Thursday, 24 September 2015

Summer Camp Follow-Up

Maybe I'm late to the table on this, but it's a new idea to me.

We've been thinking a bit about summer bible camps recently. The subject has been on a number of our hearts; how to follow up with kids who attended a summer camp, perhaps referring them to a local Alpha to make sure they are properly spiritually cared for and/or discipled. I just had a great meeting with the executive director of a Bible here in Alberta. His heart is, what to do about kids as they leave camp - how to connect them with Youth Groups.
He told me of one kid who he picked up and delivered directly to a local church, but not every camp director can do that with every kid. It's also not practical to run a full Alpha Youth Film Series during one week at camp. So... how to integrate these kids into a group following camp?
A few possibilities:
  • Tell kids of local churches who are running Alpha and hope they contact them
  • Give parents the same info and hope they encourage their kids to do the same
  • Ask kids or parents permission to forward contact info to local churches so Youth pastors can contact and invite them.
In any of these scenarios, some kids are going to fall through the cracks, but here is what we're thinking as another possibility. What we plan to do for next year is run a Youth Alpha training for all his counsellors and cabin leaders before camp starts. It also might be a good idea to give kids a taste of Alpha while they're there; maybe run one session.

Then, at the end of camp season, each of his cabin leaders will run an Alpha in his/her own area (both campers and cabin leaders come from various locations in the surrounding area), so kids in those areas who already know them can attend. The relationship will already have been developed, so kids won't be walking through strange doors.
We still might still not capture everybody, but I think it's a genius idea, if I do say so myself.
Blessings,
John

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