A staffer’s first summer serving with CentriKid can be pretty intimidating. You often feel inadequate for your position because you’ve never done anything like this before. I remember this feeling very well. I recall being incredibly nervous leading up to training week, because I really didn’t know how to prepare besides reading the staff notebook and praying constantly. Here a few things (funny and serious) I wish I would have known before my fist summer of CentriKid:
5. I wish I would have begun incorporating calf exercises into my workouts. If you’ve been to camp, you know how much the staff jump and dance around. My legs were so sore after my first I Can’t Wait! So, bust out those weights and begin doing your calf raises.
4. I wish I would have begun dressing identically to others around me. Nothing is more embarrassing as a staffer than walking in to morning staff meeting wearing Tuesday’s staff shirt on Thursday. Before you leave for camp, make sure you ask others that they’re wearing, and you wear the same.
3. I wish I would have begun giving high-5s to strangers. It can be quite intimidating at camp to run up to every person you see, give them a high-5, and ask them how their day is going. My bit of advice, practice make perfect!
2. I wish I would have asked others to repeat everything I said. At camp, we are always asking campers repeat what we say because it helps gain their attention and engage them in the group. As you’re preparing for camp, I suggest asking for friends and family to repeat short concise phrases during your daily conversations to make sure they are paying attention.
1. ON A SERIOUS NOTE: I wish I would have known how to explain the Gospel to kids. Understanding is necessary to our faith, but understanding can only take you so far with kids. You really have to know how to communicate the Gospel in such a way that kids understand. It can be difficult to present the Gospel in a clear way because children are such concrete thinkers. I would suggest approaching the Gospel from a child-like perspective. Practice being clear and concise with your explanation, know the taboo phrases that can confuse kids, and know that it is perfectly okay if a child just isn’t ready to accept Christ.
So My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.—Isaiah 55:11 HCSB
Jessica Herrell served in the CentriKid office.