Archive for March, 2014

2014 CentriKid Prep #7: Track Times

First, check out why we think Track Times are so great! 2014 will be a big year for Track Times at CentriKid. It will be important to pay close attention to your Group Leader Information for your Track options and watch for some videos coming soon on the blog to tell you more about our new Tracks.

This year will are rolling out a new track time called “Build It”. We think this will be a great indoor track, especially for boys looking to escape the summer heat. This track focuses on construction, innovation, and implementation of fun building designs. Campers will be apprentices to the track leader throughout the week and will have the opportunity to win awards for the best designs.

To capitalize on the features of CentriKid camp locations with outdoor adventure and water activities we are providing Blast and Adventure Track options. The following locations have one or both of these track options. Make sure you check it out in the Group Leader Information, pages 4 & 5. Some Adventure and Blast track options cost money, so make sure you come to camp prepared.

Linden Valley

Shocco Springs (not weekend camp)

Trinity Pines

Jenness Park

Timber Creek

Timber Creek Weekend Camp

Make sure you fill out your Track Time cards before camp so you can turn in the cards at Check In. It can be difficult to get all your kids together before camp to fill these out. A great idea we hear from some churches is to fill out the cards on the bus ride to camp. Ultimately, we are excited for all our Tracks and having the opportunity to build relationships with your kids during Track A, B, & C.

Summer IMB Missions Project: One Cup of Water

Each year at CentriKid we have two mission emphasis. Last week you read about our local mission partnership. One Cup of Water  is our global mission partner through the IMB. This project is uniquely designed to partner with children ministries. We will be discussing One Cup of Water during Bible study, programming elements, and we want to equip our church group leaders with information about the project.

This project is focusing on meeting the physical needs of villages in South Asia in an effort to make gospel connections with the villages. The statistics of people without clean water are staggering. However, this project recognizes clean water is not merely a social justice effort, but more so it is a means through which the gospel can go forth.

This year while taking your missions offering your group can visualize specifics on how you money will be used. One Cup of Water gives a breakdown of how much money it takes to buy equipment for their ministry.

  • New well = $555
  • New pump cylinders = $280
  • New pump handle = $10
  • New pump head = $40

Even now you can start getting your kids excited about raising money for a new well, pump cylinder, handle or head. Check out One Cup of Water’s website to find more specifics about the culture, geography and description of the project. Also, you can find ideas to personalize the project to your children’s ministry through games and activities.

Also as you prepare join us in beginning to pray for One Cup of Water. Below are their specific prayer requests.

  • Pray for One Cup of Water survey team
  • Living and working conditions are harsh
  • Language barrier is real and makes work difficult
  • The work is urgent to get clean water to villages

2014 CentriKid Prep #6: Housing, Participant Lists, and Final Balances

Spring is here, and you know what that means, right? It is ALMOST time for Camp! As you get more and more excited about your week of CentriKid this summer, remember there are a few things you have to do two weeks before camp.

1. Send in your participant list to your Director and Assistant Director. Email your participant list (download here) to our camp email address (found in Group Leader Information or on the location page). Be sure to include correct male and female numbers (including sponsors) and let us know if there are specific campers who do or do not need to be in the same Bible study group. If you have these numbers nailed down before two weeks out, we will gladly accept them!  We can’t do housing until we receive this. If your church has a special housing policy, please notify us as early as possible.  CentriKid will work to honor requests based on your church’s policies or special mobility/medical needs.  Accommodations are made to the best of the venue’s abilities within normal room occupancy but some housing situations may require bringing in an extra mattress or cot.  At CentriKid, It is urged that one adult not be alone in a room or isolated situation with an unrelated minor.

2. Pay your final balance.  . If your final balance is not paid, your group will be charged a one-time $75 late fee. Call us at 1-877-CAMP123 about auto-pay options for LifeWay accounts or to put your balance on a credit card.  You can also make payments online.

We hope you are getting just as excited as we are about CentriKid Camps!  If you have any questions about housing, participant lists and paying your final balance, do not hesitate to let us know!





5 Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Kids

Sharing the gospel with kids is why we do what we do. Since we believe the gospel is so important, we spend a large amount of time making sure that we are stewarding the truth of the gospel responsibly. Here are a few tips that we have learned over the years in sharing the gospel with kids.

