If you are a youth leader, chances are you’ve been on one or two overnight stays with your kids. While the experience itself can be awesome, there are a few things leading up to your time away that can really affect your stay.
We have heard all sorts of horror stories about bus rides to our Ranch and other camps. Maybe you have an extremely gassy teenager and broken windows on the van. You could have been like one group that got a flat tire on their way to Teen Quest, got it fixed only to have their lead vehicle in the caravan break down a half hour later. They finally arrived around 1:00 AM. With all of these possible scenarios, consider a few things you can do to get your group settled in as quickly as possible.
1) Have all of your papers.
You’re going to want to get off the bus as much as all of your students. But before you hop out, take a minute to see that you have all of your release forms, payment, and medical info with you. It’s not very fun to get to check in and realize you have to go back to the van because you left everything you need behind.
2) Let your other leaders worry about the teens for a while.
Depending on the size of your group, this may seem like more of a luxury than a reality. But even if your mom is the only other adult with you, let her know ahead of time that you’d like her to keep the kids under control upon arrival.
3) Make sure most of your questions are answered before you arrive.
Have a committed contact at the camp that can answer your phone calls and emails promptly. If you book your group and don’t hear from the contact that booked you or have to hunt them down like a blood hound for weeks to get answers to basic questions, you may be looking at a huge red flag. Their willingness to work with you in the weeks and months leading up to your stay will give you an idea of how they will take care of you during your stay. The more you know before you arrive, the less frustrations you’ll have.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of everything you’ll need to do to get your retreat going in the right direction, if you follow these three steps you’ll be starting things out with a smile on your face!
Comments or thoughts? Leave them below…