When it rains at camp, some places shut down and put in a movie, but we always have a back-up plan and do everything to make sure kids get a great experience despite the weather. Track times or recreation games may have to be adapted, but we still have fun. No matter what adjustments we have to make, we continue to share spiritual applications and make the gospel clear for kids.
At camp in the summer, our camp directors are always watching the local weather, but also watching the weather that is developing and heading their way. A couple of summers ago, one of our camp directors told me,”It’s raining in Jackson .” She then asked me what I thought about the afternoon. I didn’t have any idea what she was talking about — but we were in North Carolina and she saw that it was raining in Jackson, TN and headed our direction later. We still use that phrase, “its raining in Jackson” to reference planning ahead.
We try to anticipate as many things as we can and prepare for them. In your church’s ministry, you can also prepare for a “rainy day” so you don’t have to shut down your kids program just because of something unexpected coming up. Give kids the best experience possible – and above all, make sure you communicate the message of Christ.
- when planning outdoor events, know what your options are for heading indoors.
- keep band-aids and headache medicine in your bag at all times. These may prove helpful for kids or volunteers.
- have a bag of tricks for when “big-church” goes longer than planned and you have to keep the kids for parents to pick them up.
- make sure your contacts/calendar/notes/plans are backed up somewhere other than just your phone. If your phone takes a plunge, then you need to be able to function!
- schedule your most important tasks early if you can. As the day goes on, there’s more opportunity for the unexpected to happen.
- keep a gospel tract in your Bible so its handy whenever the opportunity arises to share the message of Christ with a child or parent.
- on a longer timeline, develop young leaders because you never know when a key volunteer will take a new job, get pregnant, or be called to serve in another area.
It pays to think things through before a crisis hits. You never know what’s around the corner, but don’t let that make you paranoid, just train yourself to anticipate possible challenges, be prepared, and have a plan b!