As long as I can remember we have used club cards. Those are the pieces of paper that you give to new kids at club, often during announcements or some type of introduction time, then they fill them out and give them back to leaders. These cards have a long history, all the way back to the first days of Young Life when the national office in Texas would keep them on file, like many “clubs”, to keep track of their members.
Over the years I’ve taken countless hours to type these into spreadsheets. Usually these include information like:
- First name
- Last name
- Home phone
- Cell phone
- Zip code
- Parents names
- Favorite movie
- Year in school
- Who invited you
Let’s just be honest… that is a lot of information to type! So I’ve, or a helper or two for me, have spent a lot of time while typing thinking… do we really need all this info? So over time I would type in less and less.
On the other hand, these can also be a good physical reminder if you put them somewhere where you see them, from time to time it is good to look through them and be reminded of kids who have come to Christ and think of their first day at club, and others who may have come once and never come back. Other than using them for a database they have been a great tool for prayer, it is well worth it to spend a little time going through them one by one.
In all honesty, in the last year or so, our clubs have been bigger than normal and I know kids have slipped through the cracks. And I have not done a good job with the club cards. Even if I had done a better job, I’m not sure if our team would have time, or the diligence to keep checking in an online document.
So, as this semester starts up I want to experiment with some new ideas for club cards. One of the clubs in my area uses a text message system. At club the kids text a number to join a list and then get an update each week about club on their phones. That works well for them, but I’m trying to think of other options too. At the moment I have this really high tech idea of a club card with way less questions. Maybe just: Name, Cell, Year. I think I could type that in each week. Then I also have a card for prayer and as a reminder. But I’m still trying to think through a streamlined way to keep leaders in the loop of our accumulated list of kids (other than a Googledoc, though we may end up using that).
I’d love to hear your input. What works? What doesn’t work?
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13 thoughts on “New Ideas About Club Cards?”
We have started to experiment with High Rise at one of our clubs, which is both a iPhone app and website. It’s great because it’s a really simple amount of info that is accessible to everyone on the team in 2 clicks of the iPhone. So far the feedback from leaders has been positive and they are actually using it.
If you figure what to do with this, I’ll call you “Mr. Genius” every time I see you. Our contacts management at the area level is so confusing. “Contacts Manager” is so clunky, isn’t user friendly and isn’t accessbile to our leaders easily. There for we are left to come up with another communication/managent tool. that’s on top of EMMA for adult communication. So wether it’s google docs, high rise (which I don’t have any experience with) or Hello from Evernote (would be even better if there was a way to send all info to the same master account. Maybe each club gets there own username and password and they share it.) Anyway, I’d love to know what you come up with.
Debbie wrote me an email with this helpful note:
One of the things we’ve added in the last year is the question: “Do either of your parents play golf?” We keep the info in a spreadsheet so when it’s time for our golf tournament, we already have a list of parents who play golf to recruit for our tournament.
And Ryan… I have an idea that might be super simple but I’ll need to look into it. Maybe by ASC I’ll have it nailed!
We created a ‘google form’ that automatically inputs kids info to a spreadsheet. We had a few different leaders set up their laptops as kids came in before club. Didn’t work great for the first club because it was too many kids at once, but for following clubs it was helpful.
Card with way less questions! (But I may be a special case- I still use a paper daily planner)
One thing we have added to our cards is Cell Phone Provider. This allows us to enter it into Contacts Manager so we can mass text the kids. Even though Contacts Manager is “clunky” the mass texting feature is great and we use it all the time. I also have wanted to use the Google Forms idea but haven’t had the computers yet to do it. I think it seems like a great idea.
Jeremy sent me this email…
Great post, we are using ministrytracker because it is only $25 a month and allows kids to sign in themselves with the info we want, it also allows us to track event attendance, and assign leaders for kids, and track contact work.
It is easy to use and leaders can use the mobile versions on their phones. Cuts way down on data entry although we have one person for those who slip thru the cracks.
Looks good Jeremy! though the text messaging is not included in the $25 as far as I can tell. I’ll look more into this.
We’re starting a new punchcard system. It acts not only as a way of getting to know the kids, but also as a sign in. In short, each kid has a personalized notecard that has their name, grade and cell listed at the top. Below, is a grid of dates of club. For each club they attend, they punch the notecard (in the same way you punch a coffee punchcard). The 7th club they attend, they get a treat. At the end of the night, a leader inputs the information in an excel spreadsheet.
Eric, I tried to check out “High Rise” on the iphone app store, but didn’t find what you were talking about. Do you have anymore info about this? Thank you.
I use Wufoo.com and the information kids type in can be downloaded to an excel file (so there is no typing). I also have a form for parents that I can send to their phones so I can collect their email etc — kids don’t usually have that information. I also link a QR code to this site and put on posters. This works well on smart phones and kids can type it in during club. You can create custom forms for free
We created a Google Form and then have a QR Code that we put up that takes kids to the Form. It’s all free, and all the kids have to do is download a free QR Code reader from the App store (that is if their phone doesn’t already have them like most do) and then take a picture of it, and it takes them straight to the form.
It’s awesome! You can either put it up on your announcement slide or post them around wherever the kids hang out before club.
I should have read the previous comment lol. Same thing.
Thanks for blog post. I am enjoying reading it. As a new admin I’ve been trying to come up with ways to streamline our area. Thanks for the ideas everyone.