By Ben Trueblood
Summer camp can be an important event in the lives of students each year. Attending camp gives them the opportunity to get away from the normal day-to-day issues of life and focus for an extended period of time, with other believers, on what God has for them. Often, this starvation from the world and feeding on the Word results in spiritually impacting moments students remember for a lifetime.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your students for what we pray will be an impacting week of camp.
1. Offer a discounted price at the beginning of your sign up time to encourage early sign ups.
2. Create a hashtag using the camp theme (for example: #FugeRidgecrestBigPicture) so you can begin to create a buzz in social media about the upcoming event. This is a good way for students to invite their friends and for other students to hear about the event.
3. Create a Facebook event page to promote the event. You can also use this page to keep parents updated during the week of camp.
4. Ask your pastor to send a letter to the parents of the church before the sign up process begins, encouraging them to sign up their students and explaining the importance of summer camp.
5. Have at least two parent meetings to keep them in the loop for planning and getting the necessary paperwork completed. Have plenty of copies of medical release forms, permission forms, etc. Make sure you also have sign up forms available so families can continue to sign up their students for camp!
6. After your registration deadline has passed, continue to allow students to sign up, especially if they are visitors. You never know what God has planned for those students.
7. Spend some time in worship services or small groups spiritually preparing them before you leave for camp.
8. Meet with your adult leaders prior to leaving for camp. Let them know the expectations you have for them and spend time in prayer for the students as a camp leadership team.
9. Involve the pastor in the process by asking him to pray over the students in the worship service the week before you leave, somewhat like a commissioning event.
10. Pray for the students daily. Involve the rest of your church in praying for the students at camp by giving out armbands or bracelets with a student’s name on each one.
11. If your church is close enough to the camp think about having a “parent night” where parents can come experience a night of camp.
Ben Trueblood is Lifeway’s director of student ministry. Learn more about Lifeway’s student opportunities at Lifeway.com/Students.