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He is never really one to seek out attention, but somehow Collin often found himself in the limelight. This is a testament both to his incredible skills and his outrageous sense of humor! Why wouldn’t we put him on stage?!

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Collin liked to FREQUENTLY remind us of his Texas roots, and although many of us have tried to compete with his mustachio, he clearly has the corner on that market.

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At the end of the day, what we expected from Collin was a hardworking teammate. What we got was so much more! He is an incredible friend, and he is fiercely loyal. He’ll be the first to jump on the back of a Speeder Bike with you (even though he has no idea what it is), he’ll tag along to any sporting event or concert, and he’ll even jump out of an airplane with you! We’ll miss you very much, Collin. Here’s to you, buddy!

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Henry Dutton

Henry received a BA in Christian Studies and English from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he is currently pursuing a Masters degree from the seminary. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

2015 Camp Prep Series #12: Recruiting Adult Sponsors

REASONS TO NOT BE A CENTRIKID ADULT SPONSOR

Don’t make me say I told you so…

1. There is no reason to take off work and enjoy time outdoors.

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2. At camp there is no diet, so you may have to eat unlimited ice cream.

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3. Playing with the water hose is no fun in the summer.

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4. At camp you have to use so much energy! You end each day exhausted from games, leading kids, and camp exclusive fun.

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5. There is no reason to bring your teenager or youth in your church with you as a Team Assistant. They might actually learn something or fall in love with kids ministry.

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6. Supporting your kids or the kids in your church is no fun whatsoever.

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7. And bringing your kids to camp to worship God is not a very unique experience. It will never leave you inspired to see childlike faith.

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8. Forget about quiet times at camp. There is no time for time alone with God.

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9. You are asked to play with the kids while you are there.

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10. And don’t even dream about getting messy yourself.

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11. Because you have to wear clothes you would never wear normally, which is so lame.

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12. You may even be asked to color your beard.

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13. And different color hair never leads to anything exciting.

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14. You never want to get silly with your kids.

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15. But most importantly you may have to dive into God’s Word with your kids.

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16. And you never want to do that.

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17. Never Ever.

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Take our word for it. You may have to play games, get silly with your kids, have fun, invest in the children in your life, or experience God if you come to camp.

(Disclaimer…none of this is real! Be sure to tell you adults to come to CentriKid for fun, time with God, excitement, and to build relationshipsw tih their kids!)

 

Collin Spindle

Collin graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Science with an emphasis in Youth Development. He began working for CentriKid in 2010 and joined the office team in 2013.

Be Our Guest: Exceeding Expectations

10672287_10203441161851676_5465285799157910120_nA few months ago, a few of us from the CentriKid team took a mini-vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I went expecting to have fun and make memories, but months later, I am still talking about how my mind was blown and how Disney completely exceeded any expectations I had for our trip. Exceeding expectations is one thing the Walt Disney company does best.  Millions of people like me step into one of the Disney parks each year expecting a good time, but leave completely in awe at the excellent customer service, attention to detail, and “magic” they just experienced.

I recently just finished a book on this very subject from the Disney Institute: Be Our Guest.

In this book, the Theordore Kimi says:

“At Disney, exceeding guests’ expectations is the standard call of duty. If you study in the Disney theme parks, you can see how that works on myriad occassions each day. It shows up in the willingness of a restaurant hostess to not only provide directions when you are lost but to leave her post to guide you to your destination. It appears at the end of some late-night shopping when the cashier takes the time to find out who you are and where you are staying and recommends the free boat ride back to your hotel and offers a map of the dock..If the little wows are delivered consistently and continuously, they add up to a big WOW!”

As wonderful as Disney world is, it ultimately does not have much of an impact on eternity. The fun and the “magic” don’t have much substance, yet people flock to the park by the millions and millions. This is because all people have expectations, but Disney continues to exceed them.

Unlike Disney, your kids ministry (or any kind of ministry) has eternal impact. Getting Mickey’s autograph cannot compare to making the message of Christ clear to people who come to your church. What you and your church does to expand the kingdom of God is the most important task in the world. People and families in your community are going to come to your church with expectations. If Disney World can exceed expectations, so can we as churches who love Jesus Christ.

