We are so excited to bring back Camper Care Packages back to CentriKid this summer! We have a great collection of items that will get you ready for camp. In the Camper Care Package this year we will have a backpack, OMC shirt, water bottle, sunglasses, water bottle, eye black, luggage tag, and a color team bracelet. This is a $40 value for only $30! Take a look at the photo for a sneak peek of the items included in the package!
Pre-orders for Camper Care Packages are due on June 1st in order to guarantee the colors and sizes of the items. You can click here to go ahead and get those pre-orders in! We are also bringing back camp store cards! Parents can get them in increments of $5, $25, or $50 for their kids to spend in the CentriKid Camp Store. Remember, these camp store cards are only good in the camp store, not for any other stores at your camp location.
We can’t wait to see you in the camp store this summer!
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!
For many kids going to camp is a tradition every summer. There are inside jokes, funny stories, and things that they look forward doing year after year. Many of these kids have grown up in church and have incredible parents who talk to them about Jesus and encourage them in their faith. Yet, there is another type of child that is in our ministry and that comes to camp. They are spiritual orphans. These are the kids that do not have the name of Jesus spoken in their home and they do not have a spiritual influence in their home. The time spent at your church might be the only time they hear about Jesus and the gospel.
So how can we reach these kids? Camp is an excellent way to introduce Jesus to these kids. These types of kids most of the time do not understand church rules. Being still and quiet to listen to a a bible story or to pray is a foreign concept. But at camp we are allowed to run around, play games, and get covered in shaving cream. These kids will be able to encounter Christ in a completely different way. They will be immersed in a safe environment with other kids and staffers who will show them so much love.
The week of camp may be the only week out of the year that these spiritual orphans are able to hear about the love of Jesus. At CentriKid, we love to invest in kids and make this the very best week of the year for them. If there is a scholarship available for another kid to come to camp, think about those spiritual orphans that are in your community. Think of the impact CentriKid could have on these kids if they could spend a week with your church group at camp. As camp approaches, think of some kids that you might be able to invite to come to camp next summer. We know that it could be a life-changing week, and we pray that no one leaves camp without a life-changing encounter with Christ!
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!
REASONS TO NOT BE A CENTRIKID ADULT SPONSOR
Don’t make me say I told you so…
1. There is no reason to take off work and enjoy time outdoors.
2. At camp there is no diet, so you may have to eat unlimited ice cream.
3. Playing with the water hose is no fun in the summer.
4. At camp you have to use so much energy! You end each day exhausted from games, leading kids, and camp exclusive fun.
5. There is no reason to bring your teenager or youth in your church with you as a Team Assistant. They might actually learn something or fall in love with kids ministry.
6. Supporting your kids or the kids in your church is no fun whatsoever.
7. And bringing your kids to camp to worship God is not a very unique experience. It will never leave you inspired to see childlike faith.
8. Forget about quiet times at camp. There is no time for time alone with God.
9. You are asked to play with the kids while you are there.
10. And don’t even dream about getting messy yourself.
11. Because you have to wear clothes you would never wear normally, which is so lame.
12. You may even be asked to color your beard.
13. And different color hair never leads to anything exciting.
14. You never want to get silly with your kids.
15. But most importantly you may have to dive into God’s Word with your kids.
16. And you never want to do that.
17. Never Ever.
Take our word for it. You may have to play games, get silly with your kids, have fun, invest in the children in your life, or experience God if you come to camp.
(Disclaimer…none of this is real! Be sure to tell you adults to come to CentriKid for fun, time with God, excitement, and to build relationshipsw tih their kids!)
A few months ago, a few of us from the CentriKid team took a mini-vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I went expecting to have fun and make memories, but months later, I am still talking about how my mind was blown and how Disney completely exceeded any expectations I had for our trip. Exceeding expectations is one thing the Walt Disney company does best. Millions of people like me step into one of the Disney parks each year expecting a good time, but leave completely in awe at the excellent customer service, attention to detail, and “magic” they just experienced.
I recently just finished a book on this very subject from the Disney Institute: Be Our Guest.
In this book, the Theordore Kimi says:
“At Disney, exceeding guests’ expectations is the standard call of duty. If you study in the Disney theme parks, you can see how that works on myriad occassions each day. It shows up in the willingness of a restaurant hostess to not only provide directions when you are lost but to leave her post to guide you to your destination. It appears at the end of some late-night shopping when the cashier takes the time to find out who you are and where you are staying and recommends the free boat ride back to your hotel and offers a map of the dock..If the little wows are delivered consistently and continuously, they add up to a big WOW!”
As wonderful as Disney world is, it ultimately does not have much of an impact on eternity. The fun and the “magic” don’t have much substance, yet people flock to the park by the millions and millions. This is because all people have expectations, but Disney continues to exceed them.
