As a youth worker you set the example. Most people know to go into youth ministry ready with Biblical principles and enthusiastic attitude, but the best youth workers also know that there is more responsibility involved. When you work with Christian teens things happen, and you need to be prepared for those little emergencies like boredom, cuts, bruises, spills, absent students, late students, and more. Remember, the more prepared you are, the more fun you will be able to have when you get together with the Christian Teens you mentor.
Here are some ideas for a youth worker "In Case of Emergency Kit" that can help any youth event go smoothly.
1) A cell phone
While some people think that cell phones are the bane of our current existence, they can be a gift from God when an emergency occurs. A youth worker can easily access a charged cell phone to call parents in emergencies, get directions when the group is lost, or call students who are late getting to an event. Today you can get inexpensive cell phones and plans that won't break your budget.
2) Phone Directory
If you are headed out for an event, you should have a list of students and emergency numbers. A cell phone cannot be wielded effectively without knowing who to call. Some youth groups print directories of all the students that is easy to keep in your bag or vehicle. Others print out lists of event participants with emergency numbers. Many small group leaders also enter the names of their group members in their cell phone or keep a list on hand.
3) First Aid Items
No event planning is complete without having a first aid kit on hand. Christian teens (as well as many youth workers themselves) have accidents. Keeping items like band aids, antibiotic ointment, ice packs, etc. on hand will help if anything happens to the participants in the event.
4) Petty Cash
Stash a little extra money away for emergencies. An extra $20 can go a long way in paying for gas, covering a meal for a teen, or covering a small emergency. Make sure it is money that you will not use unless there is an emergency.
5) Hygiene Items
Whether you are at an overnight event or a day out on the town, having some extra hygiene items on hand is helpful. Feminine hygiene items are an essential, but so are baby wipes, anti-bacterial lotion hand cleaners, and toothpaste.
6) Deck of Cards
When there is a lull in activity, a simple deck of cards can go a long way in being entertaining. If you only think a deck of cards is good for Solitaire, then think again. You can play all kinds of group games with a simple deck of cards.
7) A Ball
So much can be done with a simple ball. You can purchase an inexpensive Koosh ball, nerf ball, or hackeysack that is easy to pack, light, and versatile. The balls are great for group games that are active or even group icebreakers.
8) Pens and Paper
When things get rough, have a pen and paper present. There are a number of great introspective activities and even fun games to get things going. Sometimes even a nice game of tic-tac-toe or hangman can make a long bus ride a little more fun.
9) Mad Libs
A great game of words, Mad Libs is easy for a group to do when waiting around. Bus rides, lines, and in-between times can always use a great game of Mad Libs.
10) Duct Tape
Duct tape can fix anything, and it has a number of versatile uses. It can fix a tear in clothing, seal a hole in an air mattress, and help you hold items together. It's great for waterproofing items, too.
11) Paper Towels, Kleenex, and Toilet Paper
No matter where you are going, having extra paper products is essential. Christian teens often get colds, cuts, spill things, and find themselves without some needed toilet paper. Having these items on you can make you the hero for the day.
Being a light unto the world is something that needs to be taken literally. There are times when you end up in the dark and a flashlight can be helpful. It can also be a great tool for late night group activities.
Bring some AA and AAA batteries with you to power some electronic devices and cameras. Teens often forget to bring extra, and there are not always stores around to pick up much needed batteries. Also, make sure you bring extra batteries for your flashlight and any other devices.