Good S’morning

August 29, 2020
Miriam Rainwater Director, Northwest Collegiate Ministries, Portland State University, Oregon
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One of our desires as a BCNet Evangelism Committee is to provide collegiate directors with ideas for evangelism on their campus. We have provided ideas in four categories: First Contact, Conversational Outreach, Community Integration, and Gospel Proclamation. We hope that the following Conversational Outreach event will be useful to you and your students!

MATERIALS

What better way to engage students on a school morning than to feed them s’mores? To host Good S’mornings, you will need the following:

  • Individually-wrapped Hershey’s snack size bars (one per student)
  • Graham crackers (one sheet per student)
  • Marshmallows (one per student)
  • Sandwich bags (one per student)
  • Toaster oven
  • Tin foil
  • Wooden grilling skewers (one per student)
  • Extension cord (and power source!)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Napkins or Paper Towels
  • Table
  • Table cloth
  • Promotion materials/spiritual surveys/conversational prompt

We recommend having a gluten-free/vegan option, as well! This allows more students to participate, including many international students who are interested in this American tradition but cannot eat marshmallows due to religious restrictions around pig products in marshmallows. We use the following products for a gluten-free, vegan alternative:

  • Vegan chocolate (two squares per student; we have used both Lindt and Endangered Species Organic in the past)
  • Enjoy Life Sugar Crisps (two per student)
  • Dandies Vegan Marshmallows (one per student)

When telling students the available options, we use the terminology “gluten-free/vegan” versus “classic.”

PRIOR TO THE EVENT

Before the event, wear gloves and prepare individually-wrapped bags of s’mores materials that students canpick up and assemble for themselves. (Check with your campus to ensure that this meets your campus food standards. At least one member per five packing the bags should hold a food handlers’ permit.) Prep your toaster oven by covering the pan with tin foil. This will save you a lot of headache during the event; if marshmallow falls on it, you can change the foil rather than having a charred mess or having to stop your whole event to wash the pan! Check with your school guidelines to ensure that you are able to operate a toaster oven on campus! Prep your conversational prompt or have a plan for how you will engage students with a spiritual survey.

DURING THE EVENT

Once you have set up your table with the supplies, turn your toaster oven on broil. This will become your “urban campfire.” Students will take a skewer from someone who greets them at one end of the table and seeks to engage in friendly conversation while they wait on their turn with the toaster oven. They will put their marshmallow on the stick and roast inside the oven. Instruct them to NOT put their marshmallow down on the pan or touch the hot coils on the top. This process takes about a minute and a half, which is one reason we enjoy this event so much! The student leader engaging others at the toaster oven has the opportunity to seek to enter a conversation about the prompt that can lead to further interest in spiritual discussion or give them an opportunity to invite them to an event, small group, etc.

A FEW MORE IDEAS

  • Our friends at the Hilo BCM gave this event our favorite spin! They wanted to be able to do the event in the afternoon but Good S’mafternoon just didn’t have the same ring as Good S’morning. They creatively renamed the event S’moral Support!
  • Consider having alternative candy like Peppermint Patties or Reeses instead of Hershey’s bars!
  • While it will largely depend on your campus demographic, we typically prepare 120 classic bagsd 30 gluten-free/vegan bags for a two-hour time slot 10AM-noon. If you plan on doing more students in the same amount of time, you will definitely need a second toaster oven!  If you have a second oven, it can be helpful to have a separate toaster oven for the gluten-free/vegan options. Nothing besides marshmallows should be entering the oven throughout the event, but to be fully safe from cross-contamination, you may wish to have separate toaster ovens.

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