Archive for May, 2010

OMC | The Official Game

OMC stands for Organized Mass Chaos, and that is just what it is.  Every player knows exactly what task he is doing, but each player in the game is doing something different.  Players attempt to complete as many tasks as possible (one task at a time), but players are interrupted to help other players complete their tasks during the game. 

One description of OMC that I love is that it “looks like an ant bed was stirred up!”


OMC is best when played in a large space outside with a few hundred participants, however it can be adapted to play inside if weather or darkness do not allow outside play.  Plan to use a big space like a gym or large fellowship hall.  This is not a classroom game.


Inside the package for OMC | The Official Game are playing cards and a DVD with videos to help get you prepared.  All the rules, a setup diagram, and a supply list are included on the DVD-ROM portion of the disc. And something left off the disc, but available for free download here or at is a t-shirt design for scoring OMC that you can use at your VBS or DNow event.

You can get OMC | The Official Game for $39.99 online, through your local LifeWay Christian Store, or at the CentriKid Camp Store this summer.

We love feedback!  Contact us with new task ideas, pictures of your event, stories about the gameplay, etc by emailing our camp office at

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.

Taboo Words: Check YES or NO

Do you want to go to Heaven? Do you want to become a Christian? Of course you do. I learned the hard way that yes or no questions in any situation are only suitable for the world of miming. Anyone with the ability to answer in a complete sentence should be required to do so.

My first summer of camp, a child approached me during the invitation after the worship service. We went into a hallway so that I could hear her better and understand what God was doing in her life. We sat down, and she was a locked box. I asked her what her name was, and after about 5 minutes finally got a really short, quiet “Emily.” I asked her why she had come down, only to receive silence.

I tried to fill the silence with questions about home and what was going on in her life, but every question I asked was yes or no, so even when she started warming up to me a little, we still didn’t get very far.

I should have just assured her that I was there for her and ready to listen whenever she was ready to talk. If she hadn’t been ready to talk, I should have walked her back to her group and told her that I’d love to talk about it whenever she wanted.

Kids don’t feel awkward silences. They don’t feel the need to fill the quiet with pointless chatter. Has God been talking to you this week? Does He want you to become a Christian? Do you want to go to Heaven? I didn’t use these exact questions, but I did try to lead Emily to make a decision with the questions I was asking. I’m glad she didn’t take that bait. Emily made a decision for Christ later that week…and I learned yes or no questions are for the birds. I have many friends who were led in a similar way to make a decision, and to this day they are still unsure if that is when they really made a decision to follow Christ, or if they just answered the questions the way they knew others wanted them to.  Steer clear of “Check Yes or No” and allow kids to dictate their decisions in their own words.


Mary Carlisle

Mary is a University of Mobile grad, with a BA in English and Theology. She worked with CentriKid Camp starting as a staffer in 2007 and began working in the camp office in 2010. She joined the VBS team in November of 2012.

An Uncomfortable Reality

Here’s a question for you:  What do an estimated 20% of girls and 10% of boys experience by the time they are 13 years old?  The sad answer here is sexual abuse.  Stay with me.  I’m sure you were hoping for an uplifting post that would inspire you in your ministry, but suddenly find yourself reading about a pretty weighty topic.  While it is an uncomfortable and scary issue, it’s a reality for over 3 million children in America.   We can’t act as though it doesn’t happen in our community.

This overview of a study of more than 4000 admitted abusers lists some notable characteristics of typical abusers.

  • 77% are married
  • More than 46% have some college education; 30% have a high school diploma with no further education
  • 65% are working adults
  • Abusers are equally common in families of all income levels and classes
  • 93% consider themselves religious

Wait…what was that?  93% are religious?!  What does that mean for those of us in ministry with children?  It means we shouldn’t be naive…not even the church is immune to the threat of sexual abuse.  The difficulty comes in not knowing who these people are until it’s too late or unless they seek help on their own.  What we can do is work to prevent sexual abuse from happening in our churches and communities.

Here are some helpful tips for that:

  • Simply talk with parents and volunteers about the statistics and realities of sexual abuse
  • Make yourself available to talk to children about questions they may have
  • Perform background checks on every adult that works in your ministry…even the ones you know the best;  some 90% of abusers know their victims

Check out what Focus on the Family says about the symptoms of abuse and suggestions for how to talk with kids about abuse.


Laura Sampson





Do We Ever Treat God Like This?

From the story of Job in Chapter 2:

6 “Very well,” the LORD told Satan, “he is in your power; only spare his life.” 7 So Satan left the LORD‘ s presence and infected Job with incurable boils from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself while he sat among the ashes. 9 His wife said to him, “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 “You speak as a foolish woman speaks,” he told her. “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said.

Eric Sampson

Eric served as camp pastor and director, in addition to working in our office as the Department Intern (Aug '09-July '10). He left the CentriKid office to study at Texas Tech and become a Philosophy Guru.





My Greatest Fear

I am not prone to worry, and I don’t.  My grandfather and mother have always lived by the motto, “You just take it one day at a time.”  I have inherited that gift from them.  I don’t worry, I simply work hard.  There is no benefit to worrying, so don’t.  (Another post in coming weeks)

At CentriKid Director Training a few weeks ago in Atlanta, something came up in a discussion about travel.  I began to share my “greatest fear” about long hours of travel in vans and buses and the fear that someday I would get a call that there had been an accident.   I can’t imagine the agony of having to call someone’s father and mother to tell them their son or daughter had been hurt.  In mid sentence I stopped myself to say, “That’s actually not my greatest fear, but it is one of my fears.”

