Posts Tagged ‘Parents’

2017 Camper Care Packages

We are so excited to bring Camper Care Packages back to CentriKid this summer! We have a great collection of items that will get you ready for camp. There are some awesome favorites that are coming back, and some new fun items as well! In the Camper Care Package this year we will have:

  • a backpack
  • OMC shirt,
  • water bottle
  • eye black
  • flash light
  • a color team bracelet
  • a missions bracelet

This is a $39 value for only $30!

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. All camper care packages can be paid for on the first day of camp at check-in via cash, check, or credit card. Make sure you get your CentriKid gear and represent during Rec, Bible Study, and OMC!

We can’t wait to see you in the camp store this summer!

Tiffany Francis

Tiffany graduated from Georgetown College with a degree in communication and media studies, and received her Master's Degree from Murray State. She has been with Lifeway Kids since 2010 and joined the camp team in 2014 where she works on Bible Study, the camp store, and many other elements.

Camp Resources: The Parent Packet!

As camp draws closer, we’re sure that meetings are being held, deposits are being paid, and questions are being asked. To equip Group Leaders and to prepare parents sending their children to camp, this year we’ve made a document just for parents!

The Parent Packet is a great overview and introduction of CentriKid for parents who are sending their kids to camp this summer. The packet includes:

  • Daily CentriKid schedule
    • Parents will be able to see an overview of what their kids will be doing each camp day. This is a great touchpoint for parents to have as they talk to their children about the days at CentriKid!
  • This summer’s theme overview
    • Adventure Awaits: Following the One, True Light
  • Camper packing lists
    • This is great when helping kids decide what to pack and what not to pack for their time at CentriKid!
  • Camp Store information
    • Find a group order form, prices for various Camp Store items, and a summary about our CentriKid Camp Store.
  • FAQ’s
  • Parent meeting notes page
  • Participant Form
    • This form, completed, is required for each camper and adult who attends CentriKid. Parents shouldn’t leave pre-camp meetings without this!

Group Leaders, be sure to get these in the hands of your parents as you prepare for camp! You can find the Parent Packet by going to your camp location page at or download them here:

Can’t wait to see you at camp this summer!

Meg Brown

Meg started working camp in 2013 and joined the office team in 2016. She received her degree in Educational Ministry and Public Relations from Campbellsville University. She has served as a Bible Study leader, Assistant Director, and Camp Director. Meg leads in Track Times and Group Leader Information for camp 2017. In addition to camp, Meg loves playing tennis, reading books, and spending time outdoors.





Preparing for CentriKid 2017

Camp will be here so soon! We are so excited to teach campers about following the one true light. There will be so much fun, learning and excitement this summer, and here are a few things that will help you be prepared for:

Be Informed: The first thing you need to know is that Group Leader Information is here. All you need to do is click on the location that you will be attending. There is a lot of information here for the Group Leader to share with the parents and other volunteers attending camp. Make sure to read through all the info, especially if you are going to a new location or are new to CentriKid. And once you get everyone to camp, our staff will be ready to take care of everything else!

Plan a Meeting: Now that you have read through all of Group Leader Information it is time to schedule a parent meeting. Make sure that all parents have the Parent Packet so that they will be familiar the schedule and understand more about CentriKid. Make sure to tell them about ordering photos, DVDs and camper care packages. And check out our promotional resources here to get everyone excited about camp.

Keep Fundraising: You have paid your deposits, but keep fundraising to help parents with the rest of the funds for camp. Plan a bake sale, a spaghetti dinner or check out this blog to get more ideas on fundraising tips. We want to make sure that any kid that wants to come to camp has a chance to be there.

If you are a new church, take a look at this video below to get a better idea of what to expect as you prepare and when you get to camp. And returning churches, take a look for a great refresher! We can’t wait to see you at CentriKid this summer!

Tiffany Francis

Tiffany graduated from Georgetown College with a degree in communication and media studies, and received her Master's Degree from Murray State. She has been with Lifeway Kids since 2010 and joined the camp team in 2014 where she works on Bible Study, the camp store, and many other elements.





