These guidelines are shared with churches and community based centers seeking to serve people. Churches have permission to use these program as ideas, and as resources for work with children or families. The RDLC will provide additional technical support if needed. The churches are responsible for following all legal guidelines for working with youth and families. In America when you work with children you are in partnership with the goverment, and the goverment must give you permission to work with children and will supervise all activities. If you are not willing to follow goverment guidelines, please do not use this program. There is no separation of church and state where american children or children living on American soil are included




This provides the directions for the development of a Summer Program



It is important to remember that individuals in the criminal justice system cannot work with children. The Christian community forgives past mistakes; the government however, does not permit forgiven people to work with children. Consider having these individuals work in other areas of Religion Education in your program. This program and instructions are designed to be United States specific. Where possible, information has been included for individuals who would like to start educational or recreational programs in other countries If you are a new program, and planning to build a facility, it is important to secure all building permits and occupancy permits before permitting children to enter the facility. Most organizations require insurance to cover accidents or emergencies. Determine if the sponsoring agency will secure the insurance coverage, or will the program come under existing insurance. It is necessary for the organization to be fully functioning. State and local requirements are the responsibility of the sponsoring agency. If you are interested in starting a program, we suggest that you do the following:

Step 1

  • u Notify your local community board, or government, of your intentions to start a program. Investigate any technical support available to your organization
  • u Pick up a copy of State, local and guidelines for Educational Centers
  • u Government or sponsoring agencies will secure occupancy permits
  • u Have a least ten copies of what you intend to do. Have these copies available for distribution to the required authorities.
  • u Assume that there are educational facilities available, and you will be providing additional services.
  • u Investigate what educational services are available in the area.
  • u Investigate who attends these educational facilities.
  • u Secure, in writing, permission to start a program.
  • u Decide the staff you will use to help you operate the program. Have written biographies on each person, with educational qualifications. Use local talent, where possible. All countries have an educated group of people from which to select staff. Have ten copies of each resume, with a copy of Visa, and Pass
  • u Secure the necessary permits for serving food
  • u Secure the necessary permits for the type of service you will be operating.
  • u Decide where the program will be located
  • u Decide on the hours and days of the program operation
  • u Decide on the number of children you intend to service
  • u Decide on the ages of the children you intend to service
  • u Decide on the qualification for admission to the program
  • u Decide on the qualification of your staff
  • u Try to determine the qualifications of the educational staff working in the country, and stay as close to those guidelines. Use the same pay scale as the government. Introducing a higher pay scale could have a destabilizing effect on the economy of small towns.
  • u Decide on the age of your staff
  • u Decide if you will serve food
  • u Decide if students will bring their own lunches and snacks
  • u Review guidelines for registering students. All children and families must meet with the executive director. It is important to observe the non-verbal behavior of the children. If a child demonstrates that he does not want to be in the program, but the parent wants the child’s participation, try not to select the child. It will cause a considerable amount of trouble. New programs cannot afford to sacrifice the success of the program for one individual who does not want to be in the program. Give the parent a week to work with the child, and if after one week, consider the child on a probationary period. One child who is unhappy can ruin a program for fifty, and cause staff to consider leaving. Have prepared a list of programs, which would be more suited to the needs of the child. This also holds true for children with special or challenging behavior needs. Special teachers are required at a higher rate of pay for children with special needs. Children with special needs are better served in program with government funds. If you receive government funds, you may not refuse admittance to any child. Include in your program that the program does not discriminate with respect to ethnicity, gender, nationality or sexual orientation. This statement is necessary if you are using any facilities, which receive government funding.
  • u Develop a program of activities. The program director and staff will determine the type of activities to be provided. The summer should be a time for fun and learning. Select two days where the children can expect to be outside the center on planned field trips. Select two day for academic enrichment and stimulation, this time should be devoted to technology and science. One day could be used for sports and physical activities. The decision could be made to run a four-day summer program, or a five-day program.
  • u Decide on staff. Staff should be people who enjoy working with children, and also have the skills for the assignment. Individuals with specialized skills in swimming, computers, arts and craft, science and technology are very valuable. Staff should be young and energetic.
  • u Write contracts for individuals working in the program. Everything must be in writing. People do not hear when you speak, or what you said. It is therefore, important to put all business matters in writing.
  • u Decide on pay scheduled
  • u Decide on Pay Rate
  • u Do not be afraid to charge for services
  • u If you are working with a sponsoring agency in another country, determine how many children the outside agency will assume the financial cost for, and this will determine how much you will need to charge families. The charging is important because staff must be paid. Volunteers will not work continuously without pay. It is important to obtain people who work for a living because they will have the credentials necessary to obtain government approval. Decide funding source before you begin your program.
  • u Decide fiscal responsibility for the payroll
  • u Secure a bookkeeper or an accounting service. Payroll must be met on time, and supply venders must be paid. If you do not have the financial resources to begin the program, wait until you are in a more stable position before beginning. You do not want to put people in a state of poverty in an effort to serve.
  • u -__Step 2__________________________________________________________________________________
  • u Purchase materials and supplies
  • u Set an orientation date
  • u Select a director
  • u Select a head teacher
  • u Select group leaders
  • u Select training time for staff
  • u Select Child abuse orientation session for staff
  • u Select time for staff to have a medical examination
  • u Select a time for staff to have finger printing done.
  • u Select students from grades 4-6 ages- 8 years to 12 years old. This age group will prevent the necessity of additional licenses for individuals working with younger children or older children. (Early childhood, Middle School)
  • u Select group leaders who are college students/some high school students can be considered
  • u Do not consider servicing non-paying families unless you receive a government grant, or a sponsoring agency will provide scholarships to students.
  • u Plan to operate an up-scaled program, the community will respond positively
  • u Avoid the temptation to operate a poverty-based program, parents will avoid it.
  • u Plan to have a list of poverty-based programs to which you can refer parents.
  • u Plan to give and expect the best from the students and the staff
  • u Consider a multicultural staff
  • u Make sure each person understands his or her job responsibility

