My quick assessment of the key components in our junior high ministry summer:
- We decided to do lots of small, cheap, 'just show up' type of events to make it easier on families. For the most part, I think this worked pretty well. Every Tuesday we had what we called 'Meet Us @' where students could pick one of three locations/events and simply meet us at that event for a couple of hours. Places like the park, the skate park, a local pool, an arcade, a service project etc. all served as Meet Us @ locations.
-Every Friday we hosted a game day at the park for a couple of hours. We found this attracted almost the exact same group of students every week....mostly athletic type.
- Our first ever Beach Camp was fantastic! an event we'll keep on the calendar.
- Our annual Summer Camp was pretty good. We've been going to the same camp for nine summers now and it feels like our relationship with them is beginning to strain a bit. Not sure, exactly, where the root of that lies. They run a good camp (not quite as good as they used to...), but it feels like the customer service side of things has slipped in recent years.
- Our Guys and Girls day (two seperate events on the same day that we call 'Burly' and 'Girly') were probably our best ever. They used to be two or three day events, but the cost was so high that it kept a whole bunch of kids from being able to attend. Now, they are just one day jam packed with all sorts of events and our attendance was way up this year.
- Our 10-week Summer theme 'In Motion' was pretty good. This was our fourth year of wrapping a theme around all of our Summer weekends and, to be honest, they always begin to feel a bit too long (a 10 week series on the Fruit of the Spirit). But this year was one of the best to date and, overall, I like the themed Summer idea.
All in all, a good Summer. Now it's time to gear up for Fall....volunteer leader training, small group kick-off, Youth Specialties, moving into new offices etc. The fun never stops!