I love Thanksgiving. I love getting together with family and eating more mashed potatoes than I should. We have a tradition of going around the table after eating dinner and saying one thing that we have been thankful for in the past year. Some years it is so easy to talk about how the Lord has blessed us, but other years it is a little more difficult to be thankful. Yet, there has never been a time when someone was silent when the topic of giving thanks was discussed. Even in the challenging days there is always, always something to be thankful for.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 107:1
Even when it is difficult to see the Lord’s work in our lives, we can be confident of His presence. The Lord is teaching me a lot about perseverance in this season in my life. This holiday season take some time and look for the glimpses of God’s presence, even in the hustle and bustle. Know that the Lord has you in the exact place that you are needed and be thankful that He guides every step that you make.
Here at CentriKid we are so very thankful for the churches, leaders, and kids that we are able to serve year after year. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that God blesses this sacred time of faith, family, and friends. If we were all at my family’s dinner table, what would you be thankful for this year?
“Captain’s Orders” is a game we have been playing at CentriKid this summer. Kids have been loving this airplane-themed game that ties in with our 2016 theme: Unseen!
HOW TO PLAY
“Captain’s Orders” is similar to “Red Light, Green Light.” Ask players to line up shoulder to shoulder on the starting line. The goal of the game is to move down the field and reach the finish line. Players may only move by listening for commands and completing the corresponding actions. Use the following commands:
After each game at CentriKid Recreation, we take a couple minutes to debrief it and talk about how that game can actually relate to our relationships with God. This year, with Captain’s Orders, we are using John 8:31-32 and talking about how God’s Word is the ultimate Truth, and we can know it by reading the Bible and listening to the Holy Spirit every day.
This game is a great one to play with kids at church because you can give the kids a turn being “Captain,” and it requires very little equipment and minimal setup time. And the best part about it is that you can relate it back to God’s Truth, and how we can know Him more.
OMC. Organized Mass Chaos.: the best game ever invented! Over the years, you might have used this a large group game just for fun or to build up the excitement for the upcoming summer at CentriKid. It’s great for outreach or for just having fun with kids and students. I hope that it has served you well in both these areas, or if you haven’t tried it yet, that you would consider picking up the OMC game this summer at our CentriKid Camp Stores at our CentriKid locations.
This year, we have sent out a promotional kit that we hope you can use to get kids even more excited for camp on the way to camp: the official CentriKid Van Kit! In your van kit you received a few fun things, including a special edition OMC game. In this edition of OMC, kids will do various tasks that can be done while sitting in a bus, van, or car safely.
The instructions are on the card, but you can be creative as well. Feel free to have all kids do it at the same time, or just one at a time. The kids will have a blast with this game because it is still OMC and who doesn’t love OMC?! Those who have never been to camp will get to understand OMC, and those who have been will get even more excited as camp is but minutes away!
We hope you have fun with this new special edition OMC game! Check out our other editions on the OMC Page at CentriKid.com!
Here is a great game that is simple, tons of fun, and you can scale up or down depending on how many will be playing the game. If you came to camp in 2015, your kids played this game, so they might still remember it.
–Large area space (depending on number of kids, the area of half a basketball court can work…a larger space just works better, especially with larger groups).
–Lots and lots of frisbees.. the more the merrier
–Buckets or hula hoops
Setting up the playing field:
–The field should be a large, flat area. Ideally outside, but inside a gym is plenty of space and tons of fun too!
–You should mark off a launch zone in the center of the field (this is where a few volunteers will be launching frisbees the entire time).
–Depending on the number of teams, you’ll need that same number of buckets or collecting zones where each team will bring their frisbees back to.
–At the beginning of the game the frisbees start in the center launch zone.
Game play and rules:
Once the game begins, the volunteers in the center circle will start throwing out the frisbees every which way, and this should continue happening essentially the whole time. The goal of the game is to get the frisbees into your team’s bucket/collecting zone. The winner in the end is the team who gets the most frisbees to its bucket.
Once a player has a frisbee in hand he cannot move his feet. Instead he must throw the frisbee to someone else on his team. A member of another team cannot steal a frisbee from the hands of another player, but can intercept or knock down a pass in the air.
–Have a goalie who catches all the frisbees to put them in the bucket.
–Make a rule that players cannot steal from the buckets.
–Assign runners (either volunteers or players) whose job it is to bring frisbees from the buckets to the center circle..bringing them back in groups of ten helps keep track of points.
We all love this game, and we hope this game helps you in your ministry. Have fun!
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?
The new school year has started and you are already taking your kids 100 different directions making it hard to remember the lessons that they learned this summer. How can you help your kids remember to be a disciple of Christ when they can’t even remember their lunch? I have been hugely blessed to grow up in a Christian home, so here are a few ways that my parents reminded me and my sisters how to be disciples of Christ. Try applying some of these to your family’s life as you grow in your faith.
