Yesterday I posted a letter that I shared with students before a big youth conference.
Part of the takeaway (I hoped) was to give you a template to use on your trips. The other takeaway is how I see that letter now, fourteen years after I wrote it; It had at least one huge blind spot in it.
So here’s the other letter I wrote. This one was aimed at my adult volunteers:
Thanks for being willing to step up and take on some leadership during this awesome weekend!!! Here are a few things to help you out!
– Students should arrive no earlier than 11:15am. If you can, be there @ 11am.
– The vans will be picked up that morning by Bev and Rob. Each will have a cartop carrier that will need to be attached. Get on this right away as packing luggage will be tricky. Don’t let students claim seats until after luggage is packed.
– Hand out a copy of the letter I’ve written to each student before they leave.
– There will be a guy’s van and a girl’s van. The students will naturally want to mix this up, but let them know that for the ride there they will be this way (no exceptions – don’t let them whine you into it). The compromise is that on the way home we’ll let them mix it up if they do well during the conference.
– Pick a group of students that you will personally keep track of. This will help if you have any stops along the way (i.e. bathroom) and ensure that no one gets left behind (which would be reeeeaaaaalllllyyyyy bad).
– Use the trip as time to chat with students. Ask them to tell you “their story.” You can move on to surface level stuff (i.e. “What’s you get for Christmas?”) to deeper stuff (“So what are you hoping Jesus will do in your heart this weekend?”) Be more of a listener than a talker and the kids will click with you more easily.
When you arrive:
– Look for me in the lobby. Do not check our students in – I will do that with you or make arrangements to assist you in that once they are there. Do not let students leave the group – if they need a bathroom, ask them to wait if possible.
– Once the group is checked in, make arrangements for food (where to meet – when – etc) and then they can go to their rooms. Go with them and get them settled. REMINDER: We’re asking students to not have any portable electronic gaming devices on this trip. Likewise, I’m challenging students not to use their TVs in their rooms.
You’re awesome! Thanks for doing this!
Once again, do you see any blind spots? Does this help your ministry?
Thanks for loving students!
– Tony / @TonyMyles