Early and Mid Adolescents

3-on-3 Tourney

Plan and run a 3-on-3 basketball summer league. Have your youth share short 5 minute devotionals on relevant issues. Have a tournament ending banquet, with a special guest speaker (local Christian sports celebrity). This is a great way to reach out to the community!

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40 Year Sandals

Used this when we were talking about the Jews wandering for 40 years in the desert.

Items needed:
– Large sheets of cardboard (I used 24 pack soda crates)
– Twine

Have the kids take off their shoes and place them on the cardboard. Then have them trace their shoe’s soles on the cardboard. Cut out the cardboard, so you have the sole of a sandal.

Have the kids place their feet on the sandals. Next take a pen and mark 8 holes in the following places: one hole on both sides of the big toe, one hole on both sides of the widest part of the foot, one hole on both sides of the foot just forward of the ankle, and one hole on both sides of the foot just a little forward of the heel.

Cut two 36-inch pieces of twine for each child. To lace the sandals, start at the big toe; insert one end of twine on one side of big toe, and the other end on the other side of the big toe. Next bring the twine back up through the sandal next to the widest part of the foot, and cross the twine across the top of the foot. Insert the ends of the twine back through the sole and cross under the heel. Finally bring the twine back up through the holes on either side of the heels and wrap twice around the students ankles. Tie in a bow.

These sandals won’t hold up very well outside, but they are fun to wear around the classroom.

Hope these instructions were easy to understand. If not, I can make a jpeg of each step, please use my email address above to let me know if you need me to take this extra “step.”

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40’s/ 50’s Night

Schedule a friday night to have a fundraiser themed towards the senior citizens in the church. Set it up in the fellowship hall or some other open area.

If there is a DJ or music-savvy person in the church, see if they wouldn’t mind DJing for you. You can burn a cd or two with several songs and maybe even set up a litle dance area if the space is there. Also serve food that is somewhat associated with the time period like baked chicken, cornbread, greenbeans, and mashed potatoes.

Keep the music playing constantly with the DJ offering trivia as to who sings the song coming up. Another good idea that we did is have a 8 person checker tournament with the winner getting a prize (we gave em a brand new checkerboard). Another thing we did was give a prize to the most energetic person in attendance (a little girl won and we gave her a “Lassie” DVD).

One more thing that should be a big part of your “40’s/ 50’s Night” is the exhibit area. Use another open area (we used our biggest classroom) and set up a walkthrough showing some of the wars, pop culture, artifacts, and photos from that time-period. Have something big at the end of the exhibit such as a “Wall Of Honor” that honors all of the veterans in the church.

Hope this helps. We used it to raise funds for a mission retreat we’re planning. We sold about 80 tickets for 6 bux each and made a net profit around $400. God Bless. -peejay

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6 meeting scavenger hunt

We used a six week scavenger hunt that had a weekly prize and a grand prize for our kids. The kids loved it and we wanted to share it since we put a lot of work into it. I hope this comes out lined up ok. Some items are parish specific but can be easily changed.

