As Summer Fades
Do you remember it? That feeling of summer slowly fading away. Do you remember trying to grasp onto those last few moments of freedom with your buddies? Trying to fit in one last lake day, one last long bike ride, one last day shooting the breeze, sleeping in until noon or whatever it was that you enjoyed as a kid. It is still hard to watch summer slink into the sunset. As a youth worker, this time of year can be one of mixed emotions. Perhaps you find yourself wondering what this year will bring. Maybe you are anticipating the mile-markers you hope to accomplish or the mindset change you hope happens with the teens you work with. Or maybe you find yourself struggling to let go of the emotional or spiritual high your teens had after a mission trip or conference experience. Whatever emotion you are feeling right now, choose to capitalize on it!
Think for a moment about what the emotion could help you accomplish for your group this year. What is the emotion? Is it positive or negative? Why are you feeling this way? What can you do to capitalize on the feeling? Take a moment to write down some action steps.
Here are some ideas:
1. Plan an event for a couple months from now. Is there a response from the activities your youth participated in this summer that you want to help continue. Perhaps planning a mid-winter event will help keep the momentum going, or re energize the group's mentality when it begins to wain.
2. Plan monthly boosters, whether it is a weekend retreat, a special worship night, or an out of the box experience affording your students a special event one a month or once ever other month can go a long way in encouraging your students to maintain the attitude change they experienced during the summer.
3. Plan an entire overhaul. Was there such a change in your group that you need to completely revamp your weekly routine? Maybe you need to incorporate less games and more team building activities or maybe your group needs more time to talk with one another and dig deep.
As summer ends, it is easy to jump into the busy schedule that fall brings. It is easy to become side-tracked by the plans or the status quo from the previous year. Maybe this year, you need to take some time to dream. Dream about how you can bring a little summer into your school year!