Frequently Asked Questions about Caravan

What is Caravan?

Caravan is a weekly kids club committed to the physical, social, mental, and spiritual growth of children. It uses an active, hands-on learning approach to help kids discover, develop, experience and grow.

This Christian scouting-based program focuses on spiritual formation, ministry training and Nazarene heritage and doctrine, and provides a user-friendly outreach program from local churches.

Children study the Church of the Nazarene Articles of Faith. The sixteen articles are statements of faith that the Church of the Nazarene has embraced as foundations of Christian belief.

Caravan encourages children to embrace eight Core Values (holiness, evangelism, character, missions, service, compassion, work and education) illustrated through the lives of prominent figures in Nazarene church history.

How will Caravan help our church minister more effectively?

Caravan is a proven program that began in the 1940’s and has helped shape and train thousands of children over the past seven decades. Caravan is designed to reach young people and their families for Christ. Through an interactive, scouting type of curriculum, Caravan provides children and adults an opportunity to hear the gospel. As children become involved with Caravan, their character is not only shaped in the image of Christ, they also learn more about the beliefs of the Church of the Nazarene.

In addition, Caravan creates an opportunity to train laypeople. Adults and teenagers alike can gain ministry experience through an excellent environment, free to explore their calling to ministry within the church.

What is the age-range children must be in to join Caravan?

The full Caravan program is designed for children ages three to twelve years old. The journey begins with Tell Me the Story for Pre-K/Kindergarten (3-6 years old). Each Tell me the Story kit includes 26 units of materials, each unit consisting of 2 weeks’ worth of videos, songs and activities. Each kit includes an entire year of curriculum. Upon entering first-grade, they become part of the Caravan Searcher group, through second grade. Third and fourth-graders then become part of the Explorer group, and fifth and sixth-graders become part of the Adventurer group.

Is Caravan local-church oriented?

Yes, very much so. The Caravan program is completely administered and operated by your own church leadership. 

How many months of the year does Caravan take place?

Caravan traditionally runs parallel with the school year, which is approximately nine months. Some programs begin as early as August, and go through May or June, and some late programs begin in September and go through June or July.

How do I join Caravan?

There are no membership requirements to be a part of Caravan. Anyone can come at any time and begin the program. There are a few things you need to do in order to earn your scarf or sash. Talk to your church's Caravan director about how you can earn your scarf.

What are the Core Values all about?

The Core Values represent eight character traits, or values, that are taught throughout the Caravan program. Each value is explained and highlighted by a person who has impacted the Church of the Nazarene. Each Core Value is also hightlighted in various aspects and components of Caravan. They are as follows:

Holiness - P.F. Bresee
Evangelism - Buddie Robinson
Missions - Harmon Schmelzenbach
Service - R.W. Cunningham
Character - Audrey Williamson
Compassion - J.P. Roberts
Education - Olive Winchester
Work - John T. Benson Jr.

What kinds of churches have a Caravan program?

Though open to other denominations, the Caravan program is a ministry that has been designed by and for members of the Church of the Nazarene. Each year, churches across North America and Europe with as few as 30 members and as many as 3000 participate in the character-building, midweek scouting-based program.

How do I know my kids will be in a safe place?

We strongly recommend that churches carefully screen their volunteers, guides and Caravan directors before entrusting them to work with children. In addition, we encourage the use of permission slips for all field trips, and sufficient adult supervision. It is also recommended the ratio of adults to children be no less than 1:5 (one guide and one assistant for every five children) at all times with the children. Finally, every badge that involves a ministry project or field trip includes suggestions for adequate supervision.

What facilities do we need to have an effective Caravan program?

Though many churches utilize a room set aside for Caravan, most utilize a Sunday School room or other classroom for weekly Caravan meetings. A game room, gymnasium or outside area is helpful, but the fellowship hall of most churches is an adequate solution for most Caravan activities.

How much will it cost me to have my child involved in Caravan?

Each local church is different in how they decide to charge for the Caravan program, depending on their budgetary constraints and amount of money that is generated through fundraising. Generally, most churches charge between $5 and $25 per student for a registration fee. This fee does not begin to cover the actual costs of such a program, but it does allow the church to reach more families through the Caravan program. Many churches have scholarships available for families who cannot afford the registration fee. Check with your church's Caravan director to determine the program's fees and opportunity for financial assistance.

What if I'm a first-time visitor?

