Last week, I was the event coordinator at a week of Jr High Camp.  As I have been out of camp for about a decade, I did a lot of things wrong, but I think there are a few things that I did right.  Here is a list:

  1. I Used Mature High Schoolers on my Faculty – Though it was a bit hard to get them to get out of bed on time, I found them to be spectacular when it came to relating their stories to the Jr. Highers.  Not to mention, the late night mentoring discussions with them and the chance for them to flex their spiritual muscles in real ministry was great for their growth in Christ.
  2. Campfire – Many have given up on this old fashioned event at camp, but I embraced it and did one every night even though it was insanely hot outside. It is so different from anything the students experience on a weekly basis; this makes it that much more powerful.
  3. Balls and Music – As I said, it was ridiculously hot, so much of what was planned outdoors had to be cancelled so no one died of heat exhaustion.  We found that free time with beach balls and music went a long way in helping students, not only cope with the heat, but in giving them a chance to burn energy and “hang out.”
  4. Affirm the Faculty – I recruited many people to serve as faculty for my week.  They performed so well and many went above and beyond their call of duty.  I affirmed them every chance I got.  This contributed, at least in part, to a week virtually free of any faculty controversy.
What ideas do you have in planning a successful camp or retreat?

I ran across this picture of the “Perfect Employee” on Guy Kawasaki’s blog.  This guy has a, “Modern haircut with a touch of gray that boasts of knowledge and wisdom,” a, “Family picture . . . always in his front pocket,” and, my personal favorite, he, “Wins the air-guitar contest evey year at the company picnic – last year’s song: ‘Sweet Child of Mine.'”

This reminded me of a blog I read once called, “The Perfect Youth Ministry Leader” – a quiz one takes to find out if they are “An Intern” or an “Epic Legend” in youth ministry.  In this list, the youth worker must have, “. .  .the ‘side hug’ down to a science,” and have, “. . . a verse tattooed somewhere on his body (+2 points for Hebrew words).”

Satire aside, what attributes would you place on the perfect youth minister?  Here are a few that I came up with:

  1. Knows that he/she is not the Savior of students.
  2. His/Her investment in students is long-term; knowing that fruit takes a good deal time to grow.
  3. Knows that the “perfect youth worker” does not exist and he/she determines their worth based on what Christ thinks of them, not the points on the “cool scale” they can accumulate by having the proper amount of facial hair or Christian t-shirts.