1. A Disciple Encounters God Through His Word
My 8th grade sister’s favorite part of the day is lunch because she gets to talk to her friends and also see if mom packed her any surprises! At camp, we learned that a disciple encounters God through His word and that we are supposed to ingest it like food. Every once in a while slip a surprise snack into the lunch bag and write on a simple verse and note on a napkin that your child can read and be encouraged. On the ride home, talk to your child about how they used that verse during the day or how they were able to share it. Make this into a fun game and you will be surprised how fast your kids look forward to getting a Bible verse in their lunch box.
2. A Disciple Embraces God Through Prayer
Getting to school can sometimes be a hectic production of grabbing homework, packing lunches, and being sure all the kids are in the car. Once you are in the car, take time to say a prayer before dropping them off. The peace that comes from praying before you open the doors and start another crazy day will create a firm foundation for your kids. I still remember my dad praying for my oldest sister and I before we jumped out of the car for school and knowing that God was there with me no matter what happened that day.
3. A Disciple Engages with God Through Giving
As the kids go back to school, be sure that you are staying plugged into your church. We talked about how a disciple can give both their time and talents to Christ. Show your child that Christ is a priority in your life by being at church. You are the example that your kids will follow and when they see you giving your time to God, they will follow.
4. A Disciple Engages with God Through a Christian Community
Friends are a huge part of school and your children’s lives! Be intentional with those friends and their families. The friends your kids have will shape them and it is important that you invest in their friends.Creating a community of families that would hang out together has been a huge part of my walk with Christ. Having that group of Christian men that I could look up to and the support of so many people has encouraged me to grow as a disciple of Christ.
Parents, you are the number one example that your kids will be following. Starting school can be just as daunting a task for you as it is for them. Be sure to take some time to invest in your kids and their spiritual growth as you both grow as disciples of Christ.
Have you heard the exciting news? We are hosting #KMC15 at Nashville’s new Music City Center! KMC, or the LifeWay Kids Ministry Conference, is an annual gathering of kids ministers, leaders, teachers, and volunteers. Join us to experience inspirational messages and times of worship, practical breakout sessions, lots of laughter, and a ton of fun!
If you attended CentriKid during the summer of 2015, you received information about registering for KMC at a special discounted rate. This offer originally expired on 8/7/15, but we have extended the deadline. Don’t miss out on this great offer!
The theme for KMC this year is RADIATE. Together we will explore ideas related to making a difference in the world, standing for convictions in the midst of moral turmoil, and helping kids grow up as culture shapers rather than conforming to the world. This all starts with the gospel. Learn more about our theme here.
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!
You’ll see many familiar CentriKid faces at KMC in October, and we hope to see you there, too. This fall, don’t simply shine your light in a dark world—RADIATE!
Games are one of my personal favorite ways to connect and build relationships. This is especially true in kids ministry. My first love at CentriKid Camps was leading kids at recreation. I loved getting kids crazy, playing super fun games, competing, having tons of fun, and then channeling that energy to spiritual applications.
Kidmin pros are experts at this. All kids can learn through games just like all kids can learn through the bible study lesson, but kinesthetic learners especially benefit from the inclusion of active games. So it is a no brainer Kid Ministers are always honing their skills and looking for the next best games.
Here are a couple of games which have really become popular and if you have not seen them I think it is worth giving them a look.
1. Hungry Hungry Hippos
Remember this popular game? Maybe you still have it at your house and play it often. A new craze in the recreation world is getting four scooters, four laundry baskets, 4 sets of elbow and knee pads, and optional bungee cords.
The kids are the hippos. One kid will lay on each scooter with his or her laundry basket outfitted with their skin rash protection. Strap a bungee cord to the kid’s waist or instruct another kid to hold their partner “hippo’s” feet. Whenever you say go unleash as many colorful tennis ball sized recreation balls onto the play area and have the partners push his or her hippo into the play area to grab as many recreation balls as possible. You can make it where the hippos grab only their team color recreation balls or just a free for all. Start over by asking the hippos if they are still hungry. Look online and you will find a ton of videos of the game in action.
2. Spot it
This is a game in which you will have to invest. You can get it on amazon here. I always keep this game in my backpack ready to play at a moments notice. It is very simple. It can even be played indoors. Here is a video by the creators with an explanation on how to play. SPOT it is such a great game, because it can be played a lot of different ways.
3. Recreation: Rooted in Scripture
We recently wrote a blog about this new CentriKid Camps game resource guide called Recreation: Rooted in Scripture. Again, we believe providing a spiritual application to games is so important. Making games intentional is something we always do at CentriKid. One of our values is for everything we do at camp to be rooted in scripture. So every game you see in this resource has a debrief with a verse to teach kids a biblical truth based on the game they just played. If you are interested in purchasing one of these resources you will have to purchase it onsite at a CentriKid Camps Store.
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.
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?!
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.
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!
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). 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: