DYM

 
  • DYM_logo
  • Store
  • Blog
  • Events
  • Scholarships

Tag Archives | summer camp

HSM Summer Camp 2014: Day Two

Another great day at camp! Love summer ministry …

JG

Tags: , , , , ,

0

HSM Summer Camp 2014: Day One

I’m away at high school camp this week – here’s the highlight video from Day 1. Off to a strong start … already exhausted from the first 24 hours!

JG

Tags: , , , , ,

0

GUEST POST: Making the Most of Camp Cabin Times

coop_camp

Cabin times: confusing and frustrating youth workers since 1847*. We are told that cabin times are where the “real” ministry happens at camp: the band and the speaker will get students pumped for Jesus, but those late-night group discussions with their counselors will seal the deal.

*This statistic is not supported by science.

This kind of thinking is based in a lot of truth, but it can also create anxiety, undue pressure, and feelings of inadequacy for the counselor when his or her cabin time falls short of powerful expectations.

We just returned from middle school summer camp, where I was reminded again of the challenges of leading a “successful” cabin time. (In a minute I’ll explain why I put successful in quotes.) Thankfully, we brought along some incredible volunteers who were able to share their cabin time experiences and teach me a thing or two about making the most of group discussions at camp.

Here are some of the tips and trips I picked up last week and in previous years while reflecting on my cabin time successes and failures.

  1. Remember that there is no definition of a successful cabin time. You may find yourself frustrated more often than inspired during your cabin time. That’s OK. Even Jesus had trouble getting his group of twelve to focus, and he was spending time with them 24/7. Remember the words of Jesus: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt. 18:20). Jesus is working in the hearts of your students, even if you can’t see it. Therefore, enter cabin time with a sincere and prayerful heart and great stuff will happen— it just might be more subtle than an outburst of repressed emotion or a student giving his or her life to Christ.
  1. It’s not about you. It really isn’t. It’s about God using you and a bunch of other people to bring students closer to him. Even if a student doesn’t open up to you in cabin time, there are so many other opportunities for them to really experience God at camp. And just because they don’t open up doesn’t mean they aren’t getting anything from the cabin time discussion. So ask God to help you take the pressure off yourself. On the day before camp, pray something like, “God, let your impact in my cabin group be as if I weren’t even there.” Take yourself out of the equation so that God may bring you into his process in ways you would never expect or imagine.
  1. Share your story. This was something my co-leader and I tried last week at camp. During our second evening cabin time, he opened the discussion by sharing his testimony, and there was an immediate change in the temperament of the group. Suddenly, our students’ perception of him went from a leader who had everything figured out to a fellow human being who was struggling through his journey with Christ along with them. Before I could share my story, a student raised his hand and asked if he could share his. After he went, another asked to share. And then another. Suddenly, students were opening up about their past and their family life. I had never seen anything like it. By the end of the week, almost all of our cabin students had shared their stories with the group. And it all started when one of their leaders, a high school senior, opened up about his life.
  1. Let them lead. A few years ago, I led a cabin group of eight high school juniors who had been following Jesus since they were kids. It was like pulling teeth getting them to talk about anything. On the final night of camp, I tried something different. It may have been a Hail Mary after three days of silence; I don’t quite remember what was going on in my mind. But I opened up cabin time by saying, “Tonight, you guys will be leading the discussion. I’m going to stay with you and participate, but I’m not going to ask any questions.” A few awkward seconds passed. Then, one of the juniors turned to the others and said, “OK. What did you guys get out of tonight’s message?” What followed was the best cabin time we had had all week long, even though it was the one I had guided the least. This tactic of letting them lead might not work with a younger group, but don’t be afraid to delegate leadership to your students.
  1. Remember that cabin time isn’t everything. Sure, some of the most powerful stuff at camp can happen during cabin times. But the buck doesn’t stop there. You may find that an impromptu, one-on-one discussion with a student during free time is just the interaction they needed. Maybe you’ll have a couple students who don’t especially connect with you throughout the week, but they really connect with the camp speaker’s messages and experience true life change during chapel. Understand the importance of cabin time but don’t exaggerate it. Keep a humble heart, ask God for excess amounts of patience, and trust that Jesus is there among you, guiding each and every student exactly where he or she needs to go.