I encourage you to find ways to not only meet expectations of guests and current members of your church, but find practical ways to exceed those expectations so they return, train your kids ministry leaders and volunteers, and trust the the Lord will lead your ministry to reach people for Christ through those ways.  Ultimately, we should seek to exceed expectations to glorify our God whom we serve.

In what ways can you exceed expectations in your kids ministry to help make the message of Christ clear? 

We hope that anyone who comes to CentriKid has their expectations exceeded because of how we strive for excellence, build-life changing relationships, and make camp fun! We always try to improve in these areas and ask ourselves how we can make it better. We do it all to make sure that no one leaves camp without a life-changing encounter with Christ.  If you haven’t signed up for CentriKid 2015, there’s still time. Sign up today!

Micheal Walley

Micheal started working CentriKid in 2011 and has served as a Camp Director the past two summers. He graduated from Mississippi College with a degree in communications and public relations. He joined in the office team in 2014. Micheal loves talking kids ministry, leadership, and coffee.

May

1

2015

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2015 Camp Prep Series #11: Grids and Kids

Today is May 1st! Camp is getting so close and we are getting very excited as the countdown gets close to zero. While we are busy here getting ready for kids to arrive we know that there is a lot that you are doing to get ready to come to camp. Here are a few things to keep in mind while preparing for camp:

CANCELLATION DEADLINE: Today is the cancellation deadline! All cancellations after May 1 will incur an additional $50.00 fee for each person dropped. When this occurs, deposits cannot be applied toward your balance. If you have any question you can call the Event Registration at 1-877-CAMP-123 or email us at CentriKid@lifeway.com.

PARTICIPANT LIST: For some of you, three weeks away from camp is coming up fast! Be sure that you pay your final balance at that point and send in your participant list! You can find the participant list here. Be sure that your guy/ girl numbers are correct, including your adult sponsors, so that we can have housing reading for you when you arrive at camp. One way that we want to serve you at camp is to have all the housing ready and make it easy for your group when you get to camp. By having these numbers, we can make arriving to camp an enjoyable experience!

FINAL BALANCES: Remember that your final camp balances are due two weeks before your arrival at camp. You can call 1-877-CAMP-123 or go manage your account online.

CAMP HOUSING: You will be hearing from your Camp Director or Assistant director about one/two weeks before camp to let you know about housing. If you have any special housing requests, please let them know by emailing your camp directors. Their contact info can be found here.

As we prepare for the summer, a lot of times we see the steps and the lists of things to do and it seems like there is so much work still to be done. The Nashville office staff as well as camp staffers all across the country are praying for you as you prepare to bring your kids to camp. One of my favorite verses is Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” We can not wait to see the amazing things that God does through camp this summer! See you there!

Check out these others posts in our 2015 Camp Prep Series:

#1 Online Tools

#2 Fundraising

#3 Promoting at Your Church

#4 Team Assistants

#5 Spiritual Direction

#6 Camper Care Packages

#7 Sneak Peek

#8 Pre-Camp Planning

#9 Meet Your Camp Leaders

#10 Track Times

Isaac Kierstead

Isaac graduated from Florida State University in 2014 with a degree in studio art and editing and writing. He started working camp in 2013 and has served as a rec team member, stage host, and camp pastor. Isaac joined the office team in 2014.

Guest Blog by Eric Geiger: Idols

We live in an idol driven culture. Idolatry came with the entrance of sin. In fact, Martin Luther said, “Under every behavioral sin is the sin of idolatry.” If this is true, and I believe it is, this should forever change how we look at sin. Recently, at LifeWay’s Employee Chapel I had the privilege to talk about four root idols.

Christian leaders Tim Keller, David Powlison, and Dick Keyes have written much more extensively and eloquently on the idols beneath the surface, but here is a snapshot of four root idols that drive our behavior:

  • Power: a longing for influence or recognition
  • Control: a longing to have everything go according to my plan
  • Comfort: a longing for pleasure
  • Approval: a longing to be accepted or desired

Which of these idols resonates with you? Mentally walk through a day as a kids minister. Inevitably, you struggle with these four idols yourself, and you will work with kids and volunteers who struggle with these idols too. It is a universal human experience that we must learn to address and for which we need to seek repentance.

