WHETHER YOU’RE ORGANISING A BARBECUE FOR YOUR WHOLE VILLAGE OR PUTTING ON THE KETTLE FOR A NEWLY ARRIVED FAMILY, BEING A VILLAGE HOST IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ROLES ON SITE
‘Village hosting is such a pleasure and I feel God with me. It’s such an honour and blessing to meet people when they arrive expectant – former village host
Villages provide a ‘home’ for people throughout their time at the Summer Festival. The site will be dividied into about 4 or 5 ‘villages’ – camping areas that one village host looks after. People’s experiences on their village often make or break their holiday and therefore dramatically affect their chances of meeting with God. As a Village Host you welcome people to their camping village, give participants an idea of what’s on and when, be available to answer questions about the site or programme and, if you’re able to, organise village activities so people can get to know each other. All you need is a love for people, and perhaps an endless supply of tea bags!
You are responsible for all participants in your village, not just your own church members. It can be great fun and a real faith builder as you see people drawn in to the Kingdom. It is also a great training ground for hospitality skills that can be taken back to your church. Village Hosts also help to plan the camping layout and address practical needs throughout the week, and some planning skills may therefore be useful. If you enjoy being sociable this is a great role for you, and you’ll be surprised at what God can accomplish through you.
Village Hosts are volunteers so pay the full conference price but as we expect you to come to the site on the day before the conference begins (providing extra time to plan village allocation) we won’t charge you for one extra nights accommodation in recognition of your hard work the day of arrival.
Village Hosts are asked to arrive on Wednesday by 5pm, the day before the conference starts to get settled in before the Village Host meeting that evening, and to give time for planning the village site. You are also invited to the teams nibbles and drinks 8:30pm Wednesday.
VILLAGE HOST MEETING
A meeting is held for all Village Hosts on the evening before the conference starts. The venue will be confirmed nearer the time. The meeting is a chance to meet the Village Host leader who will be available for any help or advice which may be needed. You will also be given any general information about practical aspects of the site and conference.
Once people have been allocated to a village (from early August 2016), Village Hosts will be sent a site plan for their village and details of the delegates and their accommodation.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS A VILLAGE HOST?
Pray before the event that those coming will enjoy their stay and meet with Jesus. Plan approximately where the tents from your village members will go on your site. Arrive the day before to meet other Village Hosts and take part in a planning meeting.
Here are some ideas from past village hosts and delegates:
Know the access route into the village (i.e., for emergency access, disabled delegates and late arrivals)
Be visible to delegates (sign-in window/outside tent) – this is also useful for stewards in case of emergency
Greet people when they arrive and offer them a drink
Show delegates their allocated camping place
Arrange village in such a way as to promote community, possibly in a circle with a community area in the middle
Leave space in the centre of the village for children and village activities (easily visible to majority, so parents can keep an eye without nagging!)
Be aware of people’s needs when they are setting up – offer to help if needed
Find out the basics around the site (e.g., water points, toilets and main venues)
Introduce people to each other during the arrival day as you’re setting up tents/caravans
Be aware of afternoon and after hours activities etc – link people up to them during week
Wander around your village once in a while to check all is okay
Arrange a village activity during the week (everyone loves a BBQ and a game of football)
Be the last to leave your village to make sure that you’re there for last minute queries and to thank people for coming. Ensure the village is left in a tidy state.