- Raid the Piggy Bank. Kids bring nickels to help with a church missions project to make a “Mile of Nickels.”
- Serve in Church. Choose a service project that integrates kids into the church body. Have club members spearhead a recycling project or cleanup day. Or help kids join the congregation in ongoing projects, such as stocking a food pantry or delivering meals to homebound church members.
Opening Celebrations & Special Events
- Beach Party. Have a beach party in the church gym. Use wading pools. Have a fishing game. Make sailboats (see item# 5771) and float them in a kiddie pool of water. Make sand jar crafts. Have your youth pastor or other volunteer dress as an ice cream man with a cart and distribute ice cream goodies like ice cream bars, Popsicles and cones. You can also make fun snacks with Swedish fish and blue gelatin, fruit punch with gummies in ice cubes, and “sand” parfaits with layers of cookies and pudding topped with graham cracker crumbs for sand. Add drink umbrellas for extra fun. Invite parents and Pals.
- Harvest Hoedown. Invite the church, parents and Pals. Put bales of hay in your church parking lot and have a hayride with a tractor-pulled hay cart. Offer “harvest-y treats” like a corn boil, hot apple cider, caramel apples, cider doughnuts and pumpkin bread. Roast hot dogs over a fire pit (adult-supervised) or grill out.
- Parents’ Meeting. Once the club year has started, plan a parents’ meeting to share details about club. In this setting, parents have more opportunities to ask questions and get a broader understanding of how club works and why. This also might be a good time to enlist parents to help in the program.
- Talent Show. Have a talent show for club members, parents and Pals to display a talent, whether serious or funny. Club members could play an instrument, sing, do standup comedy, do gymnastics or show something totally goofy like touching their nose with the tip of their tongue.
- People Obstacles. Have club members brainstorm ideas for obstacles that they can form with their bodies (arches to crawl under, humps to jump over, etc.). After everyone has thought of at least two, have all players except one form their obstacles. The first player goes through the obstacle course and then forms an obstacle at the end. Then the next player starts through, and so on. See how long the game can keep moving without repeating an obstacle or stopping to think of new obstacles.
- Contagious Disease. Form a circle. One at a time, players describe their “disease.” For example, the first player claims to have an itch on the left leg. All players must then scratch their left leg. The next person claims to have a cold. All players must then scratch and sneeze at the same time. See how many symptoms the group can add and still have every player reproduce all of them at the same time.
Funding Your Club
- Sponsorship. Adults in the congregation may enjoy the chance to pay all or part of club fees for children whose families need assistance. Take a photo of the child being sponsored (with parents’ permission) and give it to the sponsoring church member along with a little bit of information about that child. Adults also could be recruited to financially sponsor one or more club activities, field trips or special events.
- Special Offering. Ask church leadership if there could be a special yearly offering for the Pioneer Clubs ministry. Put the money toward a service project, field trip or club registration fees for needy children.
- Church Budget. Many churches like to include Pioneer Clubs as part of the Christian education budget.
- Potluck Dessert. If your church is having a special potluck event, ask if the Pioneer Clubs kids can make desserts, serve them and collect a fee. Offer several dessert options as you would in a restaurant—brownies, cookies or apple pie.
- Christmas Greenery. Several Pioneer Clubs churches have sold wreaths and garlands around the holiday season for club or a special missions project. Announce the fundraiser in club, to parents, in the church bulletin and from the pulpit.