The Six C’s of Young Life

Before you begin to look at what we do, have a listen to these young people share about the way their Young Life leaders have impacted their lives.

Club Resources

We hope you find these resources useful.

Once you have completed the YL 101 course, you’ll have access to it as well in the Lesson: Resources.

Please note that these resources are Copyright to Young Life Australia; this means that you can use them for your use as a Young Life leader, but they can not be distributed to other youth or church organisations without first seeking approval from the National Office.

Download – Young Life Club Talks & Campaigner Lessons


Download – Young Life Club Talks

Download – Club Games Resource


All our young people attending club should be registered on Care Monkey, which your Area Manager will allocate access for.  If  a child attending is unable to complete a Care Monkey profile, one of these forms must be completed by their parents / guardians. Your local Area Manager will collect the completed forms.

Download – Club Consent Form

Who’s Who on Camp?

The roles below are predominately seen on Summer Camp, however when you are running local camps or regional camps, the different roles may also be utilised.  This document will be really helpful for you to come back to in the lead up to Summer Camp if you are not familiar in the way that camp runs, as the roles are referred to often.

Just a note – when you sign up for Summer Camp, you will be assigned one role.  Please keep this in mind as well when you are recruiting other volunteers for camp.


Before any volunteer attends camp, they must complete camp training, which can be found here on the YL Hub.  You can click on any of the buttons below to be taken to the training for the different roles.  You can complete the training at any time.

Cabin Leader Training


Summer Staff Training

Work Crew Training


Camp Roles

Camp Director: The Camp director oversees the whole camp and is responsible for the smooth running of camp. The camp director ensures that all the elements of camp are working together.

Program Directors: Responsible for the total camp program. The P.D.’s run the social interaction and fun part of the program etc . At all times however this should enhance the spiritual impact of the camp allowing quality times of interaction between cabin leaders and young people. The program director should be a facilitator of fun and not the centre of camper’s attention.

Head Cabin Leaders: This is a male and female role and entails the task of encouraging and uplifting the group leaders in their task of being with the campers and facilitating cabins leaders to succeed during the camp week.

Cabin Leaders: The cabin leader’s role in camp as far as the campers are concerned is a most significant role. They are the closest person to the kids. They eat, sleep, and play with them and model Jesus Christ to campers.

Camp Speaker: The person who has the tremendous opportunity to direct kids’ thoughts to their relationship to God. The presentation should be enjoyable, reasonable in length and most importantly, clear in understanding. The messages should be a springboard for leader/camper discussion and it is often helpful for the speaker to pose questions to be discussed in the cabin time.

Work Crew Boss: Oversees and has authority over the work crew team. The role also enables the “boss” to have a ministry to the work crew kids themselves in the serving capacity that this function entails.

Work Crew: The work crew serves the needs of campers from unpacking buses, serving meals and cleaning toilets. They are the engine room of camp.

Summer Staff Coordinator: Coordinates all Summer Staff positions on camp to assure the smooth running of all the extra activities. The coordinator plays a pastoral role with the Summer Staff.

Summer Staff: Summer Staff are responsible for the extra activities and may also serve in a supervisory role with Work Crew working in their areas of expertise. They often have jobs which include responsibility for camper safety such as abseiling, water sports, etc ….

Cooks: The all important task of preparing and presenting meals that kids will eat and enjoy. They have the task of obtaining the food required, keeping a list for future reference of food used and the cost.

Adult Guest Hosts: The Adult Guest hosts act as cabin leaders to any adult guests on camp. They ensure that the adult guests are having a great time and are getting involved in as many activities as possible.

Adult Guests: The Adult Guest program is used by areas to involve adults from the community in a Young Life camping experience. The adult guests may be people interested in supporting Young Life or who the staff would like to get interested in supporting Young Life, parents of kids in club, church members who want to know more about Young Life.

