Last week, YS Blog Author Chase Snyder led a really solid webinar about how we can care for our volunteers during the summer camp season. We also leaned into Eric Friedmann, a veteran youth worker currently serving in central, IL, to hear how he’s been able to create systems and environments that care for his volunteers while they are at camp.
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the points that Chase and Eric covered:
Preparing Your Volunteers To Serve At Camp
- Your role is be a director, not a doer. Get enough leaders. If you don’t have enough leaders for a camp the leaders who do commit will be apprehensive before the camp starts.
- We never want a volunteer to say to himself, “What am I doing here?” or “Do they even need me to serve?” Connect leaders to their role and allow for some leaders and students to help with the planning.
- Prepare your leaders spiritually with corporate prayer, communicating the spiritual significance of the event, and give them the small group material a month in advance.
- Your leaders create momentum for an event, so cast the vision!
Investing In Your Volunteers During Camp
- The student pastor must maintain a director’s role during the camp. Volunteers are on the front lines of ministry during camp. The pastor’s role is to minister to the volunteers.
- Troubleshoot potential problems for your volunteers. Be proactive about creating an environment where they are able to serve students and build relationships.
- Ensure your leaders have fun! Incorporate them in worship, recreation, and videos.
- Share God stories of life-change with leaders. Want to remind them of what God is doing.
Engaging Volunteers After Camp
- Follow up with leaders to hear:
- God stories of life-change in the students
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats from camp
- Find out how your volunteers have grown spiritually
- Have small group leaders follow up with students after camp (following up with students that made decisions, send a card to each student in their small group who attended camp, etc.)
- Gather volunteers’ ideas to make next year better.
- Thank your volunteers. (Cards, gifts, public recognition, etc.) You understand how your leaders feel appreciated. Do that. Don’t let a free t-shirt be the only “thank you” they receive.
Want to connect with Chase or Eric? Here’s their info:
Chase is the founder of MINISTRYBUBBLE.COM and serves as a Family Pastor in Knoxville, Tenn. He seeks to live a life that glorifies God and disciples others through their day-to-day lives, and his passion is equipping those in the church to seek those who are outside of it. Check out his writing at MINISTRY BUBBLE or connect with him on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or INSTAGRAM.
JACOB ECKEBERGER is the Content Manager at Youth Specialties, an itinerant worship leader, the spouse of a church planter, and a long time volunteer youth worker. You can find him blogging about social media and digital strategy ideas at JACOBECKEBERGER.COM.