Unlike Disney, your kids ministry (or any kind of ministry) has eternal impact. Getting Mickey’s autograph cannot compare to making the message of Christ clear to people who come to your church. What you and your church does to expand the kingdom of God is the most important task in the world. People and families in your community are going to come to your church with expectations. If Disney World can exceed expectations, so can we as churches who love Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to find ways to not only meet expectations of guests and current members of your church, but find practical ways to exceed those expectations so they return, train your kids ministry leaders and volunteers, and trust the the Lord will lead your ministry to reach people for Christ through those ways. Ultimately, we should seek to exceed expectations to glorify our God whom we serve.
In what ways can you exceed expectations in your kids ministry to help make the message of Christ clear?
We hope that anyone who comes to CentriKid has their expectations exceeded because of how we strive for excellence, build-life changing relationships, and make camp fun! We always try to improve in these areas and ask ourselves how we can make it better. We do it all to make sure that no one leaves camp without a life-changing encounter with Christ. If you haven’t signed up for CentriKid 2015, there’s still time. Sign up today!
When sitting at the lunch table with kids, I always ask them what their favorite part of camp. About 90% of the time they name one or all of their track times. Kids love tracks, so we do too. Check out our post on why campers love track times. Let’s jump into Camp Prep Series #10: Track Times!
Check out the usual track times and their descriptions on the image to the right (tracks may vary by location). Last year we added a few new tracks to our mix. Build It, Adventure and Blast Tracks were a nice addition to the offering of activities CentriKid provides. The emphasis of the Adventure and Blast were to maximize the fun to be had at some of our conference centers. Zip lines, inner tubes, rock walls, and more are all a part of the offering. These tracks are location specific so make sure you check out your Group Leader Information for details. Build It was found at every location and featured the Rube Goldberg Experiment. Expect new and fun activities from Build It this year.
At the end of the day we want our track times to be phenomenally fun. This means we take time to are beefing up our tracks to be more exciting. Kids who sign up for the baseball track should expect to scrimmage every day while still learning a few basics. At our indoor tracks our experiments will be more interactive and bigger! For example in Weird Science you will get to see a watermelon explode!
Most importantly all the fun is purposeful. Each track has two debriefs a day where our staff will use God’s Word to teach kids something about God. The debriefs take the activities kids love during tracks and put a spiritual application on those activities. This is a great tool to ask kids what they learned during their tracks and have an intentional conversation with them.
Remember to check out your Group Leader Info on your location page.There you will find your location specific tracks on pages 4 and 5. You will want to print off page 5 and have your campers fill these out before you arrive at Check In. Some churches fill these out ahead of time, others on the bus ride to camp, and you always have the option to have our CentriKid Staff lead your kids through the process of filling out their track time cards.
If you have any last minute questions about tracks email your team’s gmail account found on your location page. We cannot wait to have you at camp this summer!
Check out these others posts in our 2015 Camp Prep Series:
This summer we have so many exciting things planned for kids and adults but it is so important to prepare our hearts for the truth that we will delve into during FIT:Faith in Training. As we prepare to teach campers the importance of reading scripture, prayer, giving, and christian community we need to make sure that we have a firm grasp of our spiritual lives before we lead campers to experience it for themselves.
It can sometimes be overwhelming or disconcerting to evaluate your prayer life or how often you spend time alone with God, but it is so important to take time to reflect on your relationship with God. As leaders in your kids ministry, you must lead by example. If we want our kids and volunteers to read the bible, give cheerfully, and pray we need to be doing those things well in our own lives. Take a moment to think about all that God has done in your life and what you are doing in response to the grace that He has provided for you.
Being a part of a community of believers to encourage you and hold you accountable is vitally important. We are always stronger together. And remember, perfection is not the goal. We will not always do everything right; we are in the process of transformation, we have not achieved it. Being willing to be transparent in your walk with the Lord with your community can be one of the most important things we can do.
Albert Einstein once said “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” If we are not knowledgeable about God’s word, prayer, giving, or christian community we will not be able to speak into the lives of others regarding those things. Getting FIT for this summer requires leading by example and practicing what you preach.
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!
The team assistant program began to help church leaders bring more adults to camp. Over the years we have grown our program to more than we even imagined it would ever become. Team assistants are a valued part of the CentriKid programming: the kids benefit from positive role models, group leaders have more possibilities for adult sponsors, and the CentriKid Staff is always thankful for the extra help. Many of our current staffers (and even office team) were once Team Assistants!
Check out this video about Team Assistants for a broad overview about the program.
You can find out more about the team assistant program on page 9 of your Group Leader information. Remember the Team Assistant Program is an option for your most trusted high school juniors and seniors or college aged students. Middle school and high school students who are not at least a rising junior are not allowed to serve in this position. If you are interested in bringing team assistants make sure you add them to your participant lists as a team assistant. We love partnering with you in ministry and cannot wait to have Team Assistants join us this summer.