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Youth Ministry and outrageous summer programming go hand in hand. The pressure is on to make each event better than the last. This summer seems to be a greater challenge than most; cost normally comes into play, but not like this. Expenses are up and the vicious cycle of a recession is in full swing. Typical summer programming involves transportation, camps, theme parks, road trips, and other high excitement. Our students want to have fun and their parents want it to be affordable, and we know high cost leads to low turnout.

Here are a few tips for keeping cost down this summer.

  • Keep it close to home. With gas prices higher than normal, a long distance trip can run up the cost. Look for new and unusual things to do in your area.
  • Short term camps can be more cost effective. Typical summer camps run from $400 to $500. Your local YMCA camp could offer a three-day program that’s just as adventurous for hundreds of dollars less, or check out state parks and look into renting group campsites.
  • Cut down on big spending events and focus on big fun events. Put your projector to work and have an outdoor movie night, or use a youth leader’s pool for a movie in the pool. Challenge “rival” local youth groups in sporting events. You could even bring back the ‘90s lock-in.

An inexpensive summer puts one’s creativity to the test, but it will be greatly rewarded with thankful parents and larger turnout.

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