You need to celebrate – NOT because the year is over but for the great year that you had. Have fun! Cherish the memories! Look forward to next year.
1. Thank the Lord for the great year you’ve had.
2. Throw confetti or fill the room with balloons the last night of club – not to celebrate that it’s summer, but to celebrate the good year you’ve had in club.
3. Figure out how many days it is to the first fall club meeting. Plan something exciting for the kick-off and let your clubbers know what it is so that they’ll look forward to the club start.
4. Ask each clubber and leader (even Sparkies can do this) what was their best memory of the year. Have someone video the answers on his/her phone. Or, print out the answers and put them in a scrapbook or keep an ongoing list that you add to year after year.
5. Make fun and enthusiastic announcements about any summer kid events at church. (Include a flier or send an email to confirm times, dates, etc.)
6. Put together a DVD of photos/videos that were taken throughout the year – show the DVD at awards night. (Many churches do this as parents and clubbers arrive.) Or, perhaps you could make a copy for each family with a note thanking the family for the privilege of being their child’s leader.
7. Plan a memorable last night: grill hot dogs, roast marshmallows, sing your favorite songs, invite a kid-friendly speaker, play energetic games and/or let the kids go wild with sidewalk chalk on the parking lot. (Make sure you block off the area from cars.)
8. Honor the leaders in a church service. Ask those who have worked in Awana to stand up so the Awana ministry director or pastor can thank them publically.
9. Plan a special celebration for leaders – but not a pot-luck dinner. (Often it’s the very people you’re honoring who end up doing the work at a pot-luck.) You could have the meal catered or another group in the church could serve the meal. Depending on the leaders, they might be willing to pay for their own meal if you planned a get-together at a nearby restaurant.
10. Give a “thank-you” gift to parents.
- Popcorn — “For the popping-good time we had with your child this year!”
- Frisbee® — “Have a great summer! Looking forward to the Fall start-date for another great year of Awana!”
- Pen with church name and phone number — “Keep in touch!”
- A ticket to a minor league ball game — “Come join us!”
11. Do you have a creative musician in your church? Could he/she write a catchy tune about the year that you could teach to the kids on the last night.
12. Take a group picture with someone in the front row holding a sign (as you would in a school picture: “Awana – 2014-2015.”) Do you have a basement or educational wing hallway where you could keep a gallery of these pictures? Fun to look back at in the coming years.