Thursday, October 24, 2013

BARF Night

And no, before you get grossed out I am not talking about throw-up today.
But as a random side note one of the biggest things that I am most thankful for is that in my year and  a half in full time children's ministry I have not had to clean up anybody's throw up!  That's what I call something to be grateful for.  Any of my fellow KidsMin or volunteers out there on that one? 

Today when I say BARF I'm talking about last night's theme.  

Bring
A
Real
Friend

That's right, it was BARF night.  

BARF night is so much fun for so many reasons. 

1) It's a great night to see lots of new people.  
2) Hello, the kids think it's hilarious because it's called BARF.  
3) I incorporate BARF bags into their game time.  
4) Everyone who brings a friend gets to go to an ice cream party and since I'm the lady in charge I get to go too.  Being in charge has to have its perks somewhere. 

The week before BARF night is scheduled I send all of the kids home with two BARF bags that they use as their invitation to their friends.  I grab regular, brown paper bags from my local store and put our churches information on the outside.  I make sure to include our website and phone number so that if any parents have any questions they can easily reach me throughout the week.  Here's a look at this week's invite. 



The Big white space at the bottom is where I put my churches information.  
I tape this print-out onto my brown paper bag and do my best to encourage my kids to invite their friends. 

I also offer incentives, rewards, bribery, or whatever you want to call it for kids who bring friends:
1) 10 AWANA bucks for the 1st friend they bring. 
2) 5 AWANA bucks for every additional friend they bring. 
3) Everyone who brings a friend and their friend are treated to an ice cream party after the opening ceremony.  

I am very intentional about the date that I pick for BARF night.  I always pick the Wednesday that falls right before our Fall or Spring Festival.  Why do I do this?  I do this because this brings a whole new group of kids and parents who I can invite back to come for two of our biggest event of the year.  When every child left last night they received a flyer about next week's Fall Festival or Fear Not as we call it. 

Here's another great thing about BARF night!  It's another low-cost night!  
This year, the only expense I had was the ice cream for the ice cream party.  That's what I'd call a win in a KidsMin budget. 

We had a great turn out last night!
Our best BARF night since I started working there.  This was our 3rd. 

We had 59 kids total (remember my AWANA goes from Puggles-4th graders).  
Which was our highest number yet this year! 

Do you guys and gals ever have a BARF night?  
What are some interesting things that you do?  





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