The weather outside is FINALLY cooling off, but it’s never too early to begin planning for the summer. We’ve got a few tips to help make planning your summer camp stress-free!
REGISTER EARLY. Secure the date and location for your camp as soon as possible. Many of our own CentriKid Camp dates and locations are already full. You’ll also want to get the camp dates on the calendars of families in your church before their summer calendars fill up!
SCHEDULE FUNDRAISERS. Camp can be costly, so you can offer some creative and easy ways to help offset the cost of camp for families. Car washes, game nights, and spaghetti dinners — the sky is the limit as to what you can do to help out your families.
CAST VISION AND RECRUIT LEADERS. Camp should be a huge milestone experience in your ministry and in the spiritual lives of the kids at your church. Cast vision about the impact a week of camp can have. When parents and adults in your church understand the “why” behind camp, it will be easier to recruit leaders.
We are praying for you and our camp team is always here to help you make the most of every moment at CentriKid Camps 2018!
You can register for CentriKid 2018 by finding a camp date online or by calling 1-877-CAMP-123!
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak as a part of CentriKid Camps again. One of my favorite parts of speaking with CentriKid is the opportunity
that I have to share the stage with my friend Dylan Arms and his band. One of their members is a “kid” I once had in kid’s ministry during my early years of ministry named Coleman. A kid who grew up fast. That little, quiet first grader quickly grew into a seasoned lead guitar player, who now leads me in my spiritual walk. While at CentriKid this summer, Coleman and I recalled “that week of camp that summer” when I took him to camp. Each year, “that week of camp” made a profound impact on Coleman’s life.
Overnight camps like CentriKid are not just an opportunity for kids to get away. It’s a ministry that makes a huge impact. It’s a ministry that changes perspectives. It’s a ministry that God uses to change hearts. How?
This year, as we near the end of the summer season, remember the importance of why you send your child to an overnight camp. It’s more than just a summer event. It’s more than “one of those things you do.” It’s a life-changing event. It’s a mark. It matters. It’s important.
When your child looks back on his life, he probably won’t remember every detail of last week’s Sunday School lesson or even last month’s memory verse – but he will remember the impact of a week of camp.
That week when he was “on his own.” And it was all ok.
That week when God made sense for the first time. And it was all ok.
That week when life was fun and made up of dancing and laughing and screaming out loud. And it was all ok.
That week at camp that summer. That week that Coleman and I talked about last week. That week that your child will talk about in 15 years. That week that your child will look back on when he needs remember what it was like…When it was all ok.
About the Guest Blogger:
DAVID PEARSON is from Greenville SC. David served as Children’s Pastor for 13 years and as Family & Operations Pastor at Springwell Church in Taylors SC for the last four years. David is a children’s ministry consultant, writes curriculum for various children’s curriculum publishers, and speaks at children’s ministry conferences and churches across the southeast, and has served as Camp Pastor for CentriKid since 2011.
Sharing the Gospel with kids is something we are very intentional about at CentriKid Camps. We’ve used this poster in Bible Study as a visual aid to help communicate the Gospel with kids clearly.
1. God Rules. The Bible tells us God created everything, including you and me, and He is in charge of everything.
Scripture – Genesis 1:1, Revelation 4:11, Colossians 1:16-17
2. We Sinned. We all choose to disobey God. The Bible calls this sin. Sin separates us from God and deserves God’s punishment of death.
Scripture – Romans 3:23, 6:23
3. God Provided. God sent Jesus, the perfect solution to our sin problem, to rescue us from the punishment we deserve. It’s something we, as sinners, could never earn on our own. Jesus alone saves us.
Scripture – John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9
4. Jesus Gives. He lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again. Because Jesus gave up His life for us, we can be welcomed into God’s family for eternity.
Scripture – Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 3:18, Ephesians 2:8-9
5. We Respond. Believe in your heart that Jesus alone saves you through what He’s already done on the cross. Repent, turning from self and sin to Jesus. Tell God and others that your faith is in Jesus.
