How to Plan a Kids Ministry Camp
By: Lauren Foster
Every summer, my church holds a Kids Camp for our elementary-aged children. This is one of the most fun events we have, and I always look forward to those three days every year. Here are a few suggestions for getting your own kids camp up and running.
1. Decide length of time and ages.
Our camp is only offered to upcoming 3rd-6th graders. Much younger, and they have a harder time being away from Mom & Dad. We also only allow church members to attend because we want this to be a time for those who faithfully attend our children’s ministry.
2. Identify the intent of your camp.
Our camp focuses on our children getting to know our church staff. The only leaders who attend Kids Camp are church staff from every department of our church. Throughout our three days, kids are broken up into groups by age and get to have a small group time with different staff members to discuss what they have learned in their lesson and have a time to get to know this staff person.
Our camps have a theme each year, and there are about two mini-sermons a day that are lead by one of our pastors. Coordinating quiet times are given to the children to complete each morning, as well. Even though the main intent of Kids Camp isn’t to be a focused time of spiritual teaching, we do desire that our kids grow in their relationships with God.
3. Select the location and schedule.
Also consider the cost for each child and ways you can save families money. We provide scholarships for children who may not be able to attend because of a financial situation.
Put time and thought into the best location and time frame for your kids camp. Our camp schedule combines fun, along with times of worship and Bible study. Throughout the day, we have meal times, two sets of swim time, REC time, snack times, as well as two times of worship and Bible studies. We try to keep our schedule peppered with lots of time for kids to enjoy being outside and playing.
4. Consider legal ramifications.
We also make sure that volunteers do not bunk with children alone. The campground rooms contain about six bunks in each room with an adjoining bathroom. We assign kids to each room and have two rooms for our leaders. Our leaders check on each room periodically when they are inside.
Once children are registered, they receive a confirmation letter that details what they should and shouldn’t bring. We encourage parents to label everything in hopes of not having those 20 unidentified towels we accumulate every year!
5. Think about how to make your camp FUN.
Lauren Foster writes for Ministry-To-Children.com, a resource started by Tony Kummer to solve children's ministry problems.