Points / Items / Frequency
5 1 point each with a max of 5 points -Pantry Items – Non Perishable food(Dry food, can goods, etc.) for St. Vincent DePaul Society – Person who brings in most each meeting will receive an additional 1 point Every Meeting
5 For each youth brought to youth group that has never been to this youth group before Every Meeting
5 1 point each with a max of 5 points – Baby Items (New or Used) for 1st way life center. Baby clothes sized newborn to 2T, Onesies, Booties, Tights, hats, socks, receiving blankets, burp cloths, bibs, crib sheets, changing pads, hooded towels, bottles, diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, cereal, shampoo, lotion, diaper rash cream, etc.- Person who brings in most each meeting will receive an additional 1 point Every Meeting
5 Attend 1 Daily Mass Monday through Saturday each week between youth group meetings. Dated signature from priest, Deacon or youth group leader needed for credit. (Class masses do not count) Every Meeting
2 Letter of appreciation to FMIJ signed by Youth Group Member Sealed in envelope, stamped and addressed.(Limit 1 per FMIJ and only 2 per meeting) Every Meeting
2 Spare change for St. Vincent DePaul Society. Any amount of change will get points. Person who brings in the most each week will receive an additional 1 point Every Meeting
2 Pop Tops for cancer research- Person who brings in most each meeting will receive an additional 1 point Every Meeting
2 Your own creative idea for a scavenger hunt item Every Meeting
2 quote a bible scripture from memory 1 verse but must know book chapter and verse (Can not do same verse each meeting) Every Meeting
2 Call someone from youth group who was at last meeting to encourage them to come to next meeting Has to be a different person each meeting it can never repeat Every Meeting
2 3 facts you find interesting about Saint “Different Saint Each Meeting” Every Meeting
2 Box top/Campbell Soup labels for St. Margaret’s School. Person who brings in the most each week will receive an additional 1 point Every Meeting
2 Attend Youth Group Meeting Every Meeting
10 Attend Holy Hour “All Holy Hours before next meeting listed for points” First Meeting
5 Bring in a baby picture of yourself First Meeting
2 Find out Father Cal’s middle name – from St. Margaret An extra point if you can get him to give you a signature with his COMPLETE name First Meeting
2 3 Bandanas, handkerchiefs, or cloth napkins First Meeting
10 Attend Pro Life Procession on October 16th Second Meeting
2 How many Sacraments has Father Allen(From St. Margaret’s) received and what are they? Second Meeting
2 Favorite Saint from everyone’s “Favorite things” List (You can call and ask them if you do not remember) Second Meeting
2 Say the Gifts of the Holy Spirit from memory Second Meeting
2 Submit a name for our youth group to call ourselves (Be Creative!!) Second Meeting
1 Bring in a Rosary Second Meeting
2 What is Deacon Bob’s Patron Saint? – from St. Margaret Third Meeting
3 Say the Fruits of the Holy Spirit from memory Third Meeting
1 A picture of St. Peter’s in Rome + 1 each for the 4 major Basilicas Third Meeting
1 Relic of a saint Third Meeting
1 The words of 2 hymns always sung at benediction Third Meeting
1 The title, year, director of your favorite religious movie Third Meeting
2 Lion of Judah Prayer Community Leaders – http://www.lionofjudahcommunity.org or if no interenet access you will need to ask Fr. Allen for help Third Meeting
10 Help a Shut-In Day – Saturday We cleaned up their yard from fall Third Meeting
2 What is the Book and Verses of when Gabriel visits Mary and tells her she is having Jesus. Third Meeting
2 A Vatican coin or postage stamp Fourth Meeting
2 A Latin/English Mass Missal Fourth Meeting
2 A chapel Veil Fourth Meeting
1 A Sacred Heart Auto League Magnet Fourth Meeting
1 A Saint Christopher Auto Plaque, Statue or Magnet Fourth Meeting
2 How many pets does Deacon Mike have and what are their names? Fourth Meeting
1 – 5 Children’s books for St. Vincent DePaul. 1 point each max 5 points, 1 extra point for who brings in the most Fourth Meeting
5 A Written story of what you like best about youth group Fifth Meeting
5 Write your own prayer, that has not been published, or recited by a deacon or priest yet. Fifth Meeting
2 What is Father Allen’s favorite TV show Fifth Meeting
2 Name the 7 deadly sins and their counterpart virtues from memory Fifth Meeting
1 Name the 4 Theological and 3 Cardinal virtues from memory Fifth Meeting
1 A Mass Card to have a Mass said for someone Fifth Meeting
2 Name 5 apparitions of Our Lady (Mary) Fifth Meeting
5 Ask any deacon of St. Margaret’s to tell you do something crazy at next youth group meeting and do it Sixth Meeting
5 Attend Christmas Caroling with Youth Group Sixth Meeting
5 We did the name before BUT come up with a name for our youth group AND make a creative sign on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. One of the names will become official and if yours is picked, you get an extra point. All kids and core team will vote on it. If you can not think of a name but you are creative, call Mr. Fleming and ask him for a name. Sixth Meeting
2 Button Hole Puzzle intact without shirt (1 – point if still on shirt) Sixth Meeting
2 16 Books of Bible Puzzle Sixth Meeting
5 Attend Holy Hour January 1st Sixth Meeting
5 List Book, Chapter and verse where each of the joyful mysteries can be found Sixth Meeting
5 Bible scavenger hunt 3 = 1 point, 6 = 2 points, 9 = 3 points, 12 = 4 points, 17(all) = 5 points Sixth Meeting
10 Recite Books of Old Testament from memory- If one is wrong you can try again following meeting Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
10 Signature of all members on St. Margaret’s Parish Council Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
10 Design and write up a game, complete with rules, for the youth group (indoor or outdoor) to play. Has to be your own creation of a new game or a known game with a twist. (Examples: Beach Ball Volleyball, bible verse tag) Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
5 Recite books of New Testament from memory- If one is wrong you can try again following meeting Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 A picture of 3 people doing the “Hear No Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil thing” Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
5 Say the 20 mysteries of the Rosary in order from memory Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
3 Current Officers with Names and offices/titles of all Knights of Columbus at St. Margaret’s Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
3 Current Officers with Names and offices/titles of all Legion of Mary’s at St. Margaret’s Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
3 Evidence of a personal visit to a monastery (Picture, Receipt from gift shop, etc) Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
3 Evidence of a personal visit to a shrine Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
3 A picture or statue of our lady of Fatima and written story Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 A picture of an officer of the law (+2 if you can get him to flash the Peace Sign) Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 Picture of yourself doing something GOOFY !!! Be Creative !!! Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 A Picture of a person with an apple on their head Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 An out of date bumper sticker (Picture or actual sticker) Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 Name all apostles from memory Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 Picture and autograph of you with your parish priest Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 A picture of Bishop Galante +1 if autographed Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 Picture of the oldest Catholic Church in the Camden Diocese Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
2 Your picture in front of a statue of a father or doctor of the church Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)
1 A picture of yourself at your Baptism and first communion 1 each Due By Last Meeting (Given out at first meeting)