Scripture – John 14:6, Romans 10:9-10, 13
There can be much more to the conversation as a child asks questions about salvation, so LifeWay Kids has made available the “Gospel – God’s Plan for Me” booklets online, and we’ve got this poster you can download for free and use as a visual aid for your kids ministry classrooms or large group setting. We hope this can serve as a reference point for when you are sharing the Gospel with kids.
Click the thumbnail below to download a PDF of the poster!
As camp draws closer, we’re sure that meetings are being held, deposits are being paid, and questions are being asked. To equip Group Leaders and to prepare parents sending their children to camp, this year we’ve made a document just for parents!
The Parent Packet is a great overview and introduction of CentriKid for parents who are sending their kids to camp this summer. The packet includes:
Group Leaders, be sure to get these in the hands of your parents as you prepare for camp! You can find the Parent Packet by going to your camp location page at centrikid.com or download them here:
Can’t wait to see you at camp this summer!
Camp is quickly approaching and as you get your group prepared for time with CentriKid this summer, don’t miss out on our awesome promotional resources! Go to our Promotional Resources tab and check out the great, free promotional pieces you can download as you get ready to come to camp!
Here are some highlights of what we offer:
For decorating your church:
–Posters, Stickers, Camp Brochures, Flyers
Use these in your kids ministry to communicate deadlines, promote camp, and get families excited for the adventure that awaits your group coming to CentriKid!
–Bulletin inserts, postcards, email headers, theme art, CentriKid logos
Use these pieces as you email parents, make announcements on Sundays, and make your own CentriKid informational pieces for your kids ministry.
Print out our Postcard Download and have different small groups in your church write notes to kids at camp! You can collect these before you leave for camp and pass them out at Church Group Time during the week so each camper has a piece of mail to open at camp.
–iPhone backgrounds, special edition OMC cards, sticker templates
Use these as camp approaches to build anticipation for camp! Campers and adult volunteers can download a themed iPhone background for their phone; your group can play pre-camp OMC with special task cards to get ready for the best day of camp; and you can print CentriKid stickers as a promotional piece so that kids go home with a reminder about camp for their parents to see!
All of these great resources await you on our website. Be sure to check it out now and get your group ready for CentriKid 2017. Adventure Awaits!
In your leadership journey, there will certainly be times of uncertainty. How will you grow your ministry? What week of camp will we attend? How will you get enough volunteers for next Sunday? Not knowing all of the answers is okay, but in all cases, you must have clarity when leading your team.
What is a Team Assistant?
The best high school juniors and seniors, or even young college students, that a church group can bring to camp to be Adult Leaders for their week of CentriKid.
Team Assistants will get to spend more intentional time with the campers like staffers do! We want train them to work and interact with the campers just like we train our staffers to.
Check out this video to see what the Team Assistant Program is about and what a week of camp would look like for them!
Bringing Team Assistants to camp can also serve as a solution to an issue that some Church Group Leaders have: a shortage of Adult Leaders. These students will count towards the standard 1 to 5 adult to kid ratio, and will be housed with your group like all the other adults you bring. But, as an added bonus, they’ll get to work alongside the CentriKid staff helping out with Recreation, Track Times, and Bible Study! This gives them a behind-the-scenes look at serving as a CentriKid Camps staffer.
This is also great for the campers to see people they already know from home help lead them during camp programming. Not only will it help the kids stay attentive, but it makes them realize just how cool these students are, because they’re like CentriKid Staffers!
CentriKid Staffers absolutely love Team Assistants! They don’t just help with camp duties, but they help make impacts in the lives of campers. That’s what CentriKid is all about! We want our Team Assistants to have the best experience so that they’ll want to become CentriKid Staffers as well. Many of our current staffers were once Team Assistants, and are now returning summer to summer to make a difference in the lives of kids!
