One of my tasks this week is to create a master notebook for our church’s Family Camp, which I directed last month. I refer to this as “writing down my brain.”
Over the course of months of planning, then running the event and conducting our post-camp evaluation, I had dozens of details swimming around in my head. But as camp fades out of view in the rear-view mirror, it’s easy to forget all these details: what we did, why we did it, what did not go as planned, what really worked well, who did what, and what we would change for next time.
Hence, the master notebook — before it fades completely from memory, to help me and our team next year, and to help the person who will at some point take my place as director in the future.
My notebook for Family Camp will include these components:
- A timeline for the entire year. (When do we confirm our location for next year and send our deposit? When do we start promoting the event and accepting reservations?)
- Explanations and documentation for each task on the timeline. (Copies of past forms, promotional materials, contracts, financial policies, etc.)
- A schedule from the most recent year, with notes based on our camper and leadership team evaluations.
- A list of additional notes and to-do’s to help us plan for next year.
While creating this notebook will require a good bit of work, the result will be a gift to myself next year, and to others (leaders and campers) down the road.
This exercise is not limited to ministry. It also applies to work and creative projects, household maintenance and management, even family travel.
For what areas do you need to write down your own brain?