  1. TELL YOUR STORY One of the most effective ways to share the gospel with kids is to simply tell your salvation story. Make sure that you thoughtfully plan out which pieces to include or exclude, and be sure to explain difficult words or concepts that kids do not understand. In addition, incorporate and use Scripture in your story. (Ex. “When I was six years old, I learned that I am a sinner and that I break God’s laws. I knew this because Romans 3:23 says ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.'”) Most kids trust the validity of your testimony, but when you incorporate Scripture, you are also appealing to the authority and the validity of God’s word.
  2. ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS When sharing or counseling with a kid, always begin by asking a lot of open-ended questions. This step is very important because it allows kids to articulate their thoughts, and it allows you to gauge the level of understanding. Everyone laughs and jokes about the “raise your hand if you want to go to heaven” faux pas, but we think that saying, “Sin is when we break God’s laws. You understand that, right?” can be equally detrimental. Instead, ask questions such as “What do you understand about sin?” If it becomes clear that a kid doesn’t understand some of the gospel essential concepts, don’t push him or her. Some kids are simply not ready to make a decision to follow Christ, and that’s okay.
  3. SHARE THE WHOLE TRUTH I’ve often been frustrated by hearing watered down or incomplete gospel presentations, and many times I hear the excuse, “Kids simply aren’t ready for that deeper stuff.” I believe that Paul is very clear when he says, “As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!” (Galatians 1:6). At the end of the day, I believe there are very few biblical concepts that kids are unready to hear. The challenge comes in sharing these concepts on their level. We have to work very hard explain deep biblical truth in language and on a level that kids can understand. More often than not, the real excuse is not that kids are unready but that we are unwilling to do the hard work. Spend time preparing well so that you can rightly divide the word of truth.
  4. TRUST THE HOLY SPIRIT We have a responsibility to faithfully proclaim the message, but praise God that we are not required to change lives! Always remember that when you share God’s truth, the Holy Spirit is at work to help give understanding, to convict of sin, and to draw others to Himself. Spend time in prayer and be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.
  5. USE AVAILABLE TOOLS There are many tools available that help make your job of explaining truth easier. One tool that we use at camp is The Gospel: God’s Plan for Me booklet. At the end of the day, though, remember that the only tool you really need is the word of God. Make sure that you always have your Bible handy and use it when you share truth with kids.

I hope you’ll find these tips useful in your ministry, and I’m looking forward to another amazing summer of sharing the gospel with kids at camp! It’s not too late to join us for this summer. I hope to see you at camp!

Henry Dutton

Henry received a MA in Christian Studies and a BA in English, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

2014 CentriKid Prep #5: Pre-Camp Planning

Planning for camp is part of the process, but it takes more than just arranging for transportation. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by creating a “parent packet” that is downloadable and printable, but also included in Group Leader Information for your specific camp location.

Some churches have multiple meetings leading up to camp, while others have just one or two. You can make the best decision for your group, but a few things to consider including in your parent meetings are:

  • vision for the week – be sure to cast vision for parents about why you believe taking kids to camp is the right thing. Share with them from your experience about how kids grow through milestone experiences like the week of camp.
  • how you will be getting to camp and how you will be returning home. Include lunch plans, times to drop off/pick up their camper, etc.
  • camp address for letters from home (found on page 4 of the Group Leader Information for your camp location)
  • Camp Store Options: Collect photo and DVD orders ($6/group pic, $30/End of the Week DVD) and new for 2014, parents can send money with you to purchase a camp store card for their child.  There is still time to pre-order Camper Care Packages for this summer!
  • ask parents to bring a copy of their insurance card to submit with the completed release form for each camper.
  • arrange for a notary to attend the meeting so release forms can be notarized. Only one form needs to be notarized for CentriKid, and a 2nd copy is kept by the group leader. Make sure every participant has one, even sponsors.
  • Print or email the Parent Packet (also included within Group Leader Information) so parents can know what to expect.
  • Check Group Leader Information for your camp location for other specifics to cover … some locations require additional health screening forms or Child Protection Training for adult sponsors.

Here are 3 Keys to Success for Planning the Camp Roadtrip:

  1. The next step to planning your road trip is to plan out your route to camp ahead of time. Plan your stops and breaks before getting on the road.
  2. Another step to planning the road trip is to have a plan if your bus or van breaks down.  As some of you may know and have learned the hard way, church vans are famous for breaking down on the way to camp.  It is always best to over prepare!  Have a plan set just in case.
  3. Once you arrive at camp, make sure to let your camper’s parents know that you have arrived safely. Get their numbers ahead of time. If you have texting, you could send them all a group text to let them know you have arrived and to give them updates throughout the week!