Step 3. Marketing


Visit Schools

You do not have a program until you have clients. Do not hire staff until you have a successful marketing campaign. Without students and working parents you do not have a program.

These programs are not designed for families receiving public assistance, or students with behavioral or health challenges. The programs do not discriminate with respect to ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation. The inclusion of students with special needs and challenges will require a lead- time of two years of planning and special staff selection.

If you accept government funding you cannot use the behavioral challenges restrictions in your program. Directors and pastors should have a list of government sponsored programs for referral purposes. Interview each student and determine if the student will fit into the program or will cause the need for specialized supervision. Children who require medication to adjust behavior and stress factors should not be considered for this program.

This is a highly active program requiring a considerable amount of time in physical activities away from the church and the center. All students must have a current medical with permission to engage in physical activities. Staff will also require current medicals and medical clearance to engage in physical activities. All students, parents and staff must attend orientation workshops. If you cannot supervise a child, do not accept child into program, and do not take child away from Church building. Extensive classroom management workshop, camping skills and managing students behavior workshops must be completed and staff must demonstrate a clear understanding and command of teaching and supervision skills.

Step 3

Start with 50 students. You will need one director and one head teacher. You will need 5 counselors.

You can decide to use junior counselors. These students may participate in the program, but are not necessarily paid.


Charge $125 per week, payable two weeks in advance.

Registration fee, which includes insurance, is $25

Students are responsible to pay all activity fees.


         Your church or organization may desire to assume the entire cost or part of the cost of the Summer Program. Your program may or may not receive government funding. You should have plans to make your program self sufficient with or without government funding. If you receive government funding, you will be able to expand your program and offer services to more children.


          Government funding is very difficult to obtain. You will need a proposal writer, and an individual who has the total responsibility of satisfying specific guidelines. If the government funds your program, the governments own the program and can dictate any and all guidelines. It is suggested that church boards or sponsoring agencies take charge of this responsibility. Churches can plan fund raising activities in order to secure the necessary start up funds. Specific individuals in the church or community can become sponsors of the program or selected number of students.


         Parents should also assume responsibility for some part of the program. Each parent should be required to volunteer some time to the program. All parents must give at least one hour to the program.


           It is suggested that new programs should not accept children with special behavior challenges. Children with special needs require additional professional services. After a period of success, program can plan to hire special staff that will be able to meet the needs of challenging children.

The director should set aside some part of the program to work with parents and or children who are not eligible for the program, but would like to take part in a behavior modification program in order to join the group. It is recommended that the director work with a professional counselor to assist with this work.