If you have any questions about Team Assistants or the Team Assistant program, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On social media, you’ve probably seen us mention #UseYour60 and we wrote a blog about it too. This is the heart of CentriKid, equipping adults and children’s ministry leaders to make the very most of their week of camp. We provide detailed Group Leader Information, so download that for your week of camp (its found on your camp location-specific page).
Making every moment count can apply to your pre-camp meetings. Don’t just use your meetings as informational meetings, use them as an opportunity to invest in the families who are trusting you with their child at camp.
In the pre-camp meetings with parents, pray for the upcoming camp trip and what God is doing in the lives of these families.
BONUS – Follow-up after the meeting with kids or parents who may have more questions. Your extra investment could go a long ways towards ensuring success for each camper. Encourage those who have never been away from home before to have a trial run by spending a couple nights away from mom and dad with a friend or a grandparent’s house.
We believe God can work in the lives of kids in a powerful way when they are away at camp and we want every camper to be successful at camp. Your pre-camp meetings will be a great opportunity to communicate information and your heart for ministry at camp.
If you are a kids ministry leader, you want your kids ministry to be excellent, creative, and most importantly, reaching families for Christ. You also probably want to keep finding new ways to get across Biblical truths in creative and innovative ways to the kids in your ministry. Sometimes, though, it’s a struggle in itself to maintain a level of excellence with the nuts and bolts of your ministry (by studying your curriculum, planning events, and even just recruiting enough volunteers for a Sunday morning). You want to create new, and creative ministry tools and experiences for families, but how in the world are you supposed to find time and energy to dream, brainstorm, and innovate?
Here are some tips to help get you started down the path of innovation:
It is hard to believe that the holidays are over. This means Christmas decorations must be put away, back to busy schedules, and new years resolutions. Most folks make financial resolutions, health resolutions, and family resolutions for a new year, but why not start your ministry off with a fresh start towards kids ministry resolutions. Here are some ideas that we hope you find helpful to kicking off the new year right!
1.Invest in Volunteers. As a leader, investing in your volunteers is as important as investing in your kids. This may sound crazy, but it is true. As one person, you can do only so much. A well trained and equipped volunteer multiplies what you can do, and a team of volunteers quadruples your multiplication efforts. To invest in them, start by getting to know your team of volunteers on a personal level. It is easy in the busyness of Sunday morning to take this group for granted. Make it a goal in 2017 to write a personal note to each of them thanking them for serving with you. This simple step can launch a year of renewed engagement for your ministry team!
2. Meet the Parents. I know this one if challenging! In the craziness of kids getting dropped off and picked up sometimes we are lucky to just say hello and check their security tag. Meaningful communication doesn’t just happen. It is a choice you must be disciplined to make each time to get to interact with parents. This year take a shot at improving your communication with parents. This might be standing outside your classroom (without the clipboard in hand) and intentionally greeting every parent, putting together an email newsletter, or organizing a parent appreciation night just to love on them. The investment is worth it! Parents, like volunteers, have a huge impact on ministry because without their support, there aren’t any kids to minister to.
3. “Use your 60”. At CentriKid we believe in the power of every minute with kids, so we want to use every one of them! We believe that you can intentionally take each minute to deeply invest in a volunteer or a kid’s life. Think about what you can do if you take those “random” minutes to stop a leader in the hallway and call out something amazing you saw them do with a child in class last week. Think about what you can do if you take those last couple of minutes of the hour on Sunday to stop a parent on their way out the door and tell them how you saw the light bulb go off in their child’s mind today during worship. Think about what you can do if you take the first minute of each class to hug a child and tell them how thankful you are that they are here today. Think about what you can do if you take the “commute” minutes on the way to church each week to thank God for the ministry to get to serve in and the people he has placed around you to help change lives!
We are praying for you and believe in what you are doing! Let’s begin 2017 with a grateful heart knowing that each day we are impacting little lives for eternal purposes! Take a moment now and jot down your 2017 Kids Ministry Resolutions!