Taylor Bird is the Middle School Pastor at Southwest Church in Indian Wells, CA. He has been serving in youth ministry for five years.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

0

Fun Twitter Campaign Idea For Summer Camp

photo

This weekend we leave for HSM Summer Camp. It honestly is one of my favorite things we do all year long. The staff is pumped. The students are pumped. Our volunteers are pumped. I think it is easy to say, everyone and their mother is pumped for camp. One thing we have been trying to get pumped up (because we have not really focused on it besides the last few months) is our @SaddlebackHSM twitter. If I’m honest, we have neglected it but that has changed recently.

As I’m sure all of you know, many students are online in some way, shape or form. We have noticed many students have made the transition to Twitter so we want to communicate to them and get our ministry Twitter up on its game. So with camp coming up, I decided to launch a Twitter campaign of “100 Awesome Things About Summer Camp”. The goal was to get students to interact with it and in a way spread the word about HSM twitter to other students and friends while promoting our stuff. So we started to make a list of things about summer camp and used the hashtag “#100AwsomeThingsHSMCamp” and went to town.

I would have to say it was a success. Students “favorited” or “retweeted” many of the tweets and it was a really fun way to get students excited about camp. Go check out the rest of the tweets by clicking HERE.

Tags: , , , , , ,

0

HSM Summer Camp Games: Pool Relay

ec_45

GAME 1: Slip-N-Slide Kickball
GAME 2: Battle Fort
GAME 3: Ultimate Food
GAME 4: Human Battleship

GAME 5: Pool Relay

Set-up:

  • Cover watermelons with Vaseline or baby oil
  • Place puzzle pieces at the bottom of the pool
  • Make sure the pool rafts are inflated

Rules:

  • First team to complete the relay wins!
  • Each team divides up and assigns players to each “leg” of the relay
  • 12 people for the raft
  • 10 people for watermelon
  • 2 people to get puzzle pieces
  • Everyone assembles the puzzle
  • On the whistle each team gets the first group of people in the pool in a straight line across the pool. Then a watermelon is passed from one end to the other and back. Once back at the start line those people rush out of the pool while the next set of group people go.
  • Their goal is to all get on the pool raft and row themselves to the far side of the pool and back. Once back, they tag the next person to jump into the pool and collect a puzzle piece. This continues until all puzzle pieces are collected. Once they have all the pieces, their team can begin to put the puzzle together. First team to complete it wins!
  • Must be different people working on each leg of the race.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

0

HSM Summer Camp Games: Human Battleship

ec_33

GAME 1: Slip-N-Slide Kickball
GAME 2: Battle Fort
GAME 3: Ultimate Food

GAME 4: Human Battleship

Set-up:

  • Hang the 2-3 tarps over the volleyball net so that it goes from the top to the ground. (the goal is that no one can see the opposite team)
  • Give each side 2 buckets of water balloons, 2 balloon launchers and a bucket of soak balls (10-15 each team)

Team Set-up:

  • Teams will arrange 20 people into different formations to represent the battleships. Once they are set up they cannot move.
  • The rest of the team will be launching and throwing water balloons and soak balls.

Rules:

  • The goal of the game is to “sink” as many human battleships as possible within 10 minutes.
  • Each time a player is hit, they are out of the game.
  • The team at the end with the most people left on the court wins!
  • Play this twice – great game to beat the heat.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

HSM Summer Camp Games: Ultimate Food

rec_2

This week I’m posting some of our best games from summer camp – or students are SO into Color Wars / team rec games and it is so much fun. Some of the games I’ll list this week are regulars that are so fun we bring them back every year, and some are brand new … and yet to cause permanent injuries.

