Mid and Late Adolescents

Bases

Overview:

Bases is a fast-paced outdoor game combining elements of ‘Capture the Flag’ (CTF), flag football, and role playing. Bring and drink plenty of water, and take a break between games to rest and collaborate. Please read the clarifying ‘Notes’ after each section for important information and tips.

Objectives for Winning:

Game: a single play-through that is won by destroying the opponent’s Home base.
Match: the combination of a few or several games, depending on the score teams have chosen.

The game is won when one team destroys their opponent’s Home base. A team receives 3 points each time they destroy their opponent’s Home base, 1 point for every opponent Field base they destroy, and 1 point for each Field base they build (even if it is later destroyed). The match is won when a team reaches the score the teams have chosen beforehand. Scores are not added up until the end of each game.

Note: Make the teams as balanced as possible, and readjust if necessary. While playing, the most important things to keep in mind are safety and honesty – both serious injury and dishonesty will ruin any game.

What You’ll Need:

People: At least 5 players per team – there is no maximum limit.

Flag Football Belts and Flags: Each player needs a belt with 2-3 removable flags that match his or her team’s color. If there are extra belts and flags, use them for the Home and Field bases. If not, you’ll need something like colored bandannas or cloth strips.

Space: At an urban, suburban, or rural setting. For safety reasons, decide if boundaries are needed and where.

Note: There are no ‘safe’ zones or areas where players are immune from having their flags stolen. With large fields or large teams, you may want to have phones so you can communicate with each other.

Player Elimination:

When all of a player’s flags are stolen, they have been eliminated, can no longer steal flags, and must ‘Recharge’ to continue playing. To Recharge, they should pick up their flags and return to a team base to put them back on. If a player has lost 1 or more flags, but not all of them, he or she can return to a base to place the flags back on.

Note: The eliminated player is responsible for finding his or her own flags. It is important that players who stole an opponents’ flags do not throw or hide them, but drop them in an obvious place or give them back to their opponent. If a player has had a flag stolen, but still has another, they should keep the unattached flag with them.

Team Bases:

Home Base: 1-3 Home flags are used to mark a team’s Home base (1-2 if the belts have just 2 flags). The the belt with flags is fastened, or just flags, are placed onto something, like a tree, that serves as the team’s Home base and acts as a Recharge location. Both teams should agree on the placement of each other’s Home flags before the match begins.

Field Base: 1-3 Field flags are used to mark a team’s Field bases (1-2 if your belts have just 2 flags). Like the Home base, these serve as Recharge locations. Before the match begins, teams choose specific locations where Field bases can be built. Field bases can only be built at these locations. There may be 1-2 Field base locations near each team’s Home base, and 1-3 somewhere near the middle of the field. We suggest selecting 2-3 total Field base locations for every 10 total players. At the beginning of each game, the base locations near each team’s Home base belong to them, and are marked by the team’s Field flags. The base locations near the middle of the field are neutral, and can be built by either team. Neutral bases need to be obvious or marked with something like a belt without flags. If a base is destroyed, either team can rebuild at the base location.

Note: When deciding what locations to use for bases, make sure they are evenly distributed across the field. Field bases that belong to teams at the beginning of the game do not count towards their game score, only those built during the game. All base flags should always be in plain sight and within reach.

Protecting Bases: To protect their Home and Field bases, a team assigns Defenders to them (see ‘Player Units’ below). A base can have 1 Defender for each of its base flags, meaning teams can assign up to 3 Defenders to a Home or Field base that has 3 base flags (if using belts with just 2 flags, teams can assign up to 2 Defenders to each base).

Destroying Bases: To destroy a base, an opponent player must remove the Home or Field flags. Players cannot remove an opponent base’s flags until all of its Defenders have been eliminated.

Player Units:

1. Attackers: Attackers wear 2 belt flags, with 1 on each side. They focus on eliminating opponents by stealing their flags or destroying their bases. Attackers may begin the game at any of the team’s Home or Field bases.

2. Defenders: Defenders have the most important role in the game. They wear 2 belt flags, with 1 on each side, but their belt is put on backwards. At the beginning of the game, each team base should have at least one Defender. Defenders steal flags, but mostly focus on building, defending, and representing their team’s bases.