Download – Camp Roles

Responding to Crisis: Knowing Where to Get Help / Refer to Support Services

By Glyn Henman

Working with people is always a messy business because we are people, and young people are no different and that is what makes Young Life both fun and challenging. In recognising this, we need to understand that we are not in a position to provide suitable care for every possible situation that we encounter.

As a result, we need to be aware of our limitations in the service that we provide young people. We are not health care professionals, we are not mental health professionals, and we are not professional counsellors or family therapists. We are concerned adults who believe that all young people need to be introduced to Jesus by someone they know and trust.


When do things get beyond the service that Young Life provides?

Situations that often go beyond the realm of Young Life’s expertise are: drug addiction, eating disorders, sexual abuse, sexually transmitted disease, pregnancy, criminal activity, depression, suicide, homelessness etc… All of these plus many other issues may fall outside the skill level and capacity of individual leaders and Area Directors. At that point, you need to know what to do and where to turn for help.

What do I do when the issue is bigger than I can handle?

  1. Tell the young person you are working with that you will need to get outside advice on what to do next. This builds trust with the young person.
  2. Go and speak with your Senior Leader or Area Director. They often have had more experience and will know if outside help is required.
  3. Develop an action plan with your Senior Leader or Area Director and share that plan with the young person you are working with. Depending on the issue, you may need to include parents in the action plan.
  4. Action the plan together and involve the suitable external services as required.

Note: Young Life Australia Policy states it is mandatory to report all cases of sexual or physical abuse against a young person. Failure to report in some states and territories is a criminal offence. If you sense that a young person is about to disclose this type of information, you need to inform them of your responsibilities before they disclosure.


What services should I seek out?

  1. Local GP: Establish a relationship with a trusted GP in your community. This relationship will pay huge dividends on physical health issues in general and may be a first point of call for mental health issues etc.
  2. Community and Family Services: This office will be able to provide correct procedures and responsibilities for reporting abuse of young people in your state or territory. The how, when and why will be covered. Each state and territory will need to be acquainted with local laws.
  3. Police: Often they have a Youth Liaison Officer who deals with youth and community issues dealing with young people.
  4. Accommodation: Research any crisis, medium or long-term accommodation facilities in your community for young people who find themselves homeless.
  5. Professional Counsellors: Research any youth and family counsellors operating in your community.
  6. Local Council: They often have a youth interagency meeting once a month, where all the local youth agencies meet together to share information. Many also have a community grants program to help support local work.
  7. Phone Help Lines: These are not only useful for young people, but can be great resource for you in your leadership. There are some of these numbers listed on the web page. www.younglife.org.au and click on resources.
  8. School: The school you are working in may already have many of these relationships established so that may be a good place to start. If they do not have this established, it may be a great way to serve the school by compiling this information.
  9. Church: Some local churches have set up community support programs that you can tap in too. They may also have suitable professionals in their congregation who may become an invaluable resource for specific areas of training for you and your area.
Download – Responding to Crisis

A Prayer Strategy for Club

Adapted from an article written by Kit Sublet

“Prayer is surely one of the most spoken about and written about subjects in Christianity. Unfortunately, it is not the most acted upon subject in all Christian­ity. We constantly emphasize the impor­tance of prayer but seldom heed our own words. The quality of the staff (volunteer) reflects the quality of the individual’s time in his/her closet with the Saviour” From Back to the Basics by John Miller

I am sure all of us pray for our Young Life club. Without prayer, club is no more than an entertaining evening with some friends (if it is even that), and you are no more than a neat guy or gal who has an attractive personality. The power of prayer cannot be overstated. It powers our lives and empowers our ministry. When we are prayed up, we are instru­ments of the Holy Spirit finely sharpened and ready for spiritual warfare.

