I'm someone who needs a lot of encouragement and affirmation.
What I've learned after 13 years in youth ministry is that most teens do, too.
As a result, I try to be intentional not only about giving teens encouragement and affirmation, but also teaching them to do the same. One way I do this is by incorporating secret pals into our summer trips. The job of secret pals is to encourage one another through daily notes and small gifts designed to bring a smile to their pal's face.
Here's how you can utilize secret pals on your summer trips.
1. At one of your pre-trip meetings, explain the basic idea of a secret pal. Then ask everyone present to write their names on index cards. Along with their names, ask everyone to write their favorite kinds of candy, along with one prayer request. Listing their favorite candy gives pals an idea of what might bring a smile to their partner's face during the trip. Including prayer requests encourages people to pray for their pals well before they're on the summer trip.