7 quick tips for planning your church’s fall carnival or trunk-or-treat

2013-10-26-14-17-02-991by Eric Pugh

Are you looking for an easy and portable way to connect with people in your community? Coordinating a trunk or treat could be just the thing for you. Trunk or treat is an event where people decorate the trunks of their car, a real trunk, or just a parking space with a game that children can play, usually around some kind of Halloween theme. After the children play the game, they receive candy – win or lose. These events are usually geared toward families with younger kids, and the trunks/games are done by youth and or adults. If your church already does this on site, what about taking it offsite afterwards? If your games are in the trunks of cars, then all you do is pack up and go. Perhaps there is a local park that your city will let you set up in. I have been part of one that was taken to a neighborhood apartment complex. Maybe that could be your plan all along! Contact apartment complexes in your area and ask if you can bring in a trunk or treat event for their residents. If you have multiple complexes near your church, why not take the fun to each of them? You could spend about an hour at a location, pack up head to another and do it again. Make sure you have plenty of candy.

Coordinating or Hosting a Trunk or Treat is pretty simple:

  1. Pick a date and time for your event. Are other churches or organizations in your area doing one already? Why not partner with them?
  2. Decide on a theme for your trunks; be creative – don’t forget to have fun. (Some sample themes: classic board games; games from around the world; games from different eras, etc.) This year our youth decided to promote games through time from around the world.
  3. Set a goal for the number of trunks/games you would like to offer.
  4. Create buzz around your event! Challenge each youth/adult Sunday school to host a least one trunk/game. Have a small prize for the most creative. Give announcements in worship wearing a costume that is connected to your theme. Have a sign up table before and after worship to get your spaces filled. Ask that every trunk/game bring 2-3 bags of candy to give away.
  5. Invite your community. Use social media, email and even snail mail to get the word out. With Halloween on a Saturday this year, you could even invite them to attend worship on Sunday.
  6. Have fun!
  7. Want to “go all out”? Offer food – get someone to cook hot dogs (kids love hot dogs). Offer live music – maybe you have a youth band or praise team that would dress in costume and play music.

 

 

 

 

About Eric Pugh

A 10 year veteran of full-time youth ministry, Eric was recently commissioned as a Deacon in the UMC and is working toward ordination. A native Ohioan, Eric now lives and serves in the Houston area, and is appointed as the Associate Pastor for Youth, Young Adults and Families to Strawbridge United Methodist Church. Eric has an MTS from SMU and a BS from The Ohio State University. He loves talking science and theology. Eric loves empowering youth to live out their faith as they discover their identify in Christ.