Summer Days and Girls Ministries
by: Kristie Kerr
I live in Minnesota.
This means many things - but most importantly it means that I endure amazingly long winters. Like... reeeaaally long winters. Winters that test the endurance of your character. Winters that require you to stockpile food and pack blankets into your car. Winters that seem to drag on until you feel like you just might actually fall apart if you don't see the sun soon.
And because we Minnesotan's endure such long winters, when summer comes along - we embrace it like no one else does. Schedules are thrown out the window. Vacations are savored. We drink in every moment of sunshine - for we know these days must sustain us for the rest of the year.
Summer is a great opportunity to step out of your normal routine and embrace fun, new things. And when it comes to Girls Ministries - summer can be an exciting time to connect with your girls in a fresh, unique way.
Many church groups take the summers off of their regular meeting time - so how can you stay connected to your girls and maybe even make some fun new relationships over the summer?
How about throw a party at a local pool or someone's house? Get some fun "girly" decorations and BBQ in the back yard. Have a bonfire and roast marshmallows or set off fireworks on the 4th of July! Use the days of summer to connect in a more relational way - when you're not worried about accomplishing tasks or keeping up with schedules.
Or how about using the summer to enlist women in your church to host a small group in their home? Maybe once every couple of weeks, you could get together to talk about a certain subject or have a book club. Look at it as a time to reach out to future leaders - during a season where they may have more time than during the school year. Help them connect to the girls in your church and encourage them to be a godly mentor.
Or how about including some service projects into your summer? Most girls are available during the day - so why not get them together once or twice a month to help out with some projects in your community? Pull weeds at an elderly person's home or help babysit the children of a single mother. Gather canned goods for a local shelter or visit a senior center. Summer can be an amazing time for the girls to experience the great joy of serving someone in Jesus' name.
No matter what - don't discount summer as the "off season" for Girls Ministries. Your routine may be different - but these long sweet days offer opportunities for greater connection for you and your girls!
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS:
Adventure Badges: The word "adventures" denotes fun, excitement, discovery, and something out of the ordinary. Girls Ministries offers 6 types of Adventures girls can participate in - Outdoor, Industry, Professional, Fine Arts, Community, and Ministry. Take advantage of the time you have in the summer to build an adventure with your girls that will provide an environment for them to serve and develop their gifts and abilities. You can even use Royal Ranger Merit Badge requirements as a guide.
Click here for more details about Adventure Badges
Hot Topics: Finding answers to many of today's complicated cultural issues can be frustrating and confusing. Hot Topics are designed to provide leaders of teen girls with a guide to lead biblically-based discussion on topics that are relevant to girls today. Each topic has a student guide and corresponding leader guide. Download these FREE supplemental lesson plans for conversation with your girls. Click here to view available Hot Topics.
Teen Girl Retreat: The Teen Girl Retreat is a FREE, downloadable retreat guide designed to help your girls develop a deeper relationship with God while they develop deeper relationships with one another. The Teen Girl Retreat is designed to be flexible. You can pack everything into a day, or stretch the retreat out into a full three-day weekend. It's meant to be molded to fit your personality and the personality of your group. Most of the sessions are discussion-oriented, so girls can talk freely about where they're at and you can share from your own life experiences. Click here to view available Teen Girl Retreat packets.
Girls Ministries Daybooks: Use the Elementary and Teen Girl Daybooks as a guide for use in a weekly small group. These monthly calendars focus on a different theme each week and provide a daily activity and Scripture passage. Use this resource to go into a deeper discussion with your girls on the verses and topics