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7 UP! Fellowship

Each spring I have a special fellowship/informational dinner for 6th graders who are about to become 7th graders. I invited the 6th graders and their parents to come to a dinner where I share with them what to expect from our Youth Ministry.

I give them the following items:
– “Who Am I?” handout (for the kids to fill out)
– A Super Summer Calendar “Light Reading” (announcement sheets that we give youth on Sundays)which has the latest on the cool things we do
– an index card with a key taped to it that reads, “Our house is always open to you”
– Medical Release forms (for the parents to fill out)
– a calling card with my phone numbers and email address
– a handout of “Youth Ministry Terminology” (many parents wouldn’t know what Prime Time is or T.N.T. for example)

I also have 4-5 youth to share what the Youth Ministry has meant to them. I answer any questions they might have at this time as well. I also decorate the tables with items that have 7UP on them as well as appropriate colors (green, white, red)!

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This is great for a church with a lot of hiding places. First pick two (about one per 10 kids) “ray guns”. The ray guns are given five minutes to hide anywhere in the church. We usually explain the game and the rules during this time. Next, pick out two “aliens”. The aliens are released to hide themselves too. The object of the game is to find a “ray gun” so that you can zap the “alien”. The aliens try to tag all of the players. If a player is tagged then they have to go back to the common area for a full minute. An untagged player can free a tagged player at any time. This game is great in the dark. We usually play it once a month for the whole night.

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Alphabet Ups and Downs

Choose a story with many alliterations (I like to use “Fat Fireman Foster” or “The Dreadful Dragon with a Diamond D” from my little boy’s Sesame Street storybook). Read the story to the group. Instruct group members to stand up or sit down every time they hear a word that begins with the letter you designate. The quicker you read, the sillier it gets! (One of my favorite passages: “Fat Fireman Foster was a faithful, friendly fire fighter. He was fabulous when a forest fire flickered freely through the fair forest….”

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Angels Unaware

Ask each of your young people to identify someone at school who doesn’t attend any church. For the 12 weeks have kids each commit to becoming that person’s “undercover angel.” Weekly, have kids each slip a card into their person’s locker at school, leave a gift for him or her in the office, write a note of encouragement after a poor grade, or offer some other kind of secret encouragement. Each week in the youth group meeting, have kids each report on what they did and what their person’s reaction has been. Weekly reports will help keep the motivation and interest high. After 12 weeks, kids can choose a new person to reach out to. Encourage kids not to reveal themselves to their secret person, even after they’ve moved on to a new person.

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Anger: Bible Base: John 2 13-22 Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Way in:
Demonstrate what pent up anger can do to us.
Give each member of the group a plastic 35mm film canister and a piece (about one third of a tablet) of Alka-Seltzer. They half fill the canister with water, then, all together, drop the Alka Seltzer in and push on the lid. Place all canisters on a tray. Explain that sometimes, when we get angry, the feelings inside of us well up, until….
After 20-30 secs each canister should then “blow their top” giving an impressive display.
Today we will be looking at anger, what it does to us, how we cope, and how Jesus displayed his anger.