Selection of staff



Try to avoid selecting friends or relatives to work in the program. There can be considerable difficulty with this group. Professional behavior and friendship behavior is not always congruent. Friends and relatives sometimes resent taking directions from individual with whom they have had intimate relations. Interview and select individuals from your religious organization who have demonstrated competence in needed areas. Try to use youth from your youth ministry department or other departments in religious education.


Director should be a teacher or a social worker

Assistant director should be someone with business and supervisory experience

Administrative assistant should have accounting and or bookkeeping experience

Head teacher should be a teacher or social worker. These individuals should have some camping and sport experience. Avoid the temptation of hiring senior or mature individuals for this position. This is a high-energy position.

Technical staff should be a person with computer skills and math skills

Field representative should be a person with community connections who can work with different

Community boards and agencies and report to the sponsoring agency.


Youth workers should be high school students who are good in math, and who are sensitive to the needs of young children.

Medical Staff- Make arrangements with a local doctor to assume the responsibility for the medical care of the children and their families. If possible, secure the employment of someone with nursing credentials. This person can make sure that all of the children’s medical records are up to date. Programs usually run into difficulty because of the carelessness in paying attention to government guidelines. The government has the responsibility of the supervisions of children, and the individuals who work with children. If you are using government funds, and or other people’s money, you must make an accounting to the people with respect to funds. Make arrangements with the sponsoring agency to assume accounting and reporting responsibility, or pay an accounting firm to do the same. Financial records must be carefully kept and available for review.




Carefully select, and supervise people working with children. There should always be two people present when a child is talking with an individual who is not licensed or certified to work with children.

Select Certified Teachers, they have already had background checks and training in how to manage large group of students. The fees charged for the service will be used to attract and compensate a professional staff. College students registered in work-study programs at local colleges and universities are excellent staff resources. Consider hiring high school seniors who attend the youth programs of the Church, and give them a salary for the summer. Local government youth programs may have funds to give you to pay the youth, if you promise to supervise them in work skill building activities; check on these resources. Do not accept community service people in programs working with children. Your first responsibility is for the safety and security of the children; it is important not to mix community rehabilitation programs with services to youth in Church programs.

Fiduciary Responsibility

Open separate bank account

Hire bookkeeper/accountant

Secure a 501.c3 Status

Write consultant contracts for all staff members

Plan 3 payrolls; two in July and one in August. July 15, July 31, August 15,

All camp fees and registration fees paid in full in advance.

Full summer rate for 6 weeks $900 per child.

50 campers should bring in $45,000 for the Summer program

Secure camp site for weekly visits ( New York Mission Society may rent camp space)

Secure transportation for students and parents. Parents may attend activities for $25 per day( Select Bus Company)

Weekly rate $125,00

Daily rate $25 plus activity fees and transportation cost.

Pay careful attention to the handling of funds. There is no such thing as a secret. Money is God in circulation. The misuse of money can result in serious punishment from society.

July 5 through August 15

9 am- 4p.m.

Fun and Learning



Staff must be selected with multi skills

Monday Art, Music, Drama, Dance, Yoga

Tuesday Science Field Trip

Wednesday Advance Math and Computer Sciences/ Robotics

Thursday Science Field Trip/ Environmental sciences

Friday Sports, Physical Fitness

Plan to visit Children’s hospital and make art and craft for children

Plan to visit senior citizens center prepare an entertainment program for seniors


Give the program to God. Take care of his children and his money, and all will be well.

Orientation Staff

There should be one week for staff orientation

Staff must be instructed in how to handle large groups of students. State guidelines will be learned at this time. Careful discussion will be held to make sure each person understands his or her position and responsibility. Each person will be given written guidelines and emergency procedures. Do not accept individuals who have difficulty following directions.

Plan schedule

Make arrangements for trip sites, including transportation and permits

Send copy to local Community Board in order to keep them informed and keep you aware of any funding coming into the community. This is the responsibility of the Field Representative.

Check the insurance of the church or community center to see to what extent the program is covered. Obtain additional insurance if needed.

Decide to serve or not to serve lunch. If you serve lunch you must submit nutrition menu for approval of parents in case some child may have allergies.

Consider having children bring their own lunch.

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