CYM Blog Summer Event Follow-Up: Twenty Ideas by Kenn DeMoll Bruce Lee, one of the world’s greatest martial arts masters once said, “the successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” The can be said of youth ministers. Successful youth ministers do not simply bring teenagers to summer events. They plan, with laser-like focus, the follow up before they go on the event. Following up is not just “one more thing” to do in a busy summer, but it helps teens to connect a mountain top experience with their daily life. The hardest part of creating a follow-up plan is coming up with what to do, and then getting it on the calendar. I’ve done the first part for you! Pick one idea for each of your summer events and put it in the calendar from get-go. This will allow teens to plan on it. Square deal? Give Core members pre-addressed and stamped envelopes to mail notes to teens following an event. Host a pot-luck cook out at the Church. Launch a bible study using the Life Teen resource “the Summit” as one way to continue to foster growth in faith. Start a group text for prayer requests/discussion outside of the event. Pick a particular devotion (like the Total Consecration to Mary or Novena to the Holy Spirit) to encourage the habit of daily prayer. Begin a regular pickup sports game that begins and ends with prayer. Schedule all guy/all girl events, such as a hike or pool party. Plan some time for intentional discussion about faith impacting life. Offer the series of Life Teen’s “Unleashed” that would most appeal to your teens. Have the teens write a letter to themselves during the event about how they want their lives to change. Mail it to them post event. Transition the small groups at the event to become accountability groups following it. Show up at your teen’s other summer events with popsicles, water, Gatorade, etc. Encourage the small group leaders to schedule a follow-up after the event. Have someone (and their parents) on the trip host a party for the group as a reunion. Put together a slide show of the event with superlative awards (most likely to miss hammering a nail, best team spirit, most likely to become a saint) for those who went. Use it as a chance to talk about the next steps following the event. Have each Core member write a note to a few parents telling them how much they enjoyed experiencing the event with their child. Follow-up with a team building activity like white water rafting, laser tag, or going to a ropes course. Go to daily mass and breakfast at a local restaurant as a group each week. Reserve a weekly or monthly Holy Hour at your parish for the group. Serve at a local mission or charity together. Attend a Sunday Mass as a group to give witness to the parish of what youth ministry is doing over the summer. Ask the priest (in advance) to do a group blessing on living out their faith in renewed zeal. What other events have you found make a great follow up activity for a powerful summer event?