We all have a picture in our mind of what great Young Life ministry is sup­posed to look like ‑ energetic singing, amusing skits, winsome club talks and, of course, lots of contact work. It is possible, however, for all of these things to be tak­ing place ineffectively, because it lacks the power of having even one person pouring his or her heart out to Christ, asking for the salvation of the kids that are involved. Andrew Murray says, “God seeks intercessors. God has need of inter­cessors. God wonders at the lack of inter­cessors. Rest not till God see that you are one.”

What I am trying to say here is that we must be sure that prayer is every bit as much a priority as the rest of the pro­gram. Young Life has become so pro­gram-oriented and so specialized that we have a tremendous amount of gifted peo­ple. It is possible, and likely, to pull off what would technically be described as good ministry without ever praying. Something that has the appearance of godliness, but lacks the power.

So, what is the importance of prayer?

Prayer ‑ secret, fervent, believing prayer ‑ lies at the root of all personal godliness.” (William, Carey)

It is the key ingredient to the recipe for a successful ministry.

Has anything new been said about prayer? Of course not! However, is it pos­sible to begin new prayer practices that will empower our ministry and help pro­duce eternal fruit for the kingdom? Yes, definitely. But, like everything in Young Life, we need a plan. We plan certain talks for certain times of the year; we plan our music to bring kids out of their shell and enhance the message; we plan skits to show that Christianity can be fun; and we even have three levels of contact work. Doesn’t it make sense then, that if prayer is the most important ele­ment of our ministry, it should have a plan as well?


Following are some possible plans and strategies you might be led to try:

  • Pray for a manageable number.  Whether this means separating the names on your club list throughout the week or throughout the leadership team ‑ keep it reasonable and specif­ic.
  • Pray them through these basic lists:
    1. Kids you don’t know: Start with a list of kids you would like to meet. Pray. Hopefully, they do not stay on this list too long.
    2. Kids you’ve met: Pray for an oppor­tunity to get together.
    3. Kids you spend time with: Pray that the conversations will eventually reach beyond the surface level of getting ‑to know one another.
    4. Intimate relationships: Pray for an opportunity to share your life with them.
    5. Meeting Christ: Pray for them to give their lives to Christ.
  • Assemble a group of committed mums and dads who are sold out to the idea of praying daily for a list of kids that you give them, and to meeting once a week together for prayer. (Preferably during the hour your club is meeting.)
  • Keep a prayer notebook.
    1. Don’t casually promise to pray for someone or something. Make a seri­ous commitment and record the requests and results.
    2. The blessing in prayer is to be able to look back and recognize how God chose to answer the requests.
  • Have a prayer partner. Meet weekly with another person to pray solely for the team and for kids. The partnership will keep you accountable and comes with a promise, “for where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst,” Matthew 18:20.
  • Keep kids’ names in front of you: on bookmarks, on the back of the visor in your car, on the refrigerator. Create constant reminders to be an intercessor.
  • Don’t forget to pray during club and have others pray on the night at home.

Remember, your prayer strategy need not consist of all, or even any, of these suggestions, but you need a systematic plan by which you lift up the individuals which God has placed in your care.

Download – A Prayer Strategy for Club

Why Go Camping?

Watch the clip below.  Alex served on the Young Life Staff and as a volunteer in Bathurst; Dylan is one of the young people we had the honour of walking with during his high school years.  The clip is based upon a discussion between Alex and Dylan; it shows Dylan’s experiences and highlights with us, and shows the importance of taking young people on camping and shared experiences.


Why Get Kids to Camp?? – by Alex Cuttiford

I asked Dylan to think about his last 3 years with Young Life and to write down his top 10 experiences. What he wrote revealed to me the fruit of the process Young Life has.

Dylan’s Number 1 experience was when Mel demonstrated how to go to the toilet in the bush on Newnes camp 2013.  Why? because it was hilarious!

His Number 2 experience was P’ish having to come get Dale out of bed every morning on Summer Camp 2015.  Why? because he used a different instrument each time.

Number 3 – when Bon Jovi “Living on a Prayer” was played at summer camp 2015 and everyone sang along.

