take the plungeSummer . . . a time kids pine for during the school year and parents may anticipate with something akin to dread. Fearing refrains of “I’m bored” or hours spent on the couch playing video games can make moms and dads nervous about the long, hot months stretching before their family. Focus on the Family’s Odyssey Adventure Club offers an answer, encouraging parents and kids to embrace faith and fun with the “Take the Plunge”

Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse magazine’s summer challenge.


Q: Why do you think some parents dread the idea of their kids being out of school all summer? Is it the added pressure of having to entertain them?

Florea: I’m not sure parents dread the summer as much as they have to get used to a new routine and spend more time organizing schedules. But, yes, there is added pressure to keep kids engaged and active over the summer. No parent wants his or her child sprawled on the couch for months watching TV and playing video games. And kids don’t want that either.


Smithouser: Parents get tired of hearing “I’m bored,” as if it’s their job to keep the kids occupied 24/7 between now and Labor Day. Shortly after school lets out, there’s the stress of adapting to a new routine. By August, we’re wondering what’s left to do we haven’t already done. Fatigue can set in. Like Jesse said though, we don’t want to cop out and let our children zone out with endless hours of TV and video games. That’s why Adventures in Odyssey is great, because those audio dramas stimulate the imagination. And combined with the activities, daily devotions and message boards in the Odyssey Adventure Club, there are plenty of safe, spiritually enriching ways to keep kids engaged. It’s the best possible answer to “I’m bored.”

Q: Some research shows that kids from ages 8 to 18 spend more than 7.5 hours a day with electronic devices such as a computer, phone or TV. Why should this be a concern to parents? 


Lynn: We believe kids should be using their imagination and interacting with their family and friends. Many times media today tend to isolate. While the Odyssey Adventure Club is consumed through a computer or mobile device, it doesn’t require a child to sit and stare at a screen. Kids can listen to episodes while doing other activities, such as coloring, playing with their toys or outside, riding in the car or exercising. The Odyssey Adventure Club also provides activities and devotions meant to be done as a family, encouraging that important interaction. Through the audio dramas, imagination is brought to life for kids within the theatre of the mind.


Q: How does the Odyssey Adventure Club help moms and dads make spiritual investments into the lives of their children? 


Lynn: Through the power of story and imagination, Adventures in Odyssey teaches life lessons through the lens of a biblical worldview. This helps a child grow and develop spiritually. All of our episodes with the Odyssey Adventure Club are also connected to a devotional, which will give parents the ability to tie together easily the program to a scripture and a spiritual lesson. Additionally, parents will find a daily devotional on the website that will take their children and their family deeper on their spiritual walk.


Q: How will the Take the Plunge challenge help parents spiritually disciple their kids while giving them a great time with their family?

Florea: The Take the Plunge challenge focuses on a child’s mind, body and spirit. We want families to be active together and create memories. At the same time, we want to see our members grow closer to Christ. As parents help their children memorize God’s Word and reach out to others in God’s love, the kids will see God move and understand He can use them to further His kingdom.


Smithouser: Research tells us the more senses we involve when teaching children a principle, the more likely the principle will stick. Bible memorization by itself is great, but it becomes even more powerful when put into action. Know it. Share it. Live it. Any campaign that helps families make memories while being the heart and hands of Jesus to a hurting world is one worth getting behind.



To learn more about the Take the Plunge challenge, visit www.whitsend.org/summer.