“The kids have so much fun earning their badges, and the volunteers get excited, too!”
– Club Coordinator | Port Leamington, Newfoundland.
“Alongside learning about God’s Word, we completed activities that allowed us to earn badges. I remember one very special activity. We created books about ourselves…the book focused on who we are in Christ, not who we are in the eyes of the world—that was very important to understand at that age.”
– Pioneer Clubs Alumna
Pioneer Clubs activity awards meet a variety of needs for kids. As your club members work to earn awards, they have opportunities to try new activities in a safe environment. They develop life skills, express their creativity, and explore their gifts and abilities. They may discover a knack for drama or carpentry or might enjoy going on their first hike. These eight tips will help you get the most out of activity awards.
1. Choose awards that fit. In most of our programs, there are two Activity Award sections in each meeting. These cover two, and sometimes three, different awards per unit. You may work on one, two, or all three activity awards in a unit. Complete the suggested awards for that unit, or substitute another activity award depending on the needs and interests of your club group
2. Involve kids. Introduce three of four skill building activity awards and have club members decide which one(s) to do or in which order to complete them. This will help them feel more ownership because they’re a part of the decision-making process.
3. Provide variety. Select awards that will help your club members learn new skills and experience new challenges. Pioneer Clubs recommends that in choosing awards, you pick one from the same category as the one you’re replacing. This will help you provide a variety of awards during the club year. The awards cover five categories: Arts & Communication; Myself, My Family, and Others; Hobbies & Projects; Outdoors & Camping; Sports & Games. Example: If you want to replace the Bowling award (Trailblazers), you can choose another award from the Sports & Games category, such as Make-and-Play Games.
4. Find help. If you don’t feel you have the skills or expertise to do a particular activity award, ask parents or church members who have the needed skills to share their talents with your club members. Provide them with the handbook so they’ll know the award requirements. This is a great way to involve other Christian adults in your club.
5. Encourage kids. There generally are more Bible and activity awards available for each age division than most club members can earn during regular meetings. Provide a list of awards that kids can work on outside of club. If they want to earn the Highest Honor Award, they’ll need to do that. Requirements for the Highest Honor Award are outlined in the club members’ handbook.
6. Plan Ahead. Some leader planbooks include a supplies list at the left side of the page. Be sure to read the “Do Ahead” section and basic directions. For some programs you will need to review the children’s handbook to review the awards and what supplies are needed. Do that in advance of club. Here are some questions to think about.
- Will you need help gathering any of the supplies?
- Will you need to make a sample to show the kids?
- Will you need more adult hands to make the activity go smoothly?
- Are you comfortable leading the activity, or would it help to find someone else to visit club and lend their expertise?
7. Display Awards. Awards can be a lasting positive reinforcement for club members. To achieve this, choose a meaningful way for kids to display their award badges.
Display options available in the catalog or online store:
- Felt Banner (Item #7000)
- Sash (Item #7790)
- Vest (Item #7793)
- Canvas Bible Cover (Item #6687)
- Lanyard (Item #6734)
- Tote Bag (Item #6671)
- Picture Frame
8. Keep Track of Who’s Earned What. Club members check off award requirements in their handbooks as they finish them. You keep track by copying and keeping an Award Record Sheet for each club member. Each week, check off the award requirement(s) done in that meeting for each child who participated.
Keep your Award Record Sheets in a notebook to give to the club coordinator at the end of the year. This will enable your Pioneer Clubs program to keep track of awards completed from year to year.
Pioneer Clubs awards are designed for fun, so have fun with them. With these simple tips, you and your club members can build some enjoyable memories.