Pre-Camp Meetings – Use Your 60

On social media, you’ve probably seen us mention #UseYour60 and we wrote a blog about it too.  This is the heart of CentriKid, equipping adults and children’s ministry leaders to make the very most of their week of camp.  We provide detailed Group Leader Information, so download that for your week of camp (its found on your camp location-specific page).

Making every moment count can apply to your pre-camp meetings.  Don’t just use your meetings as informational meetings, use them as an opportunity to invest in the families who are trusting you with their child at camp.

  1. Relieve fears – especially those who are going away for the first time, or those parents who will be sending a camper away from home for the first time.
  2. Answer questions – you can prepare for some of these things, but leave time to answer questions about what the camp experience will be like, housing and roommates, when to pick up and drop off from the church.
  3. Explain safety – let parents know about your plans to monitor kids through the week, whether its a buddy system or having a leader from your group assigned to small groups of kids.
  4. Convey that camp is more than just fun and games – Share the spiritual direction for the week, begin teaching kids (and their parents) the key verse John 8:12.
  5. Set your clocks – Let parents know that worship is 7 to 8 PM, and they can pray for kids during that hour each night of camp… Knowing that they will be hearing from God’s word and hearing about the gospel.
  6. Make a packing list – Have parents send their camper with a Bible and pen. Like last year there will be notes pages for worship inside the camper nametags.  Talk about OMC and encourage them to label everything that goes to camp with the camper’s name.

In the pre-camp meetings with parents, pray for the upcoming camp trip and what God is doing in the lives of these families.

BONUS – Follow-up after the meeting with kids or parents who may have more questions. Your extra investment could go a long ways towards ensuring success for each camper.  Encourage those who have never been away from home before to have a trial run by spending a couple nights away from mom and dad with a friend or a grandparent’s house.

We believe God can work in the lives of kids in a powerful way when they are away at camp and we want every camper to be successful at camp.  Your pre-camp meetings will be a great opportunity to communicate information and your heart for ministry at 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.





5 tips to help parents lead kids spiritually

Your role is important in the development of kids who seek the Lord, but its not designed to be the only spiritual leadership that kids get.  In conversations at camp this summer, a lot of kids ministry leaders expressed the feeling that parents just expect them to handle the spiritual training of kids.  Here are 5 tips to help parents lead kids spiritually.

  1. Challenge parents to have a plan for reading the Bible with their kids.  This can be a planned devotion book on a subject or it could simply be reading a chapter in the Bible each night.  Sometimes in our home, we re-visit the Sunday lesson by reading it again in the Bible or re-reading it in another format like the Jesus Storybook Bible.
  2. Use curriculum apps in the classroom to equip parents to follow-up on the lesson from church.  Encourage parents to use an app to re-watch video from Sunday’s lesson or do an activity.  This will help parents ask something other than “did you have fun” after church and it will also get kids back in context of the lesson so their memory is jogged to answer questions about the lesson.
  3. Share articles or podcasts that you encounter.  Sometimes it may benefit all parents in your group to read about a topic, or other times you may can provide a specific article to a family with a particular question.  Here are some good episodes to share with families from 3 of my favorite sources:
    1. Kids Ministry 101 blog
      1. Praying Through the School Year
      2. Calling All Dads
    2. LifeWay Kids Podcast
      1. When Are Kids Old Enough to Hear That Jesus Died on a Cross?
      2. Family Worship
      1. A Note to Parents About Discipleship
      2. How to Help Kids Understand Baptism
      3. The Levels of Biblical Learning
  4. Provide milestone experiences for kids and parents.  Getting parents involved as leaders, helpers, or supporters at VBS, kids camp, retreats, and other service opportunities will have an impact that lasts long past the event.  Find intentional ways for parents and kids to be together and then provide catalysts for conversation … you don’t always have to create the special moment, just provide a situation where it can happen.
  5. Invest quality time with parents in your ministry.  Do coffee, have lunch, or just check-in with parents.  Your investment and your personal attention may be the spark that helps a parent re-ignite their fire to lead their kids spiritually in the home.  Pray with a parent for their kids.  You will learn of prayer needs and issues you never could have known about if you hadn’t asked.  Your support will mean a ton.  Probably more than you will ever know.

