Written by Julie Clapp, national director of WyldLife.
WyldLife club is a place where kids and leaders can laugh, play and hear the Gospel clearly proclaimed. So what does a great WyldLife club look like?
A WyldLife club can be held anywhere… homes, churches, recreation centers or schools… as long as there is room for kids to move around. Middle school kids don’t enjoy sitting, so you’ll need space for them to be active.
The frequency of WyldLife clubs varies, but most meet twice a month. Many areas choose to alternate club and Campaigners so there is a weekly WyldLife gathering. You’ll find before- and after-school clubs, traditional evening clubs and late Friday night clubs. Invite kids for 1.5 or 2 hours, including one hour for actual club and the rest of the time for contact work and/or cabin time. This gives parents more than an hour between drop-off and pickup.
You want to get kids excited about club, but you need to give their parents the details. Send parents a calendar at the beginning of each semester and send regular reminders by email.
Plan a club that meets the needs of middle school kids. Fun is more important than funny at this age concrete-thinking kids. They make better participants than spectators and have lots of energy, so you’ll want to keep them moving.
Keep in mind that kids could be a part of club for six or seven years in your area, so be intentional about creating variety. Your area might consider designating “WyldLife only” and “Young Life only” events. Perhaps crud wars are “WyldLife only” while the Mr. Christmas Tree Pageant is just for high school.
Girls v. guys club. Crazy hair club. Spring break club. Keep it simple, but use themes to engage kids. Have a Hawaiian club and put a lei on every kid who walks through the door. Include themes on the calendar you mail to parents.
Let your high school WyldLife leaders help you plan club, lead mixers, emcee a game or even give a talk. It may not be perfect, but they’ll have fun and WyldLife kids will get to experience their high school friends pointing them to Jesus.
The average size of a WyldLife club is 35 kids, but clubs of 85+ middle school kids are possible. Every division has at least one club of that size – and you’ll find clubs of 100+ WyldLife kids across the country too.
Want more ideas about how to make your WyldLife club great? Visit the WyldLife Leader blog.