Number 4 –  picking John up in his swag at the Lake Lyell Ski Trip 2015 and dropping him on top of P’ish. Why? to start a prank war with John.

Number 5 –  the first time I came to club and met Alex, Heather, Josh, Lloyd, John, Rachel, Christie, Adrian, Eric, Sam and Tal. Why? because the relationships I have with the people mentioned above have been amazing even if some haven’t been for long.

Number 6 – having wrestling match with Tim C. at Newnes 2014 because it went for ages and I almost won.

Number 7 – fire breathing by the 2 Tim’s. Why? it’s not every day you get to see people do that.

Number 8 –  the amazon game at Summer Camp 2015 when the girl’s had to try and break the grip of the guy’s. Why? the team work of the guys was amazing until P’ish and Adrian came and pulled us apart.

Number 9 – me, Tal and Ty water skiing at Summer Camp 2014 on the back of the V8 boat and getting thrown 20m at near full speed.

Number 10 –  the leaders especially Alex, Pish, John and Heather because there always there when you need them, helping with things like education, lift’s, becoming a better person, leading me towards Jesus and helping me understand the Bible.

Number 11 – being baptised

Dylan has just mentioned 16 different people in 11 experiences, 9 out of 11 experiences happened on a camp, the other 2 where about the relationships he had with leaders and the support they gave him.

Why do we go camping? Because Young Life is a relational ministry and camping is the door we walk kids through to offer it.

Young Life Australia Ministry Model

Please watch the clip below explaining the Young Life Ministry Model.

This is a key document! We recommend that you download and print this document and have it somewhere that you view it often.  You’ll also notice that it’s in the Young Life Essentials toolbar on the right-hand side of the page.

Download – Ministry Model

Club Components

Go to the Young Life Leaders Blog for some great ideas on each of the components discussed below!

Effective Announcements

  • Announcements are the vehicle we use for communicating upcoming attractions. Many of these events are key to our relationship building and proclamation. Therefore, announcements should be heard, remembered and ignite enthusiasm.
  • Typically, there is one “Big Event” a team is selling. It is good to preface the announcement related to this event with a short run‑on or skit that motivates kids to want to find out the details.
  • To get kids to remember dates, it is helpful to make up a rhyme or slogan and ask them to repeat it each week, i.e., “August 3‑9, I’m There!”
  • Create a sense of urgency to respond to your invitation soon.
  • Sometimes momentum can be generated by prompting Campaigners to raise their hands in response to the question, “Who’s going?” following the announcement of an event.
  • “So what?” is also a good question to answer. Tell them the benefits of their participation.
  • Since kids will forget most of what is announced at club, it is helpful after the speaker closes in prayer for him or her to highlight any announcements that require attention after club like singing up for something, picking up a brochure, filling out a club card, etc.
  • Sell things far enough ahead to build momentum, but not so far they are uninterested.

Effective Icebreakers and Mixers

Since a club is made up of kids from a variety of groups who may or may not know each other, it is sometimes helpful to incorporate a mixer or ice‑breaker into the club program.

A mixer is a game in which everyone participates and demands each kid interact with at least one other, if not everyone in the room. This “connection” with the other participants creates a feeling of safety for what will follow. They feel like they are all in this thing together.

An ice‑breaker is a quick, funny way to defuse the crowd and put everyone at ease. In this case, kids don’t have to interact with others, but instead share a common laugh.

  • Though not essential, sometimes it can be helpful to have a team of student leaders kick off club with a mixer. Since they are initiators rather than the volunteers, other kids may feel more free to follow their lead. Obviously student leaders must be the right kids.
  • Make the activity more fun than threatening.
  • Be sure the instructions are clear and well‑heard; otherwise, no one will want to participate for fear of failure.
  • Test the idea yourself before doing it so you are sure to lead it effectively. Be sure to have the right props.

