We asked our Registration Coordinator for some helpful tips for churches whether they’re new to BigStuf or are veterans to the BigStuf environment. If you're thinking about registering, read below for everything you need to know.
1. If this is a youth group's first time signing up for BigStuf, what are the steps they need to take to get to camp?
Go to www.bigstuf.com to find a camp that works for your church. Most often, churches choose the week or weekend they come to BigStuf based upon their students' school and athletic schedule.
A $60 deposit per spot secures your registrations, and the price at which you registered. Deposits are due 15 days after the day of your registration.
Pay attention to the deadlines through the BigStuf website, blog, and e-mail reminders.
Set your own deadlines with students to collect payments. If you have students struggling to come up with funding, you could set up a payment plan. Students can slowly pay for their trip in monthly installments instead of paying in one lump sum.
2. What strategies have veteran church groups done that make registration easier for their group?
Register early! Registration opens September 26th at 9:30am ET, and if there are only a few dates that work for your group you'll want to be sure to register a.s.a.p. to secure your spots.
Try to register true to your number based off your youth group size and the number of students you have coming to events. This will save you trouble and possible expenses on the back end since you might have to pay for empty spots.
Get deposits in early to secure your spots.
Promote! Promote! Promote! Promote to students to get them interested, promote to parents to encourage their students to attend, and promote to the church body to have a support and prayer system. When your entire church is on board, everyone benefits from your students' experience at camp!
3. Do you have any tips that would help churches raise support and meet the payment deadlines?
Camp can be more meaningful for students when they have worked hard to get there, so fundraisers are a great way to get students to feel ownership of their camp experience and raise support. Some fundraisers that we've seen our churches do are:
Parents Night Out: Once a month set up an evening for parents to have students babysit while the parents go out on a date night. You could even use the church's children's facility.
Talent Show & Spaghetti dinner: Sell tickets to a youth group Talent Show and provide a spaghetti dinner for the guests.
Have a youth group yard sale in the church parking lot, where the students bring personal items to sell.
Concert on the lawn: Sell tickets to a concert on the lawn where members of the church can come have a picnic and listen to good music!
Another way to help raise support is to get help from your church community. Bringing in the whole church community not only makes the students feel supported and encouraged, but it also provides an opportunity for the church members to invest in a future generation of believers.
Have members of the church create work projects (yard work, house work, babysitting, etc.) for the students to sign up, complete the project, and raise support for their trip.
Some churches set aside tithes once a month until camp that goes towards sponsoring students for camp.