Another mistake I made early on was caring more about fun that safety. I think this is why kids love teenagers because they care about fun and what makes things fun? Danger. Every year for camp we played a game called “Anything for Money.” The goal of the game was to create a yearly camp tradition and bond campers around a common experience. It accomplished it’s goal every year, the problem came when we tried to out do the previous year. I became more concerned with out doing the year before that we lost sight of the original goal and what was fun turned into something else one year.
Let me be clear, no one got hurt but in wanting to outdo my self I potentially put campers in a situation that didn’t have their best interests in mind. The final “anything for money” involved peanut butter in the armpits of a large sweaty man and buggers in a sandwich. My job was to care for the safety of kids I lost site of that and learned a valuable lesson. If kids don’t feel safe they won’t come and if parents don’t feel their kids will be safe they won’t send them. So for me the most important thing you can do is provide a safe environment for kids.
I know many of you out there are thinking that most things that are fun are fun because they involve some risk. I am a fun person and love having fun but if you have to choose between fun and safe, I say pick safe. Again this is why every kids ministry needs teenagers they are fun and have no concept of safety. Every kids ministry also needs parents who used to be fun until someone lost an eye then they learned fun with guidelines is even more fun than fun alone.
So don’t do what I did. Have fun but be safe.