Move 2012 Promo Video from Christ In Youth on Vimeo.

Really excited about HSM’s Summer camp this July! We’re partnering with CIY’s MOVE summer camp to create an awesome week for students. Judging from this theme video … it is going to be great!


One of the best summer camp rules videos I’ve ever seen. Matt McGill in rare form – how did I just stumble across this now? Genius.


For summer camp this year we ordered a Magnum Clock and loved it. It is great! We used a Magnum Clock at our High School Summer Camp this year and after camp we decided to make it a permanent addition to our student building. I asked them for one to giveaway here on More Than Dodgeball and they said yes! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you’re entered in the giveaway – I’ll pick the winner at random next Monday morning. It might go great in your youth room, in your office … or my personal favorite: in the main worship venue, so your senior pastor can see how long his/her sermon is going. Hahah! Enter now!


Last week we talked about debriefing your summer calendar, and we got a great response from it (largely asking the question, “how?”) and thought it might be good to devote a whole article on the topic. So today we’re going to list 20 questions to help you begin to evaluate your summer youth ministry calendar:

  • What did we plan that was a success?
  • What surprised us that was totally awesome?
  • Where did we get blindsided?
  • Was there a good balance of evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and worship?
  • Did we lose/gain momentum at any time this summer?
  • What was an epic fail?
  • Where were the wins with parents?
  • Is there an event we need to move to a different place in the calendar?
  • Was the format of our website/Facebook/blog/printed calendar clear?
  • Was there enough promotion for our events? How could we make it better?
  • Is there a sacred cow we need to shoot?
  • Where were our leaders unprepared?
  • Are there opportunities to integrate our students into the church body we should consider next year?
  • What event should we never do again?
  • Were there any surprising turnouts in numbers?
  • Where did we communicate poorly?
  • In what circumstances did parents contact us?
  • Who is a key volunteer we need to circle back with now that summer is over?
  • Was it easy for parents to find out information/download forms/get a registration packet?
  • Were entry level — core students challenged this summer?
  • What was so great we need to consider making it an annual tradition?
  • Which volunteer was incredible and needs to be challenged to be a small group leader this school year?
  • What events seemed best to invite friends to?
  • Where did I as the leader have the most fun relationally hanging with students?
  • Where did we see the most decisions made for Christ?

This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.

I love hanging out at camp and want these students to feel like this is a special place where they are free from expectations, peer pressure, or distractions (Xbox or cell phones). But while I want them to feel free to do a lot of fun and amazing things, I think a couple of times the volunteers and myself need to stand up and say no. Here are three that happened at middle school camp that I have shared with my volunteers:

Don’t Cut Girls Hair
Since we keep different cabins for the boys and girls, after 9PM I have little control over what happens in their cabin. So I received a surprise when the girls came up and each had a new haircut. At the time I chalked it up to crazy girl time that I did not understand, but when the parents saw it after we got home, I received an ear full. Apparently one of the girl’s felt pressured to do it and hated the results. At that point, it did not matter that she rededicated her life or really made some amazing connections.

Make Sure They Eat
It was not reported to us that one girl was anorexic, but at the beginning of camp she was not eating much of her meals. After sitting down with her and having he promise to eat, it did not become a problem the rest of the year. It really was not a big deal until her parents talked with us after camp. Apparently, our encouragement and non-judgmental attitudes completely removed her doubt of self-worth. Those few days back, she ate more at family meals without putting up a fight than she had in years.

Support The Parents
A lot of junk comes out at camp, in cabin time and one-on-one’s. Some of the time, those conversations lead to how much they do not feel loved by their parents or that they wish thy were around more. This is not the time to give false hope, but we want to support an uphold the family. Reminding them of good memories, love even in busyness, and sharing in what could be after camp is a perfect way to honor the parents.

Jeremy Smith is a 26-year old youth pastor at the Air Force Academy chapel, working for Club Beyond, and attending Denver Seminary for his Master”s of Arts in Counseling Ministries. He has been involved in Youth for Christ for eight years — check out his blog at Seventy8Productions.

A little game called Spikeball is getting some serious traction in our youth group as of late. First at summer camp, now at some of our summer events. Kurt blogged about it last week, here’s a little video showing off the incredible new game.


Easy, transferable idea for you in the post-summer camp weeks …

This is a sign our team made to help promote summer camp in the 10 weeks before the annual event. It was really cool and did a good job of marketing the event to parents and students (and casual traffic near the youth room) every week. Someone had a GREAT idea – what if instead of throwing away the sign after camp we left it out on a table with Sharpies and let students write a message or sign it.

It was so cool! Kinda like a real-life summer camp Facebook wall. Gonna make a neat art piece in the office now!


Here is the bumper video we used at HSM Summer Camp – simple but sweet take on Fulfilled – Escaping the Empty.