That time of year is almost here, when school is out for the summer and preparations begin for church camp. With so many children in different age groups, successful planning is a must. To make sure the camp accommodates everyone, while providing a safe and wholesome environment, take care of the following key items before the season gets underway.
1. Communicate with Leadership
Well in advance of the beginning of your church camp, you need to be in communication with your leadership team to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Establish a plan for the summer, including dates the camp will run, registration costs, and the age groups that will be accepted.
Also, begin advertising the camp through church announcements, flyers, emails, social media posts, and the newsletter. This will ensure that your members are aware of your camp early on and have time to make their own plans so that their children can attend.
Once participants are registered, promptly send out information packets about costs of t-shirts, field trips, and any other items the campers will need before the camp begins. This includes detailed information on drop-off and pick-up times for parents.
2. Hire Staff, Counselors, and Volunteers
The hiring process is a crucial element of preparation. All counselors should be properly vetted both naturally and spiritually. Their values and practices should be consistent with your organizational standards.
If high school students are operating as counselors, ensure they have the maturity and discipline to oversee younger campers. The hiring managers should inquire as to whether or not the student counselors need community service hours in order to meet their graduation requirements.
The entire staff should undergo rigorous training to ensure that everyone is on the same page and each camper stays safe. This training should include fire drills, camper etiquette, respect for everyone, CPR, lifeguard training if needed, and public speaking. If the counselors are required to teach, they should be well-versed in their subject matter and have a curriculum to follow.
All church camp staff members are vital to the success of the experience for the campers and should know their roles and work as a team to ensure a smooth experience for all.
3. Come Up with a Schedule
The entire schedule should be completed prior to commencement of the camp so that parents can be informed about the activities that will be taking place. Once you know the schedule for each day of camp, you will be able to make more concrete plans and purchase any necessary supplies.
If field trips will be involved, prior authorization and dates should be solidified with all venues. Transportation and costs for travel should also be planned in advance.
4. Prepare Your Facilities
The entire facility should be prepped and ready for the campers before they arrive. If mats are needed for smaller campers, they should be ordered well in advance. Restrooms should be properly labeled, cleaned, and accessible, with a schedule for daily cleaning.
Any areas where the campers will have activities should be stocked with all necessary supplies. Directional signs should be prominently placed so that campers and other visitors will be able to easily find their way around the campus.
5. Raise Funds with Church Giving
Church camp does not run by itself. It takes a lot of work and dedication to successfully run a camp of this nature year after year. The church is able to accommodate these campers due to the donations of their members, which is why church giving should be a priority leading up to summer.
While your church is the sponsor for the camp, not everyone involved will be from your local area. To make it more convenient for parents and others who do not physically attend your church to participate in fundraising, offer a mobile church giving option like Givelify. This app will allow anyone who wants to support the camp to donate whenever they can, from anywhere in the world.
Givelify is great for raising funds for specific causes like camp, but the app’s usefulness to your church can extend far beyond the summer. It makes church giving fast and effortless for your members, even when they can’t make it to services. Once you kick off Givelify church giving at your place of worship, you will continue enjoying the benefits throughout the rest of the year.