Beat the Wintertime Blues: Plan a Cool Missions Event

Here in the Deep South, we have been experiencing some unusually frigid days this past week. For this Goldilocks-type girl—you know, not too hot, not too cold—the sub-freezing temperatures make me want to stay indoors, all bundled up in my sweats and furry socks in front of a warm, crackling fire. It's even been too cold for my "It's-not-cold-I-wear-shorts-all-year-long" 12-year-old son. Needless to say, he has a bad case of cabin fever and can't wait to get outside to ride that new bike he got for Christmas.

Do the long, cold days of winter have the kids in your missions group itching for something fun to do? Do you find yourself pressed for time during your regular meetings for kids to earn badges/patches, work on individual achievement plans (like GA Journey, RA Trek, or Missions Expedition), or participate in hands-on missions projects? Now is the perfect time to beat the wintertime blues by planning an extra special missions event for your group!

As kids get more involved in missions activities, you help personalize their learning about praying, giving, helping others, and sharing the love of Jesus. Follow these simple steps to plan and organize a fun winter missions event customized for your specific group of kids:

  • Choose a date and secure a location for your event. Will you have it at church, someone's home, or a nearby retreat center?
  • Decide how long the event will last. Will it be a daytime event or will you choose to host a sleepover or lock-in?
  • Invite kids who are currently enrolled in your missions organization, as well as prospects, too. This is a great way to spark excitement and get new children and their families involved.
  • Set the stage with a fun theme and decorations. Search online for some great tips and ideas for a winter party. Be creative!
  • Select (or have kids choose) several different activities to complete during your time together. Gather materials for these activities. See GA Journey Leader Guide, RA Trek Leader Guide, or Missions Expedition for complete instructions and supply lists for each individual achievement activity. Or, look through all the badges/patches offered and pick a few to work on together. Brainstorm requirements for earning certain badges/patches. Another great resource for more ideas is Zowie! 200+ Ministries Kids Can Do. Remember to secure parental permission forms if you will be taking kids away from your location and if the weather allows.
  • Create a schedule for your event. Be sure to include time for kids to get their wiggles out by planning periods of activity and movement.
  • Plan for meals and snacks. If possible, try to coordinate food around your chosen theme. Your event would also be a great time to let kids prepare some easy recipes together.
  • Enlist helpers. Ask other adults or responsible youth to help with the event in general and to guide kids as they work on their activities. This is a great way to get families involved in your missions organization.
  • Pray for guidance, safety, and a successful event that will be fun and meaningful to everyone.

With just a little planning and preparation, you can brighten the gray days of winter with a memorable event to get kids excited about missions and moving ahead into the new year!

 

Melissa Whetstone serves as the GA editor at national WMU. As mom to three busy boys, she loves spending time with "her girls" each week as she leads GA at her church.

 

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