by Mindi Godfrey
I recently attended a weekend retreat in the mountains. I’ve been to this particular camp several times before but it had been a while since I’d done the “camp” thing—the last few student retreat/events I’ve been to, we’ve stayed in hotels. And being a little out of practice at the traditional camp going, I forgot to pack my survival kit.
Once upon a time, I was at traditional camp venues an average of six times a year. It was during this season I came up with my “survival kit.” And while I managed just fine without the kit, it would have come in handy and made things just a little nicer:
I’d like to point out that while yes, these suggestions stem from my experiences of being a counselor to girls, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be tweaked for boys, or that male youth pastors shouldn’t bring power strips for curling irons or “feminine items.” Give these things to your female volunteers to hang on to.
We are hearing from numerous youth ministers that during this season their plate is just too full. Caring for others is a ministry staple, but often it comes at the expense of caring for oneself. Self care for the Youth MInister is so important. If you don’t take time for yourself and your own relationship with God, not only will you suffer, but eventually your students will too.
We’ve created a Pandemic Youth Week curriculum bundle that combines elements of both a summer camp and a youth week. Many youth are missing out on both of these due to cancelled camps and trips among other cancelled important events your youth would usually attend. We’ve written this curriculum such that it can be used in person while socially distancing, online, or some combination of both.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented to youth ministries, it has also created an opportunity to allow youth more involvement in worship. Although youth sunday will look very different this year, it is a great opportunity to empower our youth to be leaders. Youth’s comfort and familiarity with technology make them a great resource for churches who are seeking to move their worship services online for the first time.