Building: To build a base, a Defender places Field flags, or a belt with Field flags, onto a Field base location. Defenders should carry the belt and/or flags in their non-dominant hand. If the Defender is eliminated before building a Field base, he or she must return to the Home base with the Field flags to Recharge.

Defending & Representing:
1. A base’s original Defenders are the only players that can represent that Home or Field base. Once a base is built and its Defenders are assigned, teams cannot add base flags or Defenders to it later in the game.
2. Defenders must stay within about 5 yards of the base. If they leave the 5-yard radius, they become an Attacker, and the base loses a Defender.
3. Defenders must Recharge at a different base when eliminated to continue playing as the base’s Defender. Defenders that Recharge at a different base can return to represent it, if it hasn’t been destroyed. If they Recharge at the base they represent, including Home base, they become an Attacker or other unit. If they’ve lost some but not all of their flags, Defenders can find and replace their stolen flags at the base they are defending.

Note: Defenders can voluntarily leave the base’s 5-yard radius and become extra Attackers, Defenders of a base to be built, or other units. If there is ever any question about a 5-yard radius, use the Defender’s striding pace as a yard. When a Field base has been destroyed, the last Defender eliminated should take the Field flags back to the team’s Home base. For small teams, it’s best that no more than half your players are Defenders.

From the author: If you have any ideas, feedback, or suggestions for this game, or would like the extended rules that include more player units, I would love to hear about it: rustin2@gmail.com.

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Three Quadrant Volleyball

This is two volleyball games going on at once played by three teams. The two courts are set up in a line with the middle team playing on a side with normal dimensions against the two outer teams at the same time (The court is one and a half times as big as a single volleyball court since the middle area is used for both games.) You might put the better players in the middle; they need to play in both directions.

Almost everyone loved this game. Kids who don’t like any active games didn’t like this game either.

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My Soul Worth

Purpose: We often do not appreciate the value of things such as possessions. Often teens do not realize the value of character and the role their parents take in protecting their character. In this lesson you will discuss the importance of the parental role in protecting their valuable character. Teens complain about overbearing parents and lack of freedom often saying their parents are just “Old fashioned”.

Tools needed: Bible, pencil, paper, cell phone, and money

In opening the class, ask the students to list in order their 10 most valuable things. Ask the students to share their responses and ask why the items listed are important to them. Ask them if they know the cost of each item they listed. Share some of your important things (cell phone, driver’s license, and car keys) and briefly explain what they mean to you and their value.

More than likely no one will list valuable things/possessions as being their character, virtue, trustworthiness, Christianity, or family. We often only place a value (monetary) on inanimate objects and have a hard time placing a value on our own self worth.

Ask the students who is responsible for the protection of the items they listed. Ask them ways they protect their possessions (keeping it locked up, keeping it in their pocket or within arms reach, and insurance). Ask a student who listed their cell phone as a valuable possession and if you could keep it for a couple of days, if the response is no, ask them why. Ask your students to consider ways their parents protect them (as a valuable possession) and how that can come across as being overbearing or overly possessive. Would they just leave their possessions in the parking lot over night and expect it to be there the next day unharmed. We take care of what we love.

There are many scriptures that can be used such as: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”, Titus II talks about the teaching of good character, Noah is a great example of a fathers protection (most children today would think their parents were crazy to do such a thing as Noah did)

Explain to your students that their parents lock their valuables up, some have home alarms, insurance but all of those things are corruptible/temporal. Explain that each one of them is far more valuable, to be exact “priceless”. Express that their parents should and will protect their most valuable possession, them. Christ also paid a price for them, and they are equal to the price that was paid (Mathew Henry).

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Ricochet Stadium

This is an indoor baseball game best played in a small auditorium (ours seats about 180 max.) I recommend a foam bat and a FOAM ball so nothing gets damaged.

Start the game with multiple teams (3 or more is best) of any number of players per team. You will need a scorekeeper with a whiteboard and marker, or just paper and pencil if you’re boring 😉 There is one batter standing on or near the stage, facing the auditorium. There is one pitcher, put your mound wherever it is easy to pitch from. Every other player is a fielder, standing wherever they choose.

Teams take turns batting homerun derby style. Each player gets three hits on the ball (hits, not pitches or strikes). Pitchers may rotate as you see fit, usually when the batters do. Team with the most points wins.

