First Baptist Church of Columbia
Saturday, November 28, 2015

Question 1:  I don't want to miss anything you have going on.  What is the best way to stay informed?

Answer:  Communication is a key need; for you, and for us.  We strive to offer available and advance information concerning Student Ministries and Student Ministries’ events.  We work hard to ensure that you have quick access to the most current and important information through a variety of means.  The following are our most common means of communication:

e-Letter – A weekly e-mail update for parents and students highlighting the most current information for the upcoming week.  To ensure that you receive your “e-Letter”, please keep us informed of your most recent e-mail  address.  Click here to send it to us.

Text Messages - We send out text messages with any important or urgent announcements.  To sign up, please email us.

Facebook -  FSM posts events and updates on two parent group Facebook pages - Middle School parents and High School parents.  If you are not currently a group member and would like to become a group member, please email us. 

Twitter - Follow us on Twitter @FirstSMColumbia.

Mail-outs – The Student Ministries office will do Mail-outs before all major trips or events.  Students receive all retreat and camp packets in the mail. 

Website -  You are here!  Take some time to look around, and let us know of any questions you may have.

Question 2:  Is my child safe at your programs and events?

Answer: Your child's emotional and physical safety is our highest priority.  We know that if a student does not feel safe, then our great programming is in vain and our messages will never be heard.  To provide a safe physical environment, we utilize both uniformed security, as well as undercover armed security, and trained volunteer staff.  Access points to our student center are limited and students are required to sign in at the manned Welcome Desk upon entering our facility.  The Student Center is fully equipped with digital video surveillance cameras which monitor and record all activity in and around the building.

FSM Safety and Security Practices booklets are available for all parents, which also include FSM's Emergency Action Plan procedures and Discipline Policy.

Question 3:  What kinds of fundraising events do you do?

We try hard to offer excellent retreat and camp experiences at the most affordable price possible.  However, we realize that if a student wants to go on multiple trips, it can quickly become pricy.  Instead of doing dozens of small fund-raisers throughout the year, we focus all of our fundraising efforts on one BIG fundraising event each spring. 
Each student has the opportunity  to raise all of their trip funding through the FBC Camp Classic Golf Tournament, held each April.  Students raise funds by selling sponsorships for the Camp Classic.  For each sponsorship a student sells, the student gets a portion of the proceeds to pay for their trips.
The key to selling sponsorships is to start early!  Go ahead and line up potential sponsors now for next year’s Camp Classic.

Question 4:  What can I do to support First Student Ministries?

1)   Tithe faithfully to First Baptist Church.  (Most Student Ministries events are funded through church budget.  When people fail to tithe, resources are cut!)

2)   Pray for the ministry! (Pray for growth in numbers, depth, and leadership.)

3)   Make a financial contribution to Student Ministries. (After tithing.)

4)   Write an encouragement letter to a small group leader.

5)   Host an event at your house.

6)   Talk up FIRST Student Ministries in the community.

7)   Help sponsor a student to summer camp.

8)   Help promote FIRST Student Ministries events in the community.

9)   Host a leader appreciation dinner at your house.

10) Volunteer to chaperone an event.

11) Encourage other adults to get involved with Student Ministries.

12) Support the Camp Classic Golf Tournament.  (This is a benefit golf tournament held in the spring.  Proceeds benefit Student and Children’s Ministries.)  Click here for more details.

13) Inquire about leading a student small group.

14) Call a small group leader and ask how you can specifically pray for them.

15) Stay informed and connected!  This will enable you to be a huge cheerleader for us!

If you have questions  or would like to discuss anything listed above, please call the Student Ministries' office at 803-343-8545.

Question 5: Is scholarship money available for your camps and retreats?

Answer:  Scholarship funds are available for select Student Ministries’ trips.  Students can apply for Quarter or Half scholarships.  To be considered for a scholarship, a student must complete a confidential scholarship application and return it to the Student Ministries office by the camp registration deadline.  Applicants are responsible for paying for the trip deposit, and also any late registration fees for not signing up on time. 
The Student Ministries Office will respond quickly to all applications that are submitted.  Scholarships are given out based on availability and need.