What have you learned makes a serving experience or camp a great one?

Doug Franklin over at Leadertreks has some great thoughts on how most of this is up to the posture of adult leaders. Here are ten of his observations:

  • Mission_TeamGoing is not enough: “…we don’t just want them to go, we want them to grow.”
  • Be a trip mentor: “A trip is a great place to develop a long-term, life-changing relationship with a student.”
  • Have a purpose for the trip: “What do you want your students to look like when they return?”
  • Inspire spiritual growth: “Students will feel a need for God while on the trip, and this is a great opportunity for you to introduce them to spiritual disciplines”
  • Find teachable moments: “…mix a student’s experience with the truth of God’s Word.”
  • Challenge students: “… [it[ starts with challenging the top performing students.”
  • Get sleep: “Trips become increasingly ineffective as team members become tired.”
  • Add value to your adult volunteers: “… the number one problem I see over and over again is adult volunteers who have no idea what they are doing on the trip. They come because youth trips need adults, but beyond that they are not sure why they are there.”
  • Remember Boundaries = Love: “Don’t give students what they want; give them what they need.”
  • Stay connected to God: “You can’t impart what you do not have.”

(Read the rest of Doug’s solid article here.)

I think Doug is spot on. Just last month we had a major difference in a serving camp experience because of the investment we made into our adults, which in turn helped them better invest into students.

Which of his points most stands out to you?

Is there anything you would add or subtract?

This year we are headed to summer camp at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. It is the biggest camp we’ve ever had. And here’s a fun video I got to create with two of my students (one is on camera and the other is behind the camera). Also, one of our student ministry pastors Matt Hall. Check it out!!!!


Happy Tuesday!!!!


Camp_RulesWhat’s the best way to communicate the rules at camp?

You know… “the rules.”

We’ve all been sharing these rules for years:

  • “Boys are blue. Girls are pink. Don’t make purple.”
  • “Respect the facility.”
  • “Clean up after yourself.”
  • “Blah blah blah blah…”

It’s hard to capture it all in a way that students will remember. Maybe Matt McGill is on to something:

Then again, I wouldn’t go this far nor want our youth leaders to go shirtless to make a point. It’s memorable… but is it beneficial?

Feel free to argue over that. Again, that video stands out for a reason.

The real question? What’s the best way to communicate the rules at camp?

We’ve covered this on the blog before.

Now it’s your turn – any opinions, thoughts or examples?

And for that matter – what are the more important camp rules, anyway?

Here’s the final highlight video for the whole week from HSM Summer Camp. Such a great, exhausting week!