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.
Your role is important in the development of kids who seek the Lord, but its not designed to be the only spiritual leadership that kids get. In conversations at camp this summer, a lot of kids ministry leaders expressed the feeling that parents just expect them to handle the spiritual training of kids. Here are 5 tips to help parents lead kids spiritually.
Use your platform to influence parents and kids in your ministry so families grow together and spend time at home talking about the things of God. This causes deeper learning and can help move Bible lessons from single stories they hear at church to transformational encounters with God’s Word in their homes with their parents.
When people ask me who the craziest color team is at camp, most people assume I will say the Blue 5th graders or all of those little Yellow 3rd graders. The Truth- the Orange team! Few teams are more excited for I Can’t Wait, make more noise during their cheer (even if they don’t know ALL the words), or cover me in more shaving cream during OMC. But what happens when you are having trouble finding those adults for your team?
Here are few tips to help you find the Orange Team you are looking for:
I know, it seems simple but this is the best place to start. When I say ask them, I don’t mean putting a slide up during the opening of the service or typing a paragraph in the bulletin. Although these can help, take some time and be very intentional about who you ask to come to camp. Share with them the impact that they can have on the kids and the amazing responsibility that they are given at camp to be a role model to these kids as the Gospel message is preached. By sharing with them that you trust them with this responsibility and the importance of this position, you will be able to find volunteers that share your excitement for sharing the Gospel with these kids in an atmosphere full of fun!
After a Sunday service, have lunch with your kids, parents, and volunteers and then play a great game of OMC. Let your volunteers play and don’t forget lots of shaving cream, pool noodles, and tasks cards. This is a great way to have fun with the different people who are part of your ministry and also give them ways to interact with the kids outside of the Sunday School room or the Worship Center. At the end, don’t forget to tie it back to the Gospel!
Do you have any students in your ministry that love children? If they are a Junior in high school through college, they are able to serve as Team Assistants. Team Assistants give your students a chance to serve alongside you as a chaperone for your kids but they also get to be a part of our camp team for the week. Whether it is helping out at Recreation or Track Times, they will see a glimpse into what it is like to be a camp staffer. Check out some more information about Team Assistants HERE.
We can’t wait to see you and your group leaders at camp this summer!
Group Leader Information is online for 2016! Click HERE to download a packet specific to your location. Once you begin to look through Group Leader Information, you will soon notice that it looks different. The CentriKid team has worked hard to take the insight that you have given us and apply it to make it easier for you.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU. The first page of Group Leader Information gives you information about who will be your Director and Assistant Director at camp and how to contact them. You can also find information on housing for that location and how family or friends can send letters to you and your kids while at camp. This page will also give you some important information about the camp location you will be attending.
TRACK TIME CARDS AND INFO. The second and third page is all about my favorite part of camp–Track Times! Check out the track descriptions on page 2 and be sure that every kids fills out one of the Track Time Cards from page 3. Every locations Track Time Card is different so be sure that you only get this from your specific Group Leader Info. One fun way to be sure that everyone fills out a Track Time Card is to fill it out on the bus on your way to camp. This will help time go by if you have a longer drive and you can have fun getting the kids excited for all of the fun they will have at camp!
LOCATION INFORMATION. For some even more in-depth information about your location check out page 5. Here, you will find a map and some tips you should know before you go to camp. To find your schedule, check out page 6 of Group Leader Info. On this page is a helpful reminder about what color each kid (and adult) will be wearing at OMC!
CHECKLISTS. I love checklists! You can find an in-depth checklist to help you prepare for camp on page 6 and 7. On this checklist, you can find links to this year’s participant list (the blue box) as well as information about how to bring a nurse to camp. You can also find the dates when deposits and forms are due.
FOR THE PARENTS. Parent meetings are an important part of getting the information out prior to camp. Page 8 has some helpful tips about the information you should go over with your parents. Be sure to have them sign the release forms and collect any order forms for Camper Care Packages. You can find the release forms in the Parent Packet or on the Group Leader Info page. On this page is also a link to order your Church group’s Camper Care Packages and Camp Store Cards. This needs to be filled out BEFORE JUNE 1st. When you arrive at camp, you can give the store manager a completed Group Order Summary that can be found on page 11. This will be used to cross reference what you ordered online.
At camp, we tie everything to the Gospel and we want to help you as the church group leader continue these conversations after camp. Page 9 has some suggestions on how to follow up with your kids after camp. Page 10 has all the information you will need about Team Assistants at camp!
SPECIAL ATTENTION CARDS. Special Attention cards can be found on Page 12. This are a way that our staff would like to serve you more. Please fill these out for any child who needs a little special attention at camp. These can range from anything to an allergy or broken arm to a child who’s family is going through a divorce or they need some extra prayer from the staff. Also, this is a great way to let us know if anyone is having a birthday from your group.
Camp will be here before we know it and Group Leader Information is the first step to preparing for it. We can’t wait to see all of you this summer!
I love Christmas. I love the smell. I love buying gifts for people. I love to decorate. I love to wrap presents. I love to surprise neighbors with small gifts. I love the lights. I love that December is the perfect time to celebrate and I love what we celebrate. December comes with lots to do, a busier than normal schedule, and sometimes some stress. How do we make sure we create special moments for our kids and teach them what we are celebrating? Here are a few practical ideas to make memories in your family or ministry this Christmas and to help kids celebrate the season:
Read. Wrap a book for your kids to open each day. Use this as a time to share a moment with them while they learn about the birth our Savior.
Pick one night a week. Protect this time and use it to do something together. Make a craft, go look at lights while listening to Christmas music, drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie. Do something on this night that is unique to the season. Encourage families in your ministry to do this by sending them home with something to talk about or an activity to do related to what they learned on Sunday.