Effective Walk-Ons

A run‑on is a short skit that interrupts the flow of club. It can be a one‑shot deal or a skit that is built on for several weeks running. It can be used to sell an event or just get a quick laugh. A continuous run‑on creates an air of anticipation for what is coming as kids look forward to the next act.

Weekly Run-Ons

  • The characters should be clearly defined and easy to stereotype.
  • Some of the dialogue should be repeated each week so the kids can say the lines along with the characters.
  • Each episode should build toward a finale.
  • It is effective, where desired, for the underdog to experience victory in the finale.
  • Don’t drag it out ‑ either by over‑milking individual episodes, or by carrying it out for more than six or seven episodes.
  • Pick an appropriate theme song to kick off the run‑on so kids know its coming and get quiet for the dialogue.

One-Time Interupters

  • Come in suddenly, unannounced, even interrupting a song sometimes.
  • Be well‑rehearsed: A few well‑chosen lines are better than rambling dialogue (often a consequence of inadequate preparation).
  • Be short: Quit while they are wanting more.
  • Dazzle them with visuals: either some memorable costumes, I‑can’t‑believe‑they‑just‑did‑that antics, a goofy face, or by using humorous props (i.e. a bucket of water that’s really confetti).

Effective Skits

Historically, the reasons we do skits at club are as follows:

  • laughter helps break down barriers;
  • skits show humorous side of leaders;
  • kids up front invites participation for all;
  • they focus a diversity of kids on a common experience;
  • done well, they portray a commitment to excellence, which communicates caring.

Introduce the skit with a creative idea that gets everyone’s attention (funny costumes are good for this). You want kids excited about the skit before it ever takes place.

Involve a cross‑section of the kids in club (don’t use the same ones each week). Limit the number of Campaigners in skits.

Be crystal clear to the participants and the audience what the point of the skit is, and how it will run. A prerequisite of this is thoroughly thinking through the best way to run the skit.

Make sure every member of the audience is involved (cheering for their team, letting them in on the punch line, judging).

Never bore the audience. If you have props to set up or costumes to put on the participants, do it during a song. Don’t allow for any “dead” time.

Be sure the MC is loud and speaks to the audience, not just to the participants.

Be certain everyone in the room has an unobstructed view of the skit.

Protect the floor, walls, and participants’ hair and clothing from damage. Damage is never funny, always distracting and doesn’t depict excellence.

Honour the participants with a funny prize, or at least a round of applause. Make all participants feel like winners!

Be creative ‑ make audience say, ‘Wow”

Thinking through Skits

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

  • Skits need to be in good taste.
  • The whole purpose is to have fun!!
  • Usually short: 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Keep them moving ‑ don’t let it drag.
  • Never crude or in poor taste.
  • Never make humorous references to the spiritual aspect of club.
  • Skits help to break down barriers.
  • Use many different kids.
  • Be very careful about involving new kids.
  • We don’t want kids to feel humiliated.
  • Be creative.
  • Walk through the skit in your head. Think through what could go wrong.
  • Don’t become predictable.
  • Let Campaigner kids take ownership.
  • Teach Campaigners how to think through skits. Make them successful up front.
  • Always be prepared.
  • If you are going to really mess someone up in the skit, you may want to clue him or her in beforehand.
  • Make up a “skit bag:” drop cloth, paper towels, emergency skit, etc.

