Guest Post by Cindy Bledsoe
Step 3: Widen your scope of ministry
The bulk of ministry efforts during summer camps are focused on the campers who will attend camp. If all of your attention however is focused exclusively on ministering to this group, you are missing out on two other groups you could be ministering to at the same time.
The two groups are our volunteers/staff and the family of the campers attending your camp.
This is a very important group of people to minister to. They are your hands and feet so to speak in the camping environment. You will need to invest greatly into this group if you want your camp to be a success. It is important to see the opportunity to build into their lives and minister to them while they work at camp.
How to do this:
This can be done though pre-camp training; checking in with them throughout the day; end of day debriefings; scheduled relational time; and structured small groups/discipleship groups.
2. Family of campers:
Another important group to include in your ministry efforts is the family of the campers. This can include the parents, sibling and grandparents of campers. Be mindful to include this group as much as possible in the camp experience.
How to do this:
-Be purposeful about building relationships with this group.
E.g. host pre-camp parents meeting; take the time to talk with parents during drop-off and pick up times; check in with parents via email or phone during the week of camp; host special family oriented events for campers and their families, etc.
-Share stories and messages from camp with the family.
E.g. send home devotional messages with campers; a scripture/word for the day; a “what we did at camp” summary, etc.
-Provide opportunities for connecting to the church.
-Provide simple and clear next steps on how the family can connect to the church after camp. These may include invitations to Children’s ministry events, worship, Bible studies/small groups, etc.