Putting Together the Ultimate Swag Bag for Youth Ministry Graduates

It’s graduation season! Your youth ministry is likely putting together slideshows of baby photos of your graduating seniors so you can publicly embarrass (uh, we mean honor) them one final time. Grads are wondering how they’ll fit into college ministries or maybe even considering a gap year to do mission work. They’re a little scared, a little emotional, and a little excited for their futures. A great send off for your graduating seniors is a swag bag that gives them a happy feeling on senior Sunday. Cue Julie Andrews: these are a few of our favorite things to put in senior swag bags.

Personalized Bible

This is probably one of the most meaningful things any youth pastor can give to their seniors. Yes, we know Bible apps are a thing, but having a well-bound Bible in your hands helps so much. There are some beautiful study Bibles perfect for grads just entering adulthood. You can get the Bible personalized with the name of each graduate, or you can add a sticker to the inside cover of the Bible with a message to them. A little personalization of such an important book can go a long way. 

A notebook

If you give a senior a Bible, they might want a notebook or study journal as well. Even if they don’t open up their Bibles as much as you might like, a notebook or journal can be a great way for them to catalog their transition into college or the workplace. Notebooks give them space to be themselves. (Toss in a nice set of pens while you’re at it. No one can have too many pens.)

Snacks/food gift cards

They’re graduating from living with mom and dad to the life of a “broke college kid.” If you know your seniors well, give them their favorite snacks for brain food (definitely a scientific thing). If you want to give them the option to pick, gift cards to popular fast food or coffee places never hurt! If you’re really wanting to spoil them, though, grab some gift cards to grocery stores like Publix or Kroger, or even superstores like Target and Walmart. Those $10 gift cards can help them buy ramen for MONTHS. 

Water bottle

College kids love their Emotional Support Water Bottles. (We’re not joking. There are hundreds of TikToks about Emotional Support Water Bottles. You’re welcome.) They put stickers on them. They name them. They get anxious without them. A water bottle makes sure they stay hydrated on campus, at work, and at the gym. These water bottles can be anything from a fancy-shmancy Hydro Flask to a simple Blender Bottle. You can never go wrong with giving the gift of emotional support and hydration. 

A free T-shirt 

Yeah, yeah, you probably knew this was coming. Free shirts are important because, if you’re a college kid, they mean delaying laundry one extra day and saving a few quarters. But they can also be a point of emotional connection with your youth ministry. If your senior has grown up with you since middle school, then they’ve probably seen a fair share of free shirts. A final ministry shirt can be an emotional cap to their time and investment into the ministry. Consider making the shirt an exclusive one for your seniors, one that will stand out to them and bring them warm fuzzy feelings of their time with you. 

If you’re looking for a way to get some rad shirts (and other fun swag) for your seniors, give us a call at 800-242-9166, or fill out our super-simple form to grab a quote