Use your platform to influence parents and kids in your ministry so families grow together and spend time at home talking about the things of God.  This causes deeper learning and can help move Bible lessons from single stories they hear at church to transformational encounters with God’s Word in their homes with their parents.

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.

Recruiting the Orange Team

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:

Ask them!
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!
Play OMC!
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!
Team Assistants!
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!

Isaac Kierstead

Isaac graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Studio Art and Editing and Writing. He started working camp in 2013 and joined the office team in 2014. Isaac designs a lot of the items you’ll see at camp this summer, helps with track development, puts together group leader information and staff manuals. His favorite part of camp is I Can’t Wait and track times.

Group Leader Information 2016

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.

Campbellsville_2GETTING 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. ThCampbellsville Trackse 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 Campbellsville2016_Page_06out 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.

Campbellsville2016_Page_09FOR 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!

Campbellsville2016_Page_13SPECIAL 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!

Isaac Kierstead

Isaac graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Studio Art and Editing and Writing. He started working camp in 2013 and joined the office team in 2014. Isaac designs a lot of the items you’ll see at camp this summer, helps with track development, puts together group leader information and staff manuals. His favorite part of camp is I Can’t Wait and track times.

Help Kids Celebrate the Season

I love Christmas. I love the smell. I love buying gifts for people. I love to decorate. I love to wrap presents. I love to surprise neighbors with small gifts. I love the lights. I love that December is the perfect time to celebrate and I love what we celebrate. December comes with lots to do, a busier than normal schedule, and sometimes some stress. How do we make sure we create special moments for our kids and teach them what we are celebrating? Here are a few practical ideas to make memories in your family or ministry this Christmas and to help kids celebrate the season:

Read. Wrap a book for your kids to open each day. Use this as a time to share a moment with them while they learn about the birth our Savior.

Pick one night a week. Protect this time and use it to do something together. Make a craft, go look at lights while listening to Christmas music, drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie. Do something on this night that is unique to the season. Encourage families in your ministry to do this by sending them home with something to talk about or an activity to do related to what they learned on Sunday.

December Daily. Make a book and let your kids document something fun they did everyday in December. It’s not too late! These have become a tradition in our family. I make one every year and each December we pull them out and look at the last few years. This is a fun way to remember fun things you did and of course see the growth and change from one year to the next.

Read the Christmas story from the Bible. This one seems obvious but I think sometimes we over look it. No matter the age of your children or the children you are ministering to, they need to hear it. Read it, sing about it, act it out, and tell it as you move characters around in your nativity scenes. This is the reason we celebrate and can be a seed planted in your child’s heart that can lead to other conversations throughout the year.

Pass it on. Give hope to someone. As a family or as a Sunday school class, let your kids brainstorm something they could do for someone else. Let them come up with the idea and talk about why we should show kindness and serve others.

Don’t let the busyness of this season steal your joy and the opportunity to make it special for your own kids or the kids in your ministry. Pray now that this holiday season will have deeper meaning for your ministry. We at CentriKid pray that this holiday season will create times for intentional conversation, opportunities to serve others, and some special memories for your families and ministries.

About the Guest Blogger:

IMG_6927Emily Echols lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she coaches high school softball and teaches private softball lessons with young girls. Originally from Texas, she has been involved with education and coaching for over 10 years. Emily loves being a mommy to Madison (4 years old) and wife to CentriKid team leader, Jeremy (their 14 year anniversary is tomorrow!).


Vincent Thomas

Vincent started working camp in 2012 and joined the office team in 2015. He received his degree from Peidmont College in Georgia. Vincent has served as a Bible Study leader, Recreation Leader, and a Camp Director. Vincent oversees all things Recreation which your kids will experience at camp this summer. In addition to CentriKid, Vincent helps develop the ETCH Conference and VBS Preview Events.

The Role of Kids Ministers in Spiritual Formation

There are so many roles parents pay “specialists” to fill outside the home. Things like music lessons, sports training, and after-school tutoring – but there is also a tendency for this mindset to apply to spiritual growth and discipleship too. Many kids ministry leaders that I’ve spoken to this past summer have expressed how they feel the expectation to handle the spiritual formation of kids while they are at church.

