If you haven’t already done so, here are some quick and easy ways to let your volunteers know this holiday season how much you appreciate their service in Pioneer Clubs. Most of these ideas can be used around Christmas or revised to be used throughout the year.

Volunteer Christmas Tree

Take a picture of each club volunteer and mat each one on cardstock. Leave room to write a word of thanks on the picture or mat. Punch a hole in the top for attaching ribbon to make an ornament. Put up an appropriately sized Christmas tree in the church lobby and hang the ornaments on it.

Recipe for Appreciation Book

Ask various members of the congregation for favorite holiday recipes. Put recipes together into a notebook for each Pioneer Clubs volunteer.

Include a special page for each volunteer, saying, for instance, “John’s Recipe.” Then brainstorm with your committee about good qualities in that volunteer. Put them together into a “recipe” that makes up that person: “John’s Recipe: 1 cup kindness, 1 teaspoon artistic ability, 2 tablespoons prayer, etc. Mix well with 2 dashes of laughter. Yield: 10 excited Pathfinders.”

Christmas Gift

Wrap up a special gift for each volunteer. Ideas: a devotional book that your pastor recommends, a gift card, a board game for the whole family to enjoy, etc.

Christmas Photos

Find a good amateur photographer in your congregation. Take holiday photos of each volunteer and his or her family beside the church’s Christmas tree. Print out the photos or email the digital ones to your volunteers to use however they would like.

Thank You Video of Kids

Take short videos of club members saying what they like about their club leaders. Consider including words from parents and a Christmas or New Year’s devotional thought from the pastor. Make or have the kids make a couple of posters (or write on a handheld chalkboard) phrases such as: “Thank you,” “You’re an awesome leader,” “Thanks for teaching me about Jesus,” etc. Take pictures or short video clips of the kids holding up the signs. Edit the clips together and burn the video onto a disk for each volunteer. Or post the video on your church’s social media pages, show the video during the service and email the link to watch the video to your volunteers so that they can watch it again and again.

Additional Video Ideas

  • Have staff members, your Pioneer Clubs committee and/or your family dress up in ugly Christmas sweaters or characters from the Christmas story. Play a fun Christmas song that celebrates Christ’s birth while lip syncing to the song. Act out part of the Christmas story while singing. Be goofy. Be super serious. Use your creativity and have fun!
  • Play dramatic music in the background. Take video clips of either empty classrooms (what it would look like without club) or with kids running around (warned ahead of time to act crazy) with no (or only one) leaders.

Stamped Treats

Find a couple of scrapbookers or rubber stampers in the congregation who would be willing to make decorative wrappers for candy bars or envelopes of soup. Ask them to use stamps with a Christmas or New Year’s theme. Add an appropriate “thank you” stamped sentiment. The Internet has lots of fun ideas.

Coordinator’s New Year’s Resolutions

Think of what each club leader might appreciate from you in the new year. Give each club leader a note or card with a resolution from you on it: “In the new year, I resolve to take you out for coffee to hear about how your club is going”; “My New Year’s resolution is to provide you with two snacks that you don’t have to prepare yourself”; and so on.