FIRST-PERSON: Who pampers youth campers?
PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- Your church's youth camp or kids camp offers an amazing focus for Christian growth, finding God's will and building Christian friendships. Your small group (Bible class, praise team, women's ministry, deacons, etc.) could easily enhance that Christian experience. Try one of these fresh ideas:
-- As kids depart for camp, show up with huge, individually wrapped Rice Krispie treats for the trip.
-- Donate one or more partial camp scholarships. These could be done anonymously. Ask the pastor or youth leader to privately select a newcomer, or a child with financial need.
-- If members of your group are artistic, talk with the youth leader about creating a fantastic theme backdrop or prop for the camp.
-- Mail a giant container of fireball candies for campers to share. Use permanent marker to jot a prayer note right on the container, add an address label, and mail it to arrive mid-week.
-- Ask the youth leader for a big idea that would enhance camp, such as a contest prize, money for ice cream or pizza en route to camp, sports equipment, camp T-shirts, Bibles, ping-pong table). Your group pitches in to fund it together, or hosts a group garage sale at one of your homes to purchase the items with earnings. Everyone in your group signs the gift note.
-- Do something special for first-time campers at your church's camp to help them feel welcome. Ask the youth leader for a gift idea, such as a youth study Bible.
-- Assign members of your group to pray for a specific youth camp counselor.
-- Gather a team of volunteers to help with last-minute camp details, such as printing, the week before camp, or with check-in and luggage duties on send-off day.
-- Fill a large basket with fruit and snacks for each cabin of campers to share. Include a prayer note.
-- Pray during your meeting time for each camper by name. Assign each person in your group to pray for a specific student before and during camp. Even better, decorate paper bags with each camper's name, and ask their assigned pray -- er to pack small goodies for that camper's trip.
-- Organize a five-minute "welcome home" celebration. The youth leader texts their estimated time of arrival, and they're welcomed with cheers, a few balloons, and signs that read, "We prayed for you," "We love our youth," "Welcome home!"
-- If there's a post-camp report, testimony service or baptism celebration, attend enthusiastically.
So … how will your group help make church camp a spiritual highlight for kids this summer?
Diana Davis, online at www.dianadavis.org, is an author, columnist and ministry wife in Pensacola, Fla. She is the author of "Fresh Ideas for Women's Ministry" (B&H Publishing) and "SixSimple... [Expand Bio] Steps -- Finding Contentment and Joy as a Ministry Wife" (New Hope Publishers). Her newest book, "Across the Street and Around the World" coauthored with her daughter Autumn Wall, will be released by New Hope this fall.