Download – Club Components


Download – Effective Song Leading & Song Selection

40 Ways to Get Kids to Camp

  1. Develop prayer list of possible kids.
  2. To get 35, you need 100 on list.
  3. Pray by name for kids daily.
  4. Get local “pray-ers” to pray for kids.
  5. Enlist previous campers to bring friends.
  6. Announce summer camp in club all year.
  7. Talk to kids one on one.
  8. Inform sports coaches, or school administrators about camp, camp dates, etc.
  9. Have parents give down payment as Christmas present.
  10. Have signup sheet for every kid remotely interested at club.
  11. Be prepared to answer key question: “Who is going?”
  12. Be aware of competing activities.
  13. Build year‑to‑year tradition.
  14. Build camp price around 30 paying kids if it is a trip of 35.
  15. Keep an on-going list of who has been asked. A kid who says no in October may become available in December.
  16. Keep selling camp until trip leaves.
  17. Show video in homes one on one ‑or to groups of non‑club kids.
  18. Go to homes to pick up deposits.
  19. Kids are not signed up until you have a substantial deposit.
  20. Find out what activity kids are inter­ested in and highlight that activity at camp.
  21. Get Campaigners praying for lost friends, younger students.
  22. Find out what lies behind a “no.” If a kid says he/she can’t afford it, ask if he/she would go if the money was raised. Remove obstacles in an imagi­nary fashion first, and if he or she responds affirmatively, then work with him/her to remove the obstacle. Remember, only 10% of kids who say they will go next year actually do.
  23. Summer camp looks great when the winter weather is miserable.
  24. Never allow money to be an issue. Plan effective camp fundraisers.
  25. Tell kids sincerely, “I am looking for­ward to being with you.”
  26. Get camp dates to kids early to beat holiday and family vacations.
  27. For kids to go, you must go.
  28. Have pre‑camp get-togethers for signed‑up kids and potentials (BBQ’s, pool parties, volleyball, etc.).
  29. Kids sell kids better than we do.
  30. We must believe it will be the “greatest week in kids’ lives.”
  31. Committee and other parents must be sold on camp for their kids to go.
  32. Plan and pray with the goal that Young Life camp becomes the most attractive kid’s activity in your com­munity.
  33. Never sell camp to the point of jeopardizing­ your relationship with that kid.
  34. Personally talk with five kids per week about camp.
  35. Sell summer camp on a weekend trip.
  36. With Campaigners, give vision:
    • you can affect lives for eternity
    • you can be like junior leaders before, during, after camp
    • you will see God do great things
    • pray for friends by name starting now
    • develop their own “yes, maybe, no way” list.
  37. With leaders, give vision:
    • what will this mean for their lives?
    • how will their ministry look next year?
  38. You are the camp manager for your kids.
  39. Show camp video after club for new kids.
  40. Don’t ask for commitments to go from kids in a group situation. Always ask for a commitment one on one.
Download – 40 Ways to Get Kids to Camp

Responsibilities of a Leader

Before Club:

Arrive Early – about an hour

  • Not to plan club (it’s already been laid out ahead of time)
  • Get organised – order of the meeting, skit, etc. (have it in writing)
  • Last minute preparation
  • Prepare the room (talk about homes)
  • Beat the kids there – be ready when the first one arrives so you can hang out.
  • Pray together before the chaos begins.

Patrol – help outside

  • Park cars
  • Keep kids from getting hurt
  • Greet kids outside
  • Meet parents
  • Have new kids fill out club cards (address and other information).

Hear Brian Summerall share about the start of club.


During Club:

  • Do your assigned job – be ready and practiced.
  • When not involved spread out and help control kids by sitting with them.
  • Don’t be up front unless involved.
  • Don’t take away from who’s up front by drawing attention to yourself.
  • Sing enthusiastically, laugh, pay attention.
  • Draw kids into the singing, tease them into clapping.
  • Be alert to any crisis, keep kids inside, don’t let them throw things.

After Club:

Visit with kids

  • Tell them you’re glad they were there
  • Be available to answer questions
  • Take time to give yourself to them
  • Leave to do contact work with them
  • Set up a time to hang out with them later in the week.

Get kids home

  • Again, be outside to patrol.  This is a good time to meet parents and to provide safety.
  • Don’t leave while kids are still there, whether you meet at homes or another place.
  • Clean up
    • Not until kids leave
    • Everyone help.

If at a home, be sure to vacuum, take rubbish with you and say THANK YOU!

Download – Responsibilities of a Leader