A service project can be a highlight of your club year. Kids today really want to make a difference. A service project gives them a chance to help others and feel good about their own ability to help. Here are some steps that you can take to help you plan a service project.
Choose the Project
To maximize club members’ enjoyment, keep the project simple, fun and hands-on. If a particular service project from a past year went well, consider making it a tradition. Kids love traditions. They help identify and define your club group and give continuing and upcoming club members something to look forward to. Or brainstorm project ideas with your co-leader.
If you’ll be visiting people or working with a service organization, you’ll need to work around their schedule and requirements. You may need permission from your church to. Don’t forget permission slips to be signed by parents, if you’ll be going off church grounds.
Schedule a Date and Time
Keep school and church calendars in mind. Will you plan to do your service project during a regular club meeting time, or meet outside of club?
Inform Parents and Children
- “Walk” club members through what to expect and what they’re to do. The more they understand ahead of time, the more comfortable they’ll feel and the more smoothly the event will go. Consider taking time during a regular club meeting to address this, having a separate meeting for those participating in the service project to walk through what to expect, or allowing for time right before the service project to address this information.
- Is there a specific dress code that they will need to follow? Are there materials they will need to bring with them, or will it be provided by your church or the organization? Communicate this as well.
Plan with Your Co-leader and Club Members
If you can let the club members make any of the decisions, they’ll be more invested in the project. Allow four to six weeks to work out details, rehearse and so on.
Recruit parents, Pals and other volunteers from the church. Offer choices of which tasks they would prefer. This would be a great time for people who are considering leading club to get a taste of what it’s all about.
- If you partnered with an organization for your service project, write a thank you note to the organization or the main person that you connected and worked with. If possible, have each child and leader that participated sign the card.
- Consider putting a slide show or video together to share with parents or the congregation. Be sure to have a photo release form filled out for each participant ahead of time.
- Get feedback from the club members and volunteers. Would they like to do this project or a similar project again? What did they learn from the experience?