The end of this school year is in sight. Even though this year has been different, let’s not neglect celebrating our seniors! Follow your local guidelines regarding gathering, but if you are able to get folks together safely, below are some ideas that could help you pull off a “Senior Club.”
Keys to Success
This could be one of your highest attended events. If the seniors take ownership of it, they will get people there.
Even if seniors have “checked out” of Young Life, this is a club they will come back for… if personally invited. Not just a mass text, or a social media announcement, but a face-to-face invite or phone call. I’ve watched many kids come to a Senior Club that have never been to YL before. It’s an easy invite because it’s the last club of the year and the seniors are speaking. Work hard to get first timers there! Who knows, they might even sign up for camp. It’s happened many times!
This is a great club to invite current 8th graders, and give them a taste of what’s to come in the fall when they become freshmen. Get parents and middle school teachers help in promoting that this club is open to 8th graders. If there is WyldLife in your area, connect with the WyldLife leaders and get their help in bringing their middle school friends.
Also, offer prizes for the high schoolers who brings the most 8th graders. We typically give away “Lunch With A Leader” or bring kids lunch from their favorite restaurant to school.
If scheduled in May, often college students are back home and would love to come back and visit their former club.
If not carefully monitored, this club could run too long. Consider starting 30 minutes earlier than usual. You could also do a cookout, grill hot dogs, and start at 6:37 instead of 7:37. Check the sports schedule and make sure to not conflict with a big home game.
Will the seniors run music, games, skits? If so, help them prepare. They can do classic Young Life skits, make fun of leaders, pick their favorite classic songs to sing, and make videos to show at club. It’s also fun to play a ‘Guess that Senior’ game using baby pics.
It’s a fun opportunity for the seniors to film a video together. Check out this video from the seniors at Overton Young Life in Nashville.
Allow enough time for every senior that wants to share to have a turn. Coach the seniors ahead of time on WHAT to share. If they know Christ, ask them to speak clearly of what He has done in their life. If they’ve been to camp or plugged into Campaigners, ask them to share those experiences. Their words will carry much weight with the underclassmen. Although it is fun as leaders to hear kids tell us how great we are, encourage them to use this time to tell how great Jesus is instead.
Coach the seniors ahead of time on how long to share. If you have 15 seniors that each talk for 4 minutes, that will take an hour. Consider warning them ahead of time that after a certain predetermined length of time you will raise a sign in the back letting them know to wrap it up. Set the seniors up for success.
Think outside the box about ways to make this evening special. Will you have a time when the leaders pray for the seniors? Will you give the seniors any gifts, notes, etc…Will you have a special surprise 24-ft long Gutter Ice Cream Sundae waiting for the kids out back when the night ends? If so, ask some parents to help prepare it so it’s ready and still frozen when everyone runs outside. Also, prepare to get sticky. Ice Cream fights are inevitable.