How to Utilize Secret Pals on your Summer Trips

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.

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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