By: Stacey Oswald

I am sunburned and covered in aloe. Yes, there have been approximately three nice days in Michigan and I am rocking the lobster look already. Cut me some slack. After dealing with the polar vortex this winter I kind of forgot about a little thing called sunscreen. I am guessing that most students don’t care to spend their time with a bright-red adult lathered in green aloe so I am off to the store to buy sunscreen so I can hit up all the contacting events this summer without looking like I am promoting Christmas in July.

Contacting takes on a whole new form in the summer. The possibilities are endless so get creative! So you heard through the grapevine the football team has summer practices? I bet those guys would love some Gatorade and snacks. Your community has parades for 4th of July and Labor Day? Connect with the students in the marching band. Here’s a hint, if you want to locate students at a parade, watch for when candy is thrown and see them all run to the streets to snatch it. Other awesome contacting events are county fairs and festivals. Bring your volunteers with you and go find students to go on the Scrambler and Tilt-A-Whirl. I would suggest saving the hot dogs and cotton candy for afterwards.  The great thing about summer is that there is usually something going on. Librarys host concerts, sports camps are in full swing, and kids are hitting the beach and parks.

Speaking of parks, you can also host a regularly scheduled hang out and invite your volunteers and students to play sports or chill at the skate park. This is one of the ways I get to connect with local students this summer. A couple youth pastors and myself are hosting Thursdays at the Park. There’s really nothing to it besides hanging out once a week and playing sports with local youth. Side note: it never hurts to come equipped with a couple of squirt guns.

So what if you can’t go up to the lunchrooms for a few months; there is an elephant ear calling your name at the fair and a bunch of kids who would love to help you eat it. Have fun, share your stories and ideas with other leaders, and take on contacting this summer. P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

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