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3 Immediate Actions Steps After Summer Camp

We just got back from camp—and while I’m completely exhausted and have tons of work piled up from being gone the last 10 days, there are two to three immediate actions that I have to spring into action to do. Here’s what I’m dealing with on my first days back to the office:

Put out fires
I’ve had to return three to four emails of parents who had students that had less than great experiences. I have a meeting set up for this afternoon with two moms of freshman boys for something that happened in their cabin I have little or no defense for. I had another couple of students complain about bullying. The vast, vast majority of students had an amazing time, but I’ve got to jump in on the fires right away after camp. No hesitation.

Celebrate the wins
Take time to pass along the good news, too! Forward an email from a happy parent to the church office list. Share a few of the most positive and life-changing ones with your volunteers. Spread the word and celebrate all that God did up at camp! Plan the first youth group after camp to be a giant celebration service with testimonies and cake! Woohooo!

Rest up
No one has heard from me for the first two days back. When I come back from camp, I have to go dark and rest in order to be ready for the rest of the summer. I have to fight the temptation to engage right away or continue to batter my adrenal glands for another few days. Instead I went to the beach, took two naps (unheard of for me), and ate lots of healthy food to help my digestive system get back on track.

What else do you do right away when you come back from camp?  

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Josh Griffin is high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co-counder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com and host of the Youth Ministry Garage Podcast. He's authored more than 20 youth ministry resources and is the author of "99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders" with Doug Fields. Josh is a father of 4 who speaks a little, podcasts a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot. You can find him at DownloadYouthMinistry.com!