You’re probably in the midst of getting adults to come and sign-up to help with your summer camp. I hope you at least have it on your radar! I’ve discovered that parents need a lot of lead time to take vacation, plan what to do with their other kids, and get all of the info about what their role in the camp is going to be.  

I’m meeting with an adult who actually approached me about helping out (Praise the Lord). Since this parent isn’t one of my small group leaders, who I try to give first priority to serving at camp, or one of my regular volunteers on Sunday mornings, who I give second pick, I had to dig up my interview questions.

Summer camp is huge and can have a lasting impact on our students. That’s why I want to make sure we’ve got the best adult leaders possible when it comes to camp.

Here are the questions I ask and why I ask them:

When did you come to Christ and what has He been doing in your life lately? I want dedicated followers of Jesus to come alongside us at camp. Plus, I also want to hear how they share their story to me because I want them sharing their story with students!

Are there any reasons I should know about that would prevent you from passing a background check? Church rules. Every adult who works with students has to clear a background check. If something needs to be discussed, it’s best to get it on the table now and let the adult know it’s a part of our procedure.

Why do you want to come to camp with us this summer? Basically, I just want to hear their heart. Some parents want to see what their kids have been raving about all year. Others want a chance to partner with the ministry. I had one adult tell me they were ministered to at another camp and wanted to come in order to help minister to others. I’m all about it! This question just helps me see their motivation and get a feel on what they are expecting out of the experience.

Are you willing to let me be the one in charge and go with my expectations and vision for the camp? Let me show you the schedule and what I’ll need from you. I’m still a young buck at 30. Most of the adults I work with are older and wiser than I am. I love to hear their advice and their thoughts on issues at camp. Ultimately, however, I’m the guy casting vision and I want the parents to know that by coming to camp with us, they are placing themselves under my authority.

I know it can sound a bit stuck up, but I’ve had parents undermine me before at camp and was unable to reference this moment because I didn’t ask this question or set up my expectations of them during the interview.

Being able to say “Hey, when we got together you told me you were ready to follow where I lead” if a situation arises is much better than having nothing to reference back to. This is the part where I show them the camp schedule and the leader expectations and give them time to look it over so they can be fully informed.

Here are some others I might throw in under different circumstances:

  • How does your student feel about you coming on the trip?
  • Have you ever chaperoned a student ministries camp before?
  • Are you comfortable becoming a driver for us?
  • What was your own student ministry experience like?  

What questions would you add to this list?  What questions do you ask potential summer camp chaperones?

Ronald Long is a DYM Author and youth worker who sure asks great questions! Rip this stuff off!