GAME 1: Slip-N-Slide Kickball
GAME 2: Battle Fort

GAME 3: Ultimate Food
Directions: Ultimate Frisbee with food instead of a Frisbee

  1. The goal of the game is to get the food item from one side of the field to the other, into your teams goal zone.
  2. One team will start with the food item and throw it to the team on the other side. The team who receives it, passes the food item from player to player to get to the other side of the field.
  3. Running with the food item in hand is not allowed – it must be passed from person to person until a completed catch in the scoring area.
  4. Recommended food items: a frozen pizza, a head of cabbage, squash, bag of peanuts or a whole trout

*To score, need to throw it to someone standing inside the end zone
*If someone drops or intercepts, it goes to the other team

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

HSM Summer Camp 2014 Music Video

We have a fun tradition in our youth ministry – every year we create a music video to help promote the biggest event of summer. This one is so fun – really excited about camp this year – hoping this made people laugh as well as motivate them to sign up with just a couple days left before we close registration!

JG

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

YS IDEA LAB: Derry Prenkert on Summer Camp

Derry Prenkert, a new DYM author this week, shares in the YS IDEA LAB how to take summer camp to the next level. Such good stuff, from a really sharp youth pastor in Indiana!

JG

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

0

Fun Paintball Summer Camp Announcements Video

A classic idea revisited! We had some fun years ago at a conference where I shot my buddy Jake with a paintball gun for our announcements. This week, we promoted our upcoming summer camp doing the same. So fun!

JG

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

0

Quick to Show Grace to Students

It happens in an instant. Your first major incident at summer camp. A collision of egos at midnight during your overnighter.

I remember a couple summers ago we had a summer camp student conflict escalate into a full blown fistfight. At the end of the day, nobody got sent home – because I’m quick to show grace at camp. Now, if there was a black eye, the students weren’t repentant, or it required a trip to the ER – maybe the punishment would be more severe. But two guys losing their tempers and control for a few brief moments isn’t worth sending someone home, not to me at least and in that moment of  judgement call.

In the back of my mind I remember hearing about a boy at summer camp some 40 years ago – he was an unchurched, angry young man. He had kicked and punched water pipes in the boys bathroom because he was ticked that chapel time was required and he didn’t want to go. Although he probably deserved to go home for causing such significant damage, but someone showed him grace. A leader believed God was going to do something special with him at camp.

Two nights later, this boy accepted Christ. Years later, he would go on to be a pastor and raise amazing children, one of whom I would be fatally attracted to and have 4 children with. My father-in-law was shown incredible grace at summer camp one year, so my heart always leans that way when I’m at camp, too.

Here’s hoping those two boys walked away from camp changed forever. Be quick to show grace to your students, too!

JG

Tags: , , , , , , ,

1

POLL: Cost of Summer Camp

We spent a ton of time talking about the price of summer camp this year, and thought it might be interesting to take a poll and see what the price of camp is out there. There are a lot of variables to camp, but the price point is a big one!

JG

Tags: , , , ,

0

Things Girls Say at HSM Summer Camp

Fun little video we put together to help promote HSM Summer Camp. Silly!

JG

Tags: , , , , , ,

0

Rick Warren Says Go to Summer Camp

Remember the post a couple weeks ago about having your senior pastor to help promote summer camp? Well, we just finished ours today! So thankful for Pastor Rick recording this message for us – and getting SO excited about HSM Summer Camp!

JG

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

0

Get Your Senior Pastor to Help Promote Camp

Bible & Beach 2014 (Parent Promo) from Southeast NextGen Ministry (920) on Vimeo.

LOVE this simple video from Southeast Christian – the senior pastor of the church making the ask of parents to send their kids to camp. We’re taking the simple idea and sending something similar to our parents in 2 weeks. Love it!

JG

Tags: , , , , , , ,

0