BONUS TIP – Be sure to clearly communicate with parents about when to pick up their kids after camp. At the end of the week, I never want to be the leader hanging out in the parking lot waiting on the last couple of kids to get picked up an hour after everybody else has gone.

Our team is hear to help anytime if there are questions you don’t see answers to.  Contact any of us and we’ll be happy to take care of you.  Our goal is to make it easier to get to camp, not harder.

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.





Seek Strength and Inspiration at 2014 KMC

We’ve all had those days. We’ve all had those weeks. It seems that no matter how hard you try to make things different, by the time you wake up, get ready for the day and make it to the office, you feel that there is no more gas left in the tank. You feel alone, tired, and worn out. And it’s only Monday!

Yes, we’ve all been there. It is in those moments we need to find inspiration and encouragement in our life. In those moments, it’s vital that we remember and dwell the words of scripture. In John 15:16, Jesus says “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” Wow! What an amazing passage – that God would choose people like us and that He desires that we bear fruit abundantly! As we seek after God’s desires and as He reveals Himself in the scriptures, we begin to understand our purpose and we begin to rekindle the hope that we should have in Christ. Those are the things we should remember to give us the inspiration and encouragement we need.

Another great way to find inspiration is to come together as brothers and sisters in Christ. When we come together, we get to share one another’s burdens, we can share laughter together, and we can know that our struggles are not ours alone. That is exactly why highly encourage you to join us for KMC this October! And if you register before March 15, you get to bring a volunteer with you for 50% off…that’s over $100 in savings! What a great experience to share with your entire kids ministry team?! Maybe you have 3 on your staff that want to come to KMC? Register all 3 and get 3 spots for volunteers at 50% off. It’s that easy! Take advantage of this limited time offer by visiting our website and register today! Use the Promo Code: KMCVOLUNTEER14 to receive this special, limited time offer.

Andy Dukes

Andy serves as Event Coordinator for LifeWay Kids. He graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky. He served on summer staff (Crosspoint & CentriKid) for 7 summers and moved full-time at LifeWay in 2008. Andy's wife, Meghan, is a 2nd grade teacher and they attend Redeemer Church in Hendersonville, TN where he serves both on the worship team and also as a community group leader.





Help Us Find Great Bands to Lead Worship at CentriKid

We are looking for great bands to come and lead worship at CentriKid this summer. Do you know a band in your church or community that might be a great fit for CentriKid? We are looking for bands that simply have a heart to lead kids and students to the Lord and provide an opportunity for people to worship God. The camp experience is unlike anything that kids experience throughout the year in their church, and we desire to provide great worship for all who come to CentriKid!

If you know of people we should talk to, contact our recruiter, Andy Dukes. He’d love to connect with them directly to talk about the possibility of leading worship at CentriKid!


CentriKid is a 5 day, 4 night camp for 3rd - 6th graders to experience the time of their lives and learn more about the message of Jesus Christ!

2014 CentriKid Prep #4: Spiritual Focus

In case you haven’t heard, the 2014 CentriKid Theme is Reset: God Redeems! Our 2014 Spiritual Focus is all about God’s faithful love and abundant redemption.

This summer, campers will be learning about the incredible story of how God redeems started when He created the world. When we sinned, it was “game over,” but God “reset” our story with the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. In 2014, campers will learn what it means to be redeemed by God. They will discover how God’s redemption resets our hope of eternal life with Him, by providing forgiveness of sin, and making a way for us to be with Him forever!

The Key Verse this summer is Psalm 130:7: “Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with Him is redemption in abundance.”

Here are the Daily Themes campers will be studying at camp:

Day 1: God Reaches down to redeem us- Campers will learn about the first sin of Adam and Eve and how that affects us today. We will take a look at how because of sin, we are in need of God’s redemption. From the very beginning, people have sinned and have needed God to redeem them.

Day 2: God rescues from captivity- God rescued the Israelites from captivity in Egypt. We will study the story of Passover and make the connection between the Passover
and the sacrifice Jesus made for us to rescue us from sin. What God did for the Israelites helps us know Jesus came to rescue us from slavery to sin.

Day 3: God reconciles through Jesus- We will learn about how we are redeemed because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Campers will learn the only way we can be redeemed of our sins is through Jesus.

Day 4: God restores for a purpose- On this day, we will study the story in Mark of the paralyzed man who was physically healed and forgiven of his sins to glorify God. Campers will learn God restores us for for a purpose and how we should live because of the redemption we experience.

