They’re not coming.
A key family I hoped would sign up for camp told me they won’t be participating.
It’s our fault, really.
Our youth ministry team has been busy keeping our calendar full over the past season. We’ve had a “Big Event” each month, kept up our regular Sunday morning classes and made our midweek program the best it could be. We even tried out Group’s new “Simply Youth Group” program to great success (for real – check it out).
We made one of the best looking calendars we’ve ever made, in fact. It was full of logos, pictures, snarky comments and links to all the major events. It’s been a good run – the kind of effort that allows parents to just have to drop their kids off and feel good that a major investment is taking place into their kids.
That’s the problem, actually.
Somewhere over the past season we didn’t partner with parents on much of our planning. It wasn’t by intention, but by necessity. Our time was crunched and we had to make several key decisions all at once. It was a lot easier to do that within our leadership circle than to have a large planning process that parents could jump into.
All the plans we made for families didn’t include families.
Here are two dominant symptoms:
- When a parent looks at a clever logo, they have no idea of what the actual event will look like, how their kid will be taken care of, or why the cost is what it is. There’s a lot of guessing going on.
- When a kid says, “I don’t want to do that,” the parent doesn’t have any hands-on experience to draw from to say, “I personally know this is going to be incredible for you.”
Like I said, we created this problem ourselves. In our effort to make this a hands-off experience to not burden parents, we kept parents’ hands off of it – and they now have no burden for it.
Sometimes surviving one survival mode just puts you into another survival mode.
That’s the hurdle we’re now facing… and consequently, we’re missing out one one of the biggest “amps” for camp – parents who are excited about it because they see what this experience can do for their kids.
Any tips on how we can recover? I’d love to hear your thoughts.