These meetings help you to communicate the basics of the club program to the kids and helps them know what to expect. So it is important to include time in your event to let kids get a feel for what a “real” club meeting will be like. Explain what Bible Explorations are. Show them the activity awards they’ll be doing. Consider including a registration time for parents to sign up their kids and pay any fees. To help you out, the leader planbooks for Voyagers, Pathfinders and Trailblazers each include kickoff off meeting plan.

You could also combine parts of the kickoff meetings from the leader planbooks with your own theme ideas. Below we’ve listed some options that other churches have tried.

Pioneer Party. One church had a Pioneer Party where everything started with the letter “P.+

  • pizza and punch
  • praise time
  • Pictionary using P words
  • pink and purple balloon games
  • pillow relay
  • promotion (telling what to expect in club)

The invitation said, “Wear something pink, purple, plaid, or with pockets, patches, perfume, polka dots, plain or pitch black.” The person with the most P’s in his or her outfit got a packet of popcorn.

If you are running a DELTA or Discovery club, do everything plan for everything to start with the letter “D.”

Sleepover. One club turned their kickoff into an overnight pajama party. Your schedule could involve doing sample parts of a typical club meeting: a Bible Exploration, a game time, a project for an activity award, and so on. This way, kids learn about the fun that awaits them in club this year.

Flashlight Kickoff. One of our clubs built a kickoff around a flashlight theme. Each child received an inexpensive flashlight. They sang “This Little Light of Mine,” formed prayer groups outdoors with flashlights, and heard the “Key Verse” devotional from Talks That Teach. Play flashlight games:

  • Flashlight Tag—IT has a flashlight and tags people by shining the light at them. Players may change hiding places whenever they want. Variation: Everyone has a flashlight. Whenever IT shouts, “Lights,” players must flick their flashlight on and off once.
  • Flashlight Treasure Hunt—Hide treasures ahead of time, and let kids search for them by flashlight.
  • Flashlight Statues—Children spread out and freeze in a funny position. One player (or leader) is the tour guide and another plays a visitor to a museum at night. The tour guide illuminates each “statue” in turn and describes it in silly ways, trying to get the statues to move or laugh. The tour guide should swing the flashlight around to other statues unexpectedly to try to catch them laughing or moving.

Western Fun. In Canada, a club reported great success with their hoedown. The neighborhood was invited. In addition to learning about club, parents and kids enjoyed a hay ride, hot dog roast and marshmallows toasted over a campfire.

Ice Cream Social. At one club’s ice cream kickoff, club leaders invited children to bring the most unusual containers they could find for their ice cream. They played games and sang songs, and then the coordinator explained about club meetings to the kids and parents.

Clowning Around. Enlisting a troop of clowns became an annual kickoff event at a church in Michigan. First club members registered. Then they went to their club rooms to meet their leaders and receive handbooks and club uniforms. Parents met the leaders and got information on club events. Then all the groups got together and enjoyed the clowns’ antics.