Later that day Meredith asked me, “If the worry about an accident and a staffer getting hurt is not your greatest fear, what is?” Simply put, my greatest fear is that camp would become about us!  Campers love staff, they even “idolize” staff in some cases.  They want to dress like staff, talk like staff and someday be one of the staff.  The attention can become addictive, and it would be so easy for Satan to use that to keep us from our only goal, changed lives.   Over my 20 years, I have seen staff who totally changed their “look” in order to stand out.  Guys have painted their toe nails and finger nails, hair has been colored, only one sock has been worn, the list could go on.  It was all an attempt to stand out to get attention.  It isn’t always that overt.  It can simply be the love of being on stage or the desire to be in front.  

We must continue to make sure our focus is on Christ and not on us, and that we want to use our gifts in order to share the Gospel and influence others for  Him.  We must be incredibly focused on meeting the needs of kids and those who entrust their kids to us. 

What is your “greatest fear?”





At CentriKid I learned… part one.

At CentriKid I learned…

Quite a lot, actually.  Since 2002, God has used CentriKid Camps to teach me tons about Himself, about myself, about leadership, grown ups, kids, and ministry.  Here are a few simply things I learned at CentriKid:

*Kids are quite intuitive.  You can’t fool them too easily.  They want to see and know the REAL you.   Kids are waiting to be taught and led by grown ups who make mistakes and admit them… trying to be perfect doesn’t get too far, and kids can see right through it!

*The team you work with can become like family.  So love them.  Respect them.  Genuinely get to know them, and remember that the Lord has placed you on a team with them to make us ALL more like Christ!

*People desire to be led, and led well.  They recognize a lack of leadership.  Someone is always going to fill a leadership void… so if you’re the leader, let it be you!

*High fives give you an instant connection with anyone.  At camp there’s a high five waiting every time you turn around.  Why does it have to be just a camp thing?  Let’s give high fives 52 weeks out of the year… it’ll bring a few more smiles to all of our faces.

*You can jump up and down anywhere, anytime.  And when you do, it automatically makes things more fun and energetic!

*A cheer can be composed and chanted about any game, group, gizmo… or anything else for that matter.  How can something NOT be fun when you’re cheering about it? Cheers get us excited, at least on some level!

As you reflect on your own team, ministry, and relationships — Do you show the folks you work with that you really value them?  Do you treat kids in a way that recognizes their intuition?  When’s the last time YOU jumped up and down? Gave a high five? Made up a silly cheer?  Don’t wait for camp to make that happen!

Meredith Teasley

Meredith studied at Samford University and Beeson Divinity School. She worked camp for 8 years, then served in full-time children's ministry in Virginia before joining our team in January 2009.





Celebrating Crosspoint

This time of year, I like to think about my first summer serving on camp staff and how I couldn’t wait for the semester to end and camp to begin.  I was gonna be a Crosspoint staffer and I was really excited about it.  I was finally gonna get to be a staffer!  It was really happening!

My enthusiasm was rooted in the great experience I had as a camper at Crosspoint and at Centrifuge.  There are so many memories from my experience as a camper … particularly the summer after my 8th grade year when all I cared about was making the high school basketball team.  It was during my week at Crosspoint when I “got it” that I could be a Christian and an athlete at the same time… and in fact, this was part of God’s call on my life.  

Crosspoint helped tons of kids just like me to “get it” and grow in faith in Christ.  Many other campers came to know Christ for the very first time at Crosspoint.  For 24 summers “where the desire to excel athletically and the message of Christ meet” was Crosspoint Christian Sports Camps.  In 2009, we held the last camps to be called “Crosspoint” and made the decision to roll these camps into the CentriKid Camp program.  The world of camps has changed dramatically since 1986, especially the market of sports-related camps.  We saw the attendance of Crosspoint continue to decline while specialty sports camps and college coach-sponsored camps increased.  We also recognized the need that church leaders have… to be able to bring all their kids to a camp with a wide range of activities.

So I felt I should write this post today to do two things: celebrate Crosspoint and revisit why I’m OK with the decision to roll it into CentriKid Camps.

So, celebrate Crosspoint with me today:


And know that I (like many of you) certainly miss the name “Crosspoint” but I am so excited about the ministry of CentriKid Camps and the way God is moving in the hearts of campers, adults, and staffers.  I’m OK with this change because:

  • CentriKid now offers more sports than ever before … almost all the same ones as Crosspoint!
  • CentriKid is the best kids camp option out there … check out our promises.
  • CentriKid is able to focus on the needs of a specific age range of campers…from 3rd to 6th grade.
  • FUGE Camps now offer middle-school only weeks at Carson Newman College for those ministers who separate their middle schoolers from high schoolers, and for those groups who used Crosspoint as their middle-school camp.
  • We’ve learned that a large majority of group leaders coming to camp have the responsibility of working with elementary age kids.

I’m excited about the future of CentriKid as a ministry helping make the message of Christ clear to kids and encouraging adults who work in children’s ministry.  We are always listening and learning so we can continue to serve churches well and partner with them to meet the needs of their groups.

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.





2010 Camp Prep 101: The Series

As Group Leaders prepare for camp, we wanna help, so we put together a series called Camp Prep 101.   It ran through Feb & March so here’s a summary of what we’ve covered.


Camp Prep is an essentilal part of preparing for camp.  Contact us anytime you have questions about an idea youi see below:

  1. Know your Rec colors
  2. A New Look at Fundraising
  3. Group Leader Information: The Top 5 “check-it-outs”
  4. Team Assistant Program
  5. Parent Meeting
  6. The Participant Form
  7. Church Group Devotions
  8. Camp Store (click through to see the video)
  9. Participant List
  10. Travel Plans

Comment and let us know if there are other things you want us to talk about as we get ready for camp!


Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.