Blog/CYM Blog

My Youth Ministry “Summer Bucket List”

Summer is here and that means that as youth ministers, we have all the time in the world!

Ha. Ha. Ha. Just kidding!

I don’t know about you, but my summers are crazy time! From mission trips to Steubenville Conferences, and of course planning for the upcoming year, “busy” for youth ministers, is certainly an understatement.

Nevertheless, I sure do love those summer months! Teens are out of school, so there is a feeling that everything is carefree, more relaxed, and creates opportunities where youth ministers can just hang out with kids! Just incase you’re looking for some new ideas on what to do with all of your “free” time this summer as a youth minister, I made up a list of things I have done, and things I want to do with our students for summer 2015!

My “Summer Ministry Bucket List” includes…

  1. Camp fires! Who doesn’t love roasting marshmallows and sitting around a fire with a guitar singing ridiculous songs! (Borrow a parishioner’s fire pit!)
  2. Flashlight Tag. Go to the park down the road and play flashlight tag. Simple, cheap, everyone is invited.
  3. Fishing. Rod, reel, worms. Good times.
  4. 24 Hour Prayer Retreat. This summer we are hosting a 24 hour “prayer retreat” in the Adoration chapel. Two teens at a time sign up for 2 hr slots. In the chapel we have guided reflections and meditations for the teens. It’s a good way for the teens to be seen by the parishioners.
  5. Parish Serve Days. We set up and host regular serve days around the parish, for teens to come serve the needs of the Parish. An easy way for the teens to be reminded of the larger Church.
  6. Mission Trip in a Day. This summer we are hosting 5 different days of mission at different community centers throughout town. Each week is set up and hosted by a different Core member.
  7. Baseball!! (or any outdoor sport) Find the cheap tickets, caravan down to the stadium, and go to the game together.
  8. Go-Karts. Who doesn’t love go-karts!
  9. Lazer Tag. Again, who doesn’t love this stuff!
  10. Campouts. Our summer retreat is a massive camp out for any high school teen in our area!
  11. Frisbee Golf (Frolf). Take a group of teens to play disc-golf.
  12. Ultimate Frisbee. I’ll be the referee. I really don’t want to run that much.
  13. Happy Hour. Meet teens at Sonic for “happy hour”
  14. 7/11 Road Trip. July 11th every year all the 7/11’s in our area give away slurpee. So it only makes sense to take a road-trip to every 7/11 in our area.
  15. Slip-N-Slide. I’ve always wanted to do a big slip-n-slide on the parish front lawn. I’m not sure how our Facility Director would feel about it. Ask permission or beg forgiveness?
  16. 4,500 Water Balloon Fight. Last year we had 4,500 water balloons at our water balloon fight. This year, we going for the 5,000 mark! Also, ask parents and parishioners to fill the balloons for you and then invite the fire department to bring a truck out and shower the kids after the fight.
  17. Mass and Breakfast. Go to daily Mass with the teens and enjoy donuts at your local bakery.
  18. Family Movie Night. Invite the families to your church soccer fields, pop popcorn, and enjoy!
  19. Book Club. Meet with the teens once a month to talk about a Catholic book that everyone reads.
  20. Great Mattress Race. Race mattresses around town, or anything for that matter in the form of a scavenger hunt!

However you fill your days, maybe find a new adventure to have with the teens sometime during the summer months. What a great opportunity for some awesome relational ministry!


Image of Bucket List via FlickrCC 2.0, Logo added 

About the Author

Kyle Kuckleman

Kyle thinks he was put on earth to be awkward. He's the loud, off-pitch one in Mass, and usually the one who tries to hug-it-out rather than shake hands during the sign of peace. He wants nothing more than to get to heaven and to get the people he know there as well.

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