Spending 13+ years in Youth Ministry I've never been exposed to much of children's ministry until my daughters came around. But now that I am the "Family Guy" at New Life Christian Church, I've been exposed to so much more. In addition, going to Orange '11 this past year and blogging about it all really opened my eyes to the ways of Children's Ministry. I really love this ministry and all the dedicated staff and volunteers that spend countless hours loving children.
One of the new experiences I had over the summer was going to our Children's Ministry Summer Camp for the day to see what happens at a summer camp. Let me just say that it didn't take long for me to become a believer in KidMin summer camp! Here are some of the things I loved about it:
- It was very well organized and structured. Our KidMin Director put a lot of time and effort into making it special for the students. One of the key differences I found between KidMin and StuMin camp is the structure of the day. At StuMin camp, there was a decent amount of free time in the afternoon for them to do what they wanted. At KidMin camp, there was plenty of time for the students to have fun but it was structured. For example, they did Pool at X time, Games at Y time and Snack bar at Z time. Having that extra bit of structure is good for that age group.
- It was fun. That's right, fun is an important element in any camp...especially KidMin camp. There was a lot of fun there from the pool, game room, afternoon activities. The primary difference between fun at KidMin camp and fun at StuMin camp is that it was more structured fun. For instance, there wasn't "free" time where children could do whatever they wanted during that selected time. Rather, it was structured free time so that they went from one activity for a certain period of time, having fun at each activity. I really thought it was wise to do it this way because if you give a bunch of younger children "free" time, they won't know what to do with it. It could be really chaotic. This way, they had lots of fun and knew exactly what to do and when to do it.
- Christ is proclaimed. A lot of what happened down at camp each and every day was rooted in Bible. Whether it was a game or a lesson or a group challenge, the students were challenged constantly throughout each and every day. That's the most important aspect. Not only did they have plenty of "bible time" but they had it structured in great ways where the students were encouraged to learn.
Overall, I thought this camp was a great idea and I hope it is something we plan on doing for many more years. What about you? Do you do a KidMin summer camp? If so, what do you do and how do you structure it? If you don't, why not?
TAKE A MINUTE right now and think about next summer. I know we just got done with one, but what would it take for you to do a KidMin camp next summer? Take some time to jot down some initial thoughts and maybe even hold a brainstorming session with some other staffers and/or volunteers to start thinking about what you could do. Whether you are a big church or small church, let nothing stop you from thinking about the possibilities and dreaming big. After all, nothing is impossible with Christ
Thoughts, questions, comments or concerns, post one so that we can process and discuss.
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