Every year there are children who will attend camp for the very first time. Because we know the importance of summer camp in the life of a child, we want every one of them to attend but some will need some help and encouragement. Here is a checklist you can follow to help make the first trip to camp successful for young campers.
(1) Grab Their Interest
For making this first experience a win, approach it with a campaign to build interest. Announce camp dates, show a few of the videos from our website in whatever format you can (kids church, emails to families in your ministry, or even in “big church” if you can). Hopefully, you can gain attention and begin to build interest in camp. Invite everybody to attend an information meeting about summer camp.
(2) Reassure the Parents
Seek out the parents of those kids who may be attending for the first time. They may have specific concerns to ask about or they may just have a general uneasiness about sending their child to camp for the first time. This conversation is where you can reassure them about the safety of camp and the way you watch over each of the kids under your care. In the conversation, invite them to the information meeting. Some parents may feel more comfortable attending camp with their child the first time, so let them know that can be an option.
(3) Provide Details About the Trip
In your summer camp informational meeting, you should plan to explain the dates, the travel plan, the camp activities, and share your heart for why you take kids to summer camp. Show them the daily schedule, talk about the camp location . . . those things will be early details that parents will want to know. You don’t have to be a summer camp expert to host that first meeting, and they may even ask questions you don’t know the answers to, so collect those, contact us and you can follow up with parents later on.
(4) Follow Up with Reminders
Some parents and kids may benefit from a follow-up conversation and a personal invitation to camp. Everybody should see visual reminders about camp in the kids ministry area and in any regular email or newsletter communication you send out. We have some promotion tools that you can download, print, and customize and videos online at centrikid.com.
(5) Sign Them Up!
Start a sign-up sheet because you’ll want to have a gauge of interest, and maybe even collect deposits before you are required to make non-refundable deposits. Registration is always open for CentriKid as long as space is available, so contact us today to reserve your spots at camp. Call 1-877-CAMP-123 or register at www.centrikid.com.
Of course, the biggest success factor is actually going to camp and having a great time, but your preparation will help get them there. That’s the biggest hurdle. The camp experience will be a ton of fun and camp staffers will join you in loving on the kids in your group. Do those wacky activities and make the most of every moment at camp this summer.
Jeremy Echols leads the CentriKid Camps team and manages the Lifeway Kids events. He, his wife Emily, and their precious daughter love their church, their neighborhood, and spending time together. Jeremy loves to read, watch sports, and grill burgers.