What I Learned from KidFest '09

We just completed our annual week long KidFest event. KidFest is a week long, 8am-1pm camp for elementary grade kids with wild and crazy team competitions, life changing lessons and lasting friendships. Here’s what I learned this year:

1. When it comes down to it, the success of the event depends upon the people who you surround yourself with (i.e. team leaders, volunteers, etc.). You can have a pretty lame plan going into any event, but if you have people who are willing to do anything and give their all for the kids—the kids will love it.
2. Appreciate my Team Leaders like crazy. We bought breakfast for them every morning, fed them lunch, continued to praise them publicly and took them out for a nice dinner. It’s worth it to allocate a lot of money towards those serving.
3. Stick to your guns. We allowed exceptions for a couple of younger kids to attend, which then in turn created a PR mess for us because other parents were not allowed to send their kids because they were too young, but the wanted to go…If I would have just stuck to the guidelines we had in place in the first place then I wouldn’t have had to have dealt with those situations.
4. Repeat this after me: “NO DEAD TIME” This was actually something I learned last year, but we once again did a great job at it. When we give kids dead time they like to fill it for us. Instead of giving them that opportunity we made sure every minute was accounted for. In some cases, we over scheduled just to make sure.
5. Be prepared for anything. We ordered our supplies in advance and thought we were on top of things, however we had a flood of parents sign their kids up on the last day, which in turn meant we weren’t sure how much stuff we’d need. In the end we literally ended up with the exact amount, but I was sweating like a pig. It would’ve been lame if I would have had to tell a kid that they couldn’t make this cool craft because we ran out. Thank you Jesus! Purchase more than you think—just in case!

Learned more, but these are some things that stuck out the most as I reflect.

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