I had camp a few weeks ago! I went to the Windermere Baptist Conference Center for AreaOne Camp. I have never been to this camp before, but the speakers and the worship team looked awesome, so I was really looking forward to see what the Lord had in store for us. It was awesome!
One thing I did this year is give camp gifts to the students and the leaders. My wife and the girl volunteers went all out for the girls and I really don’t even know what they got them. I just know it involved lots of construction paper, Modge Podge, and glitter. I was in charge of the leaders and the guys.
I asked in the YouthMin Facebook Group what would be good gifts for leaders as a “Camp Survival Pack” I got some great comments and this is what I decided to go with. Almost all of it was either found in the “Dollar” section of Target or in the “Travel” section of the Health and Beauty area.
Here is a blown up version of the card that is attached to the box describing each item and why they are in there.
We also added little Snickers bars to fill up space in the box. We didn’t write it on the card but the same reason why these commercials are great is why we gave them the Snickers bars. We don’t want them to get hungry. Also not written on there and kind of hidden from the picture is a hand written Thank You note I wrote to each leader. Basically it is me telling them thanks for giving up a week of their Summer to be with students, and also a note that I am praying for them.
The box came from old postage boxed I had lying around the house. I went to Staples and bought “Craft Paper.” I love this because it is plain brown. I felt like it added to the “Survival Kit” feel.
That is it. Very simple and pretty cheap. Less than $10 per leader and they are all things the leaders will enjoy and find some humor in as they go to camp. The important thing is that they feel like you care. They are giving up a week of their time. Even if you paid their way to camp, they could be working or at home with their family instead of there with students. Make them feel special. Happy leaders lead to happy students, which leads to happy youth pastor. At least, that is how it’s supposed to go.
As mentioned before, my wife was in charge of the student gifts. I don’t really know what is in them. They could be just bags full of glitter and Justin Bieber bobble heads for all I know. I asked around if it was normal for the guys to get gifts. Everyone said that they wouldn’t expect it and they really don’t care. Camp gifts are mainly a thing between the Female cabin leaders and their girls. So I figure I would surprise them with a very pragmatic and manly gift for the guys.
Nothing screams “Youth Camp” like Slim Jims and Mountain Dew. I added the gum for hygiene. I think the guys will be totally cool with this. All of this I bought in bulk and there were extras for me (benefits of being a Youth Pastor I guess!).