If you are a first-time visitor, you can join in whatever activity the group your friend and you are a part of. Ask for the You Can be a Caravan Searcher (or Explorer or Adventurer) booklet from your Caravan guide. The Mini-Books will help you participate in the activities for your first meeting until you have a full-sized Student book of your own. The mini-books also feature the Caravan group motto, pledge to the Christian flag, and pledge to the Bible.

What kinds of activities do Caravan kids participate in?

Searchers, Explorers and Adventurers have tons of activities, field trips and ministry projects to choose from. Skill badges come in four categories: mental, physical, spiritual, and social. To earn a badge, certain requirements must be met, including a high level of active participation. Badges in the Explorer and Adventurer groups are all electives, enabling kids to work with their guides, customizing their choices based on their needs, desires, and available resources. Children participate in everything from camping trips to ministry projects, and learn to serve others, both inside the church and outside in the local community.

Can I directly order Caravan products for my child? How?

Yes, absolutely. There are several ways you can purchase Caravan products and supplies - either for your church's Caravan ministry, or for your own child:

  • Navigate this website and place the Caravan items you wish to buy in the shopping cart.
  • Call us at (800) 877-0700
  • Email us at orders@thefoundrypublishing.com

When do I wear the uniform?

Informal:
If your church has a Caravan shirt, they are to be worn at the informal weekly Caravan meetings, on field trips, and during ministry projects.

Formal:
The formal uniform, consisting of a Caravan scarf (Searchers) and sash (Explorers/Adventurers), with a white dress shirt, navy slacks, skirt, or jeans, is to be worn at Official Caravan Functions such as the Blue and White Dinner, Caravan Sunday, Graduation Ceremonies, and District Events.

How do we arrange our small-sized Caravan meetings?

Suggested Small Caravan Group Arrangement

Tell Me the Story: Include all children ages 3-6 who are not in first grade.

Searcher: Combine first and second grade boys and girls.

Explorer: Combine third and fourth grade boys and girls.

Adventurer: Combine fifth and sixth grade boys and girls.

How do we arrange our medium-sized Caravan meetings?

Suggested Medium Caravan Group Arrangement

Tell Me the Story - Select one option:

Option 1: Place all children together.

Option 2: Create two classes. 
      Class 1: Combine prekindergarten boys and girls.
      Class 2: Combine kindergarten boys and girls.

Searcher - Select one option:

Option 1: Create two classes.
      Class 1: Combine first grade boys and girls.
      Class 2: Combine second grade boys and girls.

Option 2: Create two classes.
      Class 1: Combine first and second grade girls.
      Class 2: Combine first and second grade boys.

Explorer - Select one option:

Option 1: Create two classes.
      Class 1: Combine third grade boys and girls.
      Class 2: Combine fourth grade boys and girls.

Option 2: Create two classes.
      Class 1: Combine third and fourth grade girls.
      Class 2: Combine third and fourth grade boys.

Adventurer - Select one option:

Option 1: Create two classes.
      Class 1: Combine fifth grade boys and girls.
      Class 2: Combine sixth grade boys and girls.

Option 2: Create two classes.
      Class 1: Combine fifth and sixth grade girls.
      Class 2: Combine fifth and sixth grade boys.

How do we arrange our large-sized Caravan meetings?

Suggested Large Caravan Group Arrangement

Tell Me the Story - 3 classes:
      Class 1: four-year-olds
      Class 2: five-year-olds
      Class 3: six-year-olds, not yet in first grade

Searcher - 4 classes:
      Class 1: first grade boys
      Class 2: first grade girls
      Class 3: second grade boys
      Class 4: second grade girls

Explorer - 4 classes:
      Class 1: third grade boys
      Class 2: third grade girls
      Class 3: fourth grade boys
      Class 4: fourth grade girls

Adventurer - 4 classes:
      Class 1: fifth grade boys
      Class 2: fifth grade girls
      Class 3: sixth grade boys
      Class 4: sixth grade girls


How many leaders are needed for an effective Caravan program?

Individual churches have differing needs, resources, and staffing concerns, however, we recommend that each rank have no more than 10-12 children per guide, and one assistant for every guide. Integrity must be protected, and having a second adult or older teenager is not only helpful, it is necessary. In essence, a Caravan group consisting of thirty children should have one Guide for every ten kids, one assistant for every Guide, and an overall Caravan Director.

What are the qualifications for Caravan leadership?

The qualifications for Caravan leadership are detailed in the Caravan training book, entitled Implementing a New Caravan Ministry: Successfully Training a New Generation of Kids! This book is is included in the Caravan Starter Kit and is also available to purchase individually.

