Special events are a great way for your club to connect with club members’ parents. Non-churched parents are often willing to “come to church” for a special event. And parents that attend your church often see how fun club is and want to volunteer.
Here are some special event possibilities for this winter and spring.
Backyard Skating. An older man in a northern church flooded part of his backyard every year for the neighborhood kids. The Pioneer Clubs program at his church arranged a special time for club members and their families to use this rink. You could also go to a local pond or even a skating rink. Invite parents or whole families. If you’re outdoors, try a bonfire and roast hot dogs or marshmallows to top things off.
Indoor Snow Sculptures. If you are in a colder climate, here’s a good idea. Cover tables with plastic tablecloths, scoop piles of snow and bring them inside. You could put them right on the table or in dishpans. Make snow sculptures and vote for various prizes for each other. If you live in a warmer climate, try this idea with shaved ice. It will take a bit of ice and some effort, but kids and their families who don’t often see snow will love it.
Outdoor Snow Sculptures. Use wood screens, wire mesh or anything else to build a support structure for the sculpture (so you won’t have to use as much snow). Pack snow on and around the support structure until you’ve got the basic shape of the sculpture. Carve the snow to get the desired form. If you accidently carve away too much, just pack more snow onto that area and carve again. If snow doesn’t pack well, try wetting it a little with a spray bottle with a fine mist spray. Color your sculpture with food coloring or watercolors.
Winter Camp. Whether you are in a warm climate or one that’s cold, camp is always a great idea. This could be just one day or a weekend. Activity ideas:
- Outdoor games. Snow sculptures, touch or flag football, nature or hiking games.
- Indoor games. Basketball, volleyball, pingpong, noncompetitive games.
- Hayride, sledding, tubing, ice-skating.
- Speaker. Invite a speaker to challenge the kids.
- Bonfire. An indoor fireplace would work, but a huge outdoor bonfire would be more fun.
Cookie Party. Decorate cookies. Have a decorating contest with a twist: Get parents or other good sports to be the “cookies.” Give them goggles and let kids decorate their faces with frosting and candies. Give everyone a prize, such as Sweetest Face, Most Likely to Cause Cavities, and so on.
Bike Hike. In warmer climates, how about a winter bike ride? Make a list of things for bikers to try to spot along the way: different colored mail boxes, a certain color house house, street sign with spray paint on it, and so on. Be sure to drive, walk or bike your path ahead of time so that you know what things you can put on your list.
Thank-You to Firefighters. See if you can arrange a tour of your local fire station for your club members and their families. Or ask if the fire station will bring their truck to your special event. One club held this event and presented a huge thank-you card to the volunteer fire department. The local newspaper picked up the story, complete with a photo.
“Cans” Film Festival. Hold a film night at your church and make the admission “fee” canned goods and other staples for the local food pantry. There are plenty of good Christian and family films that you can show. One club did this and asked for snacks from local businesses. They were surprised at how easy it was to get them.
Gobs of Games. Have a parent-child game event. One club’s favorite game at their special event was to blindfold dad-child pairs and have the kids feed the dads ice cream. Other game ideas that would work for adults and kids can be found in Games Galore and Funtastic Games, like “Singing Syllables,” “Unrace,” “People Zoo.”
Museum Visit. Try a children’s museum or a hands-on science museum. Having the parents along makes for built-in chaperones.