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Freshmen Transition

 —  April 3, 2013 — 3 Comments

It is hard to believe that the school year is almost over! That means that it is time to say goodbye to our seniors and hello to our new freshmen! This year, we want to take Freshmen transition to a new level, so we are getting a head start on what we are going to do and how we are going to do it.

The biggest transition piece we are doing is a not-so-new event called Freshmen Frenzy. It is something that we used to do years ago, but we let it rest for a while. Each year we did Frenzy differently and, keeping with tradition, we are completely rethinking how we are going to do it this year. We are already tossing around a few ideas that include the local high schools schools, student leaders, volunteers, videos (high school survival tips, etc.), and other fun/inclusive activities to make our freshmen feel known, loved, and welcome in our ministry.

We are so excited to be at the front end of planning, what could be, one of the most important events we throw all year! We can’t be the only ones rethinking freshmen transition. So here is the question:

What is your ministry doing to transition your incoming freshmen? What worked? What didn’t work? 

Colton [Email||Twitter]

Colton Harker

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3 responses to Freshmen Transition

  1. Tonight we are doing something with our high school students called “Occupy Powerlife” (Powerlife is our Junior high ministry) Our 8th grade time starts as normal, and then a high school students breaks into the worship center and causes a big scene, talking about how High School is taking over for a night- at that point, high school student pour into the worship center, the adult band we use for Powerlife is replaced by high school students, and the night becomes all about the 8th graders continuing on in faith- we interview 9th graders to talk about their experience stepping into high school, and at least 1 high school student spends the night with a small group talking about high school and continuing on in faith- Last year was our first year doing Occupy Powerlife, and we had the highest retention % among 9th graders we’ve ever had.

  2. Our Ministry has SUCKED! in the past at doing a transition. We have a huge drop out rate from grade 7->8 as students change ministries, schools and everything else that comes with it.

    This year we had a grade 7 only event (usually it runs 5-7) and brought a few grade 8 students to talk about their transition into our ministry and why it was so fun. The pastor of this age group also brought me in to give a presentation on how fun and exciting it is to be a part of EPIC (our jr/sr high ministry).

    We have also decided we will run a couple more events before the end of the school year where we can mix and mingle, hoping our students create new bonds that will pull them up into their new age group.

    We haven’t got it down yet but we are working on it.

  3. Last year we tried something new and it worked pretty well. It’s called “adopt an 8th grader.” The challenge was for our juniors and seniors to sign up to “adopt” an 8th grader at the end of the school year. They would then call that 8th grader, introduce themselves, and invite them to our high school youth group. If they new the student/family well, they could even give them a ride to youth group. When the 8th grade students showed up, their high school student was waiting for them and took them under their wing the entire night. They introduced them to their friends, sat with them, and hung out with them the whole night. It was a neat way to introduce 8th grade students into our high school ministry and make them feel welcome. Several of the high school students stayed connected with their 8th grade students all summer too. It was probably one of the best transitions we’ve ever done. We’re planning on it again this year.

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