Day 5: God reaches out through us – Campers will learn that God can use us to help restore someone else. As people who have been redeemed, we should not keep this to ourselves.

Don’t forget to check out the pre-camp devotions to do with campers before the summer. These devotions will help prepare your campers and get them even more excited about the summer than they already are!

Spiritual Growth and Spiritual Maturity

Our interview season for this camp year is over. During the past 5 months I have throughly enjoyed getting to know new applicants and hearing their stories. One of the things that we do our best to gauge during an interview is spiritual maturity. We always ask several questions related to spiritual maturity, but 2 of my favorites are below:

“Is anyone intentionally pouring into you or mentoring you?”

“Are you intentionally pouring into anyone or mentoring anyone?”

These two things are definitely markers of spiritual maturity. Ephesians 4 tells us that Christ has gifted the members of his body with gifts so that we can train one another, build one another up, and do the work of His ministry. As children of God, we should be using our gifts to pour into others, and other members of the body should be pouring into us.

One of my friends and mentors, Derek Webster, recently taught on spiritual maturity and spiritual growth. He identified the following levels of spiritual maturity:

Infancy –  focused on obedience to Christ / the danger in this stage is ignoring God’s commands
Marry Me –  focused on love for the Savior / the danger in this stage is developing shallow roots
Parenting – focused on learning and Bible knowledge / the danger in this stage is legalism
Accept – focused on grace / the danger in this stage is apathy
Character – focused on deep character change / the danger in this stage is hypocrisy
Truth – focused on dedication / the danger in this stage is comfort

Derek explained that most Christians normally progress vertically through these stages, but it is also common to revisit each stage at different points along the Christian journey. Derek encouraged me to identify my level of spiritual maturity and think about what steps I needed to take to continue growing. (To learn more about Derek’s ministry, click here.)

Today, I want to challenge you to do the same. Think about your level of maturity. What steps do you need to take to continue growing in Christ? Also, think about my first two questions. Is anyone pouring into you? If not, you need someone to fill this role in your life. Take active steps to find a mentor. Also, do you have anyone that you are intentionally pouring into? If not, diligently seek someone in whom you can invest.

None of us will ever “arrive,” but all of us should take steps to become more and more like our Savior.

 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head —Christ. Eph. 4:15

Henry Dutton

Henry received a MA in Christian Studies and a BA in English, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.

2014 CentriKid Prep #3: Recruit Adult Sponsors

As you continue preparing for an amazing week at CentriKid Camps, one of the things you will need to do is recruit adult sponsors. Finding adults to meet the 1:5 ratio can be a struggle. Churches tell us all the time that it is particularly difficult to find male adults. Here are a few tips to make your job easier:

1. Show a promo video during the announcement portion of your service. (We make the Peach videos for kids, but adults love them, too!) Generating excitement about camp is one way to get adults interested in helping out.

2. Take time to explain the role of adults at camp. Adult sponsors watch over kids in the dorm buildings and at meals, but during the day, CentriKid staffers take care of all the details of camp. All of our camp locations have internet access, and there are opportunities for adults to find a quiet place or go back to their rooms work (or take a nap). If some of your male adults understand that they will have opportunities to take care of work, it might make them more apt to volunteer.

3. Mention Adult Gathering. We want everyone that comes to CentriKid to have a life-changing encounter with Christ, and that includes adults. Every morning after I Can’t Wait, the Camp Director or Camp Pastor will lead adults in a time of worship and Bible study that is designed specifically for them. We always hear that this is a very meaningful time.

4. Talk about OMC! OMC is the greatest game ever created! Who doesn’t want to be a part of the fun?! There is a place for every adult to get involved and have fun in the game. If you have adults that want to be in the heart of the action, send them to the No Fly Zone, or if you have adults that prefer to stand on the outskirts and watch the chaos unfold, we have a place for them, too.

5. Recruit Team Assistants. The Team Assistant Program is an option designed to give your most-trusted high school juniors and seniors or young college students a behind-the-scenes look at being a camp staffer while they act as a sponsor for your church group. Middle school students and high schoolers who are not at least rising juniors may not participate. For more information about the program, click here.

I hope these tips will make your recruiting season a little easier. We are looking forward to seeing you at camp.

Henry Dutton

Henry received a MA in Christian Studies and a BA in English, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He began working for CentriKid in 2008 and joined the office team in 2012.