I do not repent of my idolatry by looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself I can displace it with my own energy, might, or goodness. I repent by remembering the Great God who is above all gods. We can repent of our longing for:

I hope this challenges you personally and in your ministry. I encourage you to teach your kids what it means to struggle with these root idols. They too can learn to practice repentance from idols by focusing on the worthiness of God.

About the Guest Blogger:

Eric Geiger serves as one of the Vice Presidents at LifeWay Christian Resourceseric-geiger, leading the Resources Division. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church.

Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.

Collin Spindle

Collin graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Science with an emphasis in Youth Development. He began working for CentriKid in 2010 and joined the office team in 2013.

2015 Camp Prep Series #10: Track Times

When sitting at the lunch table with kids, I always ask them what their favorite part of camp. About 90% of the time they name one or all of their track times. Kids love tracks, so we do too. Check out our post on why campers love track times. Let’s jump into Camp Prep Series #10: Track Times!

Check out the usual track times and their descriptions on the image to the right (tracks may vary by location).Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 8.33.37 AM Last year we added a few new tracks to our mix. Build It, Adventure and Blast Tracks were a nice addition to the offering of activities CentriKid provides. The emphasis of the Adventure and Blast were to maximize the fun to be had at some of our conference centers. Zip lines, inner tubes, rock walls, and more are all a part of the offering. These tracks are location specific so make sure you check out your Group Leader Information for details. Build It was found at every location and featured the Rube Goldberg Experiment. Expect new and fun activities from Build It this year.

At the end of the day we want our track times to be phenomenally fun. This means we take time to are beefing up our tracks to be more exciting. Kids who sign up for the baseball track should expect to scrimmage every day while still learning a few basics. At our indoor tracks our experiments will be more interactive and bigger! For example in Weird Science you will get to see a watermelon explode!

Most importantly all the fun is purposeful. Each track has two debriefs a day where our staff will use God’s Word to teach kids something about God. The debriefs take the activities kids love during tracks and put a spiritual application on those activities. This is a great tool to ask kids what they learned during their tracks and have an intentional conversation with them.

Remember to check out your Group Leader Info on your location page.There you will find your location specific tracks on pages 4 and 5. You will want to print off page 5 and have your campers fill these out before you arrive at Check In. Some churches fill these out ahead of time, others on the bus ride to camp, and you always have the option to have our CentriKid Staff lead your kids through the process of filling out their track time cards.

If you have any last minute questions about tracks email your team’s gmail account found on your location page. We cannot wait to have you at camp this summer!

Check out these others posts in our 2015 Camp Prep Series:

#1 Online Tools

#2 Fundraising

#3 Promoting at Your Church

#4 Team Assistants

#5 Spiritual Direction

#6 Camper Care Packages

#7 Sneak Peek

#8 Pre-Camp Planning

#9 Meet Your Camp Leaders

Collin Spindle

Collin graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Science with an emphasis in Youth Development. He began working for CentriKid in 2010 and joined the office team in 2013.

Apr

22

2015

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Loving Well and Leading Well

There are countless books, podcasts, blogs about leadership today, but one of the topics that most people shy away from is the role of love in leadership. As Christian leaders we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and it is very difficult to lead well if we do not love well. I truly believe that if we can love well in our ministry and in our lives everything else will follow.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”  One of the most important things that you can do for those that you lead is to make them feel valued. The quickest way to create friction on a team is if members do not feel cared for or important. A word of encouragement can make a world of difference. It is important to have great programs and excellent ministries, but the most important thing is the heart behind it all. Paul said that if we don’t have love, we have nothing.

What is the heartbeat behind your leadership today? Are you placing an emphasis on the people that you lead? There are so many ways that you can invest in the people that you lead. Listen to them when they speak, compliment them on their good work, and look for connections that can establish a relationship. Your teammates, volunteers, or employees need to know that you take an interest in them. The small talk and the you engage in can sometimes mean the most.

No matter if you lead a team, an organization,  or your family, leadership always starts with yourself. This is not a new technique or a fancy way of doing things, just a simple correlation between loving well and leading well. One of my favorite verses is John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’’

They will know us by our love as Christians and as leaders. We must start with love, everything stems from the heart.

Tiffany Francis

Tiffany graduated from Georgetown College with a degree in communication and media studies, and received her Master's Degree from Murray State. She has been with Lifeway Kids since 2010 and joined the camp team in 2014 where she works on Bible Study, the camp store, and many other elements.