Summer Break is nearly over, and the calendar has flipped to reveal that fall is here. Parents are already planning for their children’s fall activities. It is time to gear up for the new club year!
1. Set up Prayer Partners for your Leaders: Who could be praying for your leaders and children throughout the year? Challenge your whole church to be involved by matching up prayer partners with your leaders. Communication could be as simple as a quick phone call, email, or text to let partners know how they can pray intelligently. As co-ordinator, I am updating the church on a monthly basis in our church newsletter. As a Pioneer Girl, I had a Pal that I shared prayer requests with. We are still friends after all these years.
2. Refresh your Space: Look around your ministry space with “fresh eyes.” How long have those posters been up? The bulletin boards could use fresh colour and ideas. Refresh your space. Has clutter crept its way in? Plan a fun bulletin board, wall, or corner space display to welcome everyone back. Do rooms need to be changed up, according to numbers in each group? Do you have a budget to work with for some new game supplies? Could you ask for specific donations?
3. Communicate with Parents: Start building relationships and bridges with your families right away. Parents and guardians want to be informed. A yearly calendar given with registration, helps parents to plan ahead for activities and family schedules. It also cuts down on questions throughout the year, about dates and details for each week.
4. Engage with Kids’ Culture: Watch for opportunities to be immersed in children’s culture—camps, one day events, concerts, etc. They give you a unique and needed window into “their world” as you look for ways to tweak your program to meet their needs. I volunteer as a camp counsellor for one week each summer. It gives me a good idea of what is important to children, teens, and young adults. This year, it was quite apparent to me, just how invasive the cell phone has become for our 12+ age group. It wasn’t a surprise, but a good reminder of the hold that technology has on this generation.
5. Utilize Extra Help: Identify and ask people who could be of help to your leaders as extras. Perhaps someone could do short term leadership in the area of crafts, a special emphasis, or fundraising nights. Others may have an expertise that they can share to provide your regular leaders extra support. I have a crew of people who are willing to help out in the kitchen, and our campout events, but aren’t regular leaders. We also have a couple who help out with the Pine Car Derby, helping the children paint their cars. It is great to hand those kinds of opportunities off to another group of people.
Go have a great year in Pioneer Clubs! God is going to do great things in the hearts of your children and leaders.
Suzanne Bowker is from Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada. A friend invited her to Pioneer Girls in the 70’s and she has been there ever since. Now a Club Co-ordinator, she has a passion for children to come to know the Lord and to facilitate children getting outdoors to enjoy God’s creation. As a puppy foster parent, she raises service dogs till they go on to their intense training. Hiking, cycling, kayaking, and horseback riding are a part of her life. She and her husband Steve have 3 sons and 2 grandchildren to enjoy.