How are Caravan leaders trained?

Caravan offers several tools for training new leaders.

First, the book Implementing a New Caravan Ministry details what is needed to begin Caravan ministry, including training of adult volunteers.

Second, your Caravan district director is a wealth of knowledge and helpful information.

Do leaders have uniforms in Caravan?

Yes. During weekly meetings and official Caravan functions such as the Blue and White Dinner, Caravan Sunday, Graduation Ceremonies, and District Events, Caravan guides and directors are expected to wear their respective Caravan polos, with khaki-colored casual slacks/pants.

Is there a Bible Memory component to Caravan?

Bible memory is a crucial part of the Caravan program. Explorer Sentry has the "Bible Memory" badge opportunity to learn scripture in the Articles of Faith, and as they learn to recite the Caravan motto and as they earn the various skill badges.

How do I promote the Caravan program in my church and community?

There are several ways to promote Caravan:

  • Customize and hang promotional posters (CV-1034) around the community and throughout your church.
  • Customize and hang Caravan Outdoor Banners (CV-1038) to let your community know about the Caravan program.
  • Customize and distribute Caravan Door Hangers (CV-1035) around the neighborhood, inviting kids to a Caravan meeting.

How does Caravan help my church reach out to our community?

From top to bottom, Caravan has been designed with ministry in mind. There are many features that are designed specifically to reach out to the community of the local church.

  • Ministry projects in the Explorer and Adventurer groups are designed to teach children about service and ministry.
  • Outreach events are designed to invite and reach unchurched children and their families.
  • Field trips suggested in Searcher, Explorer, and Adventurer are designed to provide exposure and awareness of Caravan in the context of your local community.
  • Utilization of guest guides is strongly encouraged throughout the Searcher, Explorer and Adventurer groups. These guest guides can come from various types of leaders among your community.

How do I start a Caravan ministry in my church?

Order a Caravan Starter Kit (covers grades 1-6). The Starter Kit includes everything you need to begin a new Caravan ministry. To order the Caravan Starter Kit, contact The Foundry Publishing in one of the following ways:

What is included in the Caravan Starter Kit?

The Starter Kit comes in a portable box, and includes everything you need to get your Caravan program off the ground. The starter kit includes each of the following items:

  • Caravan Planning Book
  • Implementing a New Caravan Ministry
  • Three Guide books: Searcher, Explorer, and Adventurer
  • Six student books (1 for each year)
  • Three “You Can Be a Caravan Searcher” (or Explorer or Adventurer) visitor mini books 

Plus, a sample pack of the following Caravan items:

  • Pencil
  • Name Badge
  • Appreciation Postcard
  • We Missed You Postcard
  • Promotional Poster
  • Outreach Door Hanger
  • Follow up Postcard, and
  • Caravan Logo Badge
  • Caravan Bulletin
  • Six-Year Individual Record Form

How do I order the Bresee award?

The P.F. Bresee Award Medal is the top honor within the Caravan program. To order, contact The Foundry Publishing (phone: 1-800-877-0700, e-mail:  orders@thefoundrypublishing.com).

What is the return policy for Caravan products?

Caravan Return Policy:

Please return product to:
The Foundry Publishing
2944 Troost Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64109-1593

Defective product and mistakes on shipments will be replaced immediately at no extra cost.

Product returned for credit must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have been purchased within the past 12 months.
  • Must be in clean and salable condition.
  • Must be sent freight prepaid.

Please include a copy of your invoice or packing list to ensure your account is correctly credited. If you have any inquiries or questions about your return, please:

E-mail us at returns@thefoundrypublishing.com or
Call us at 1-800-877-0700 or
Fax 1-800-849-9827

Are clip art images for quizzing and Caravan free?

Yes. You have permission to use these images for promotion purposes. The clip art files can be used for:  church bulletins, newsletters, fliers, and much more! However, we do ask that you only use these images for promoting your Caravan program. You may not use these images to promote any other musical or program.

I’m having trouble printing the clip art. Where can I find help?

The graphic files on this website are in JPG format, ready for use in any page layout program or word processor. If you are having trouble, please consult the instruction manual for your computer program or consult the Help option on your computer. To aid you in this process, look for topics like 'inserting pictures' or 'resizing images'.

How do I download clip art?

Click here for free Caravan clip art. Click on the thumbnail image to see it full size. Then for a PC, right click the picture and choose 'Save Picture As...'. For a Macintosh, click and hold, then choose 'Save Picture As...'.

The Foundry Publishing