Introduction of Anger.
Draw up Four Faces of Anger
(For illustrations I used pictures of faces showing the kind of anger – Clipart on Windows2000/XP has some, search on “anger”)

A rule, a belief, or an objective is being threatened or abused. Unfairness.

You are disrespected, rejected, or ignored. Sense of insult or humiliation. Can be physical or psychological.

Your freedom or personal space is being restricted or violated. Your identity is being attacked.

You have energy and determination to do something about injustices, injuries, and invasions. You challenge the status-quo.

– Get group to suggest situations that give rise to each facet.
– Which one, mostly, causes them to get angry?

Bible: John 2 13-22 read together as group.
– What was Jesus angry about?
– Did he direct his anger at certain people, or what they were doing?
– What “face of anger” was Jesus displaying.
– What does this reading tell us about getting angry and being a Christian?

First explain that when we get angry, we react in two different ways:
– Purposeful – showing self-control, and a degree of consideration for others.
– Spontaneous – Unplanned with little or no self-control.

Also our anger expressed can be:
– Constructive – where we respect other peoples’ feelings and boundaries, and don’t threaten either.
– Destructive – where you protect your own identity and violate other peoples’ feelings and identity, deliberately or unconsciously.

Hand out drama pieces to four pairs and give them a chance to rehearse.
Each drama piece shows an angry parent confronting a teenager who has come home late. Get them to work out whether this is on the doorstep when the teenager comes home, or the next morning. Each drama will portray one box in the matrix.

Draw matrix :

Drama Pieces

Purposeful and Constructive Anger……….
I’m angry. I let you go out on Friday night with the understanding you’d be home by eleven o’clock. Or, if you were going to be late, we agreed you’d call beforehand. When I didn’t hear from you, I was very worried. What happened? I want to talk to you about you going out, and the consequences if this happens again.

Purposeful and Destructive Anger……….
I can’t believe how irresponsible you were last night. You didn’t call. You made me sick with worry. Do you expect me to trust you with going out late at night now? We’ll have to see when you can go out like that again.

Spontaneous and Constructive Anger……….
What the heck has happened! I was expecting a call. I’m really angry. I stayed up because I couldn’t sleep. (Teenager tries to explain, but parent is not really listening and interrupts with emotional voice) I’m too upset to talk about this now. I’m going to bed. We’ll discuss this incident, and the rules for you going out, later on in the morning.

Spontaneous and Destructive Anger…………
(In a rage) You inconsiderate idiot! I should slap you! You silly, stupid… I’m here, scared to death, not knowing what has happened to you. You could have had an accident, been raped… How should I know! Do you call? No, you couldn’t care less. You just think about yourself, self, self… I’ll give you something to think about! You’ll never ever go out late again, d’you hear! Get out of my sight!

Get each pair to present their drama.

After each piece ask the group what word would best describe how the parent behaved. (Write it in the matrix).
Purposeful and Constructive – Assertion
Purposeful and Destructive – Hostility
Spontaneous and Constructive – Passion, Suffering.
Spontaneous and Destructive – Rage

– How did Jesus behave?
– Why?
– What would be different if Jesus had behaved differently?
– How do they behave when they get angry?
– Does the Bible story teach them anything about how to behave when you get angry?

Quiet Time.
(Play some relaxing classical music and light a candle)
Think about the times people have got angry with us, and why.
Think about the times we got angry with someone and how we behaved.
Share with God any hurt you have inside
Admit to God where you think you might have done wrong.

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Animal Farm

In this game the more people the better. We played this with over 20 people and it was so much fun.

First you need to have an even amount of people. Then you write down the name of animals on pieces of paper. (Eg. Duck, cow, camel) Write each animal twice on two separate slips of paper. Then hand out to each person a piece of paper with the name of an animal on it. They then have to find the other person in the group who has the same animal as theirs. Here’s the catch; it must be done in *utter silence*. A lot harder than it sounds (try acting like a pig in complete silence!) It’s hilarious to watch and so much fun to participate in. What once was a youth group turns into literally a pack of animals. It’s a great ice breaker and a favourite with us.

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