Want to have a great summer? As youth workers that have planned summers that have both crushed and crashedâ€”let us share some tips for planning a great summer calendar.
Donâ€™t wait until the pressure is on.
Hereâ€™s some good news right up front: If youâ€™re thinking about summer now, youâ€™re in good shape. Next year, start even earlier! If you plan in advance, even in broad strokes, it will greatly improve the chances of your summerâ€™s big ideas becoming a reality. Resist the false belief that waiting until the pressure is on makes you betterâ€”it doesnâ€™t; it just makes you more frantic.
Change it up.
Summer is a GREAT time to change it up. Get out of the school year rhythms and programs and shake things up. Always have youth group inside? What about taking it â€œunder the starsâ€ for the month of July? Always have small groups? Change it up and go with Midweek for a few months. Summer allows you to try something new and experiment in the short-term effectively. Maybe youâ€™ll stumble onto something great that you can bring into the full year, too!
Think free first.
Summer gets expensive quickly. Aside from camp, what if everything else was free? It would make you get creative for sure! This summer weâ€™re trying out a weekly event weâ€™re calling Five-Dollar Friday trying to keep things super relational, super effective, and super cheap. A few years ago we employed a â€œcheap and easyâ€ philosophy where everything was super cheap AND most things required no advanced registration, paperwork, etc.
Push hard toward a central event.
For us, Summer Camp is THE event of summerâ€”all events before it point toward it and everything after rides the wave it creates. Maybe this summer take the same strategy and put your eggs in one basket. If you plan too much, it creates confusion as to what someone should really attend. We want it to be obvious: COME TO CAMPâ€”and if you make it to the other stuff, great!
What are your summer planning tips?
This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.