December Daily. Make a book and let your kids document something fun they did everyday in December. It’s not too late! These have become a tradition in our family. I make one every year and each December we pull them out and look at the last few years. This is a fun way to remember fun things you did and of course see the growth and change from one year to the next.
Read the Christmas story from the Bible. This one seems obvious but I think sometimes we over look it. No matter the age of your children or the children you are ministering to, they need to hear it. Read it, sing about it, act it out, and tell it as you move characters around in your nativity scenes. This is the reason we celebrate and can be a seed planted in your child’s heart that can lead to other conversations throughout the year.
Pass it on. Give hope to someone. As a family or as a Sunday school class, let your kids brainstorm something they could do for someone else. Let them come up with the idea and talk about why we should show kindness and serve others.
Don’t let the busyness of this season steal your joy and the opportunity to make it special for your own kids or the kids in your ministry. Pray now that this holiday season will have deeper meaning for your ministry. We at CentriKid pray that this holiday season will create times for intentional conversation, opportunities to serve others, and some special memories for your families and ministries.
About the Guest Blogger:
Emily Echols lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she coaches high school softball and teaches private softball lessons with young girls. Originally from Texas, she has been involved with education and coaching for over 10 years. Emily loves being a mommy to Madison (4 years old) and wife to CentriKid team leader, Jeremy (their 14 year anniversary is tomorrow!).
There are so many roles parents pay “specialists” to fill outside the home. Things like music lessons, sports training, and after-school tutoring – but there is also a tendency for this mindset to apply to spiritual growth and discipleship too. Many kids ministry leaders that I’ve spoken to this past summer have expressed how they feel the expectation to handle the spiritual formation of kids while they are at church.
The role of kids ministers in spiritual formation at the church is important, but discipleship happens best when parents lead spiritually.
Parents need to hear this … yes. But kids ministry leaders cannot just sit back, fold their arms, and bemoan the fact that parents aren’t getting the memo. Church leaders have to understand and identify their function in spiritual formation of kids under their care.
3 Roles of Kids Ministers in Spiritual Formation
The role of kids ministers in spiritual formation cannot be overstated … you have been called by the Lord to shepherd families in your community. Know that shepherding different ones will look differently -but all of these families can benefit from your time and investment.
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.
Camp is here! We are so excited to serve your church this summer at CentriKid. We have amazing staff at camp who are there to pour into your church and your kids, but what about after camp? Well, I’m glad you asked. We have some great resources for you to take advantage of!
Post Camp Extras can be found here.
There are post camp devotionals that are a great way to get the kids in your ministry to talk about the truths that they learned while at camp. This is also a great opportunity to share with others who might not have been able to come to camp. There are fun activities and ideas to get the kids talking about how they can be fit for God in their everyday life.
We also have the Adult Gathering outline for you to download. We love investing in adults at camp. Children’s ministers and volunteers at the local church are our heroes. We love to share this plan so that you can utilize it in your ministry. Previous year Adult Gathering plans can be found at the very bottom of the page.
And don’t forget to fill out the group leader survey! We love what we do at camp for you and your church, and we want to hear your feedback! The link for the survey is on the post camp extras page, and you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have.
We hope that summer 2015 is the very best yet at CentriKid and we are so glad to be a part of your kids ministry year after year.
As the summer approaches, your kids are ready to get out of school and the craziness of summer activities begins! Here is a checklist of a few things that will help you and your group be ready when it is time to hop in the bus for camp!
Talk to your adult sponsors!
The people that you are bringing to camp will help shape the experience for all of your campers. Bring adults and students who you trust to invest in your kids throughout the week. While at camp, these sponsors will be the one answering spiritual questions and loving your children as they learn how to grow their faith in Christ. Also, be sure that all of your sponsors have signed the statement of compliance before they come to camp.
Meet with parents!
One of the promises that we make at CentriKid is that we provide a safe environment for the kids. This starts by providing you as group leaders with the information that you can share during parent meetings. Check out the Parent Packet and provide copies of it for all of the parents so that they also feel ready to send their kids off to camp. Getting copies of insurance cards and signing release forms is a vital key to preparing for camp. Also, be sure that you collect all the photo and DVD order forms so that the parents can get their snapshots of their kids at camp! Another way that we want to make each child feel safe at camp is by giving the parents a chance to fill out a special attention card. We as a staff take these cards very seriously and want to know about any physical or emotional/spiritual needs that the children might have. Don’t forget to fill out a special attention card if anyone in your group has a birthday the week of camp, we would love to celebrate with them! You can also show our new Parent Peace of Mind video!
3 weeks before camp!
The best week of the summer is getting closer and you are almost ready to go! Three weeks before camp, don’t forget to email your participant list that includes your adult sponsors so that we can have housing all prepared for you when you get to camp. You can get the participant list HERE, and you’ll email it to the email address found on your location specific page! At three weeks, you can also pay your balance for camp which will be due 14 days prior to camp.
We can not wait to see you and your kids this summer. We know that you put lots of work into getting your kids ready for camp and we want to make this process as simple as possible for you. If you have any questions as you prepare for camp, feel free to contact the CentriKid office or your camp director and we would love to answer any questions you might have!
Teaching kids about Easter can be challenging. Easter holiday is much like other Christian holidays because there are cultural traditions as well as Christian traditions, and two don’t always make sense how they go together.
Kids wonder what makes “Good Friday” good? What’s the connection between the Easter bunny and the Easter story? Why can’t we hide hard-boiled eggs in the house anymore? (OK, that’s my question from when I was a kid!)
In helping kids understand why this holiday is so important to our faith, here are 4 pointers to help you prepare for teaching kids about Easter.
Also, check out these cool coloring pages from LifeWay Kids that you can use this Wednesday or Sunday with your preschoolers and kids at church.