The role of kids ministers in spiritual formation at the church is important, but discipleship happens best when parents lead spiritually.

Parents need to hear this … yes. But kids ministry leaders cannot just sit back, fold their arms, and bemoan the fact that parents aren’t getting the memo. Church leaders have to understand and identify their function in spiritual formation of kids under their care.

3 Roles of Kids Ministers in Spiritual Formation

  1. stand-in — You must sometimes stand in the gap to fill that role for kids with no home support. In every community there are broken families and unreached families. The way to reach these families may be through your role of spiritual investment in the kids, who will go home and talk with mom & dad about what they are learning.
  2. cheerleader — There are families who may be under your care who excel at discipling their kids. Find every opportunity to encourage them for choosing to talk about the things of God with their children, and you may even see ways to partner them with other young parents who are hungry to grow in spiritual leadership with their kids. These families deserve your encouragement and affirmation, but you can still be available to them as a resource for conversations they are having with their children.
  3. catalyst — Most often, I believe you’ll encounter families with a general idea that they should be doing something at home, but lack the vision, drive, or discipline to do it. These families are in danger, and they need your influence to help spur them towards spiritual growth. They are at risk of raising “cultural christians” instead of disciples. Don’t get discouraged – they won’t always “get it.” But seek out new ways to encourage and challenge them to lead their kids with an investment of their hearts, their words, and their time at home.

The role of kids ministers in spiritual formation cannot be overstated … you have been called by the Lord to shepherd families in your community. Know that shepherding different ones will look differently -but all of these families can benefit from your time and investment.

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.

Taking Camp Lessons to School

The new school year has started and you are already taking your kids 100 different directions making it hard to remember the lessons that they learned this summer. How can you help your kids remember to be a disciple of Christ when they can’t even remember their lunch? I have been hugely blessed to grow up in a Christian home, so here are a few ways that my parents reminded me and my sisters how to be disciples of Christ. Try applying some of these to your family’s life as you grow in your faith.

1. A Disciple Encounters God Through His Word
My 8th grade sister’s favorite part of the day is lunch because she gets to talk to her friends and also see if mom packed her any surprises! At camp, we learned that a disciple encounters God through His word and that we are supposed to ingest it like food. Every once in a while slip a surprise snack into the lunch bag and write on a simple verse and note on a napkin that your child can read and be encouraged. On the ride home, talk to your child about how they used that verse during the day or how they were able to share it. Make this into a fun game and you will be surprised how fast your kids look forward to getting a Bible verse in their lunch box.

2. A Disciple Embraces God Through Prayer
Getting to school can sometimes be a hectic production of grabbing homework, packing lunches, and being sure all the kids are in the car. Once you are in the car, take time to say a prayer before dropping them off. The peace that comes from praying before you open the doors and start another crazy day will create a firm foundation for your kids. I still remember my dad praying for my oldest sister and I before we jumped out of the car for school and knowing that God was there with me no matter what happened that day.

3. A Disciple Engages with God Through Giving 
As the kids go back to school, be sure that you are staying plugged into your church. We talked about how a disciple can give both their time and talents to Christ. Show your child that Christ is a priority in your life by being at church. You are the example that your kids will follow and when they see you giving your time to God, they will follow.

4. A Disciple Engages with God Through a Christian Community
Friends are a huge part of school and your children’s lives! Be intentional with those friends and their families. The friends your kids have will shape them and it is important that you invest in their friends.Creating a community of families that would hang out together has been a huge part of my walk with Christ. Having that group of Christian men that I could look up to and the support of so many people has encouraged me to grow as a disciple of Christ.

Parents, you are the number one example that your kids will be following. Starting school can be just as daunting a task for you as it is for them. Be sure to take some time to invest in your kids and their spiritual growth as you both grow as disciples of Christ.

Isaac Kierstead

Isaac graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Studio Art and Editing and Writing. He started working camp in 2013 and joined the office team in 2014. Isaac designs a lot of the items you’ll see at camp this summer, helps with track development, puts together group leader information and staff manuals. His favorite part of camp is I Can’t Wait and track times.