Scoring points are assigned for the following reasons:
Retrieve the ball after hit: 1 point
Catch the ball out of the air: 2 points
Your hit caught out of the air: -1 point
Hit an easy object: 1 point (For our game, these were two huge banners hanging from the balcony, the size of bed sheets.)
Hit an impossible object: 10 points (four very tiny windows on either side of the banners were open. No balls went through in 45 mins!)
Break the projector: -50 points and -$1500

Most points will be won by retrieving balls, so it becomes a frenzy for students trying to push each other out of the way and dive to the ball first. Teammates can retrieve hits from their own team’s batter. The pitcher may retrieve or catch hits. If you have a way to mark teams for the scorekeeper (i.e. team bandannas) it’s a good thing.

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Christmas Gift Baskets

I read once that Christmas time is the loneliest time for widows, single moms or anyone who lives alone. This thought prompted a wonderful time of fellowship and a way to reach out and let the lonely know they were loved.

First, we prayed, and the youth leaders made a list of who they wanted to give to, We then put the lists together and discovered that our lists were pretty much the same. 🙂 Some were members of our church and some were some not. Some had just lost a spouse or were going through divorce. We also gave our master list to the associate pastor to look it over and see if he wanted to add anyone.

Then we put a list together of what would go in the basket. pumpkin bread and cranberry bread. cookies (decorated by the youth group) tea, hot cider and coco packets, homemade jelly , popcorn balls, (the elderly will love these its an old favorite) Let your imagination go wild. We chose a night to do all the baking and wrapping the baskets up. We purchased the baskets and decorating things at dollar tree 🙂

The following day we had our personal UPS man make us up a delivery plan and split up into 5 groups to make deliveries. The next Sunday when we all got together we talked about the experience and what a blessing it was for the people who received the baskets. Some of our students who drive made deliveries alone and appreciated the opportunity to see the faces of gratitude.

It will be something we do, God willing, every year. The widows especially appreciated this as well as those living in nursing homes.

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Food for Auctions!

I come from a small church, and we maybe have 8-10 youth in our core youth group. This is a great fundraiser for smaller youth groups. It tends to work better with pre-teens and teenagers.

We have a gentleman in our church who is a local auctioneer. Each year, he allows our youth group to sell the concessions during some of the auctions. Ask around; chances are there are auctions locally that need your help selling concessions. A lot of the auctions we’ve done are all-day events beginning early in the morning and lasting into the evening. A couple hundred people usually attend each auction.

We are set up prior to the auction selling coffee and donuts. Shortly after, we begin selling hot dogs, chili dogs, chips, cookies, other baked goods, and drinks (water goes well, especially during hot days!) Some local businesses will even donate items if it’s for a good cause. We ask ladies of the church to donate donuts, baked goods, cookies, and chili sauce. We also hand out tracks and invitations to church with their purchase of food.

Each person is assigned tasks during the auction: one person mans the George Foreman grill and grills hot dogs, one person prepares the chili dogs, one person is the cashier and keeps track of the money, one person is in charge of drinks, and one person hands out tracks/invitations. It’s a great time to fellowship together and invite others to our church. We spend about $300 for supplies prior to the auction, but we make anywhere between $900-$1,600 selling concessions!

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Generation Text

Tools needed: White board and marker, pens/pencil blank paper.

Start lesson out by writing on the board that no one can talk. Do not tell the students what to do with their paper and pens as some will figure it out.

Write some of the following, “I have seen your Facebook or MySpace account, I know what you said. I saw the text.” or something along those lines (before teaching this lesson you should check the internet for your students if you feel comfortable doing this don’t be surprised by what you find, you do not have to do this).

Write “It hurt my feelings, I can’t believe you said that. Was it true what you said?” (Erase after each time you write as if you are e-mailing or texting). As students start responding by writing on their paper and asking things like “Who me”? or “What are you talking about?” Continue to write vague responses.

Write scripture on the board related to days of our youth such as I Tim 4:12. Have them read it and then write on their paper a response as to what it means. If someone writes the correct response tell them that they are right but don’t indicate why it’s right.

Write the words, angry, mad, upset, followed by gossip, lies, no emotion. The purpose of the lesson is to get the young people to realize what they put on the internet and what they text can affect many people. Some say things by electronic means that they would never say in person. God realizes that as young people we do things without full understanding of its lasting consequences. Adults do read what they put on the internet and some do for the wrong purpose. A good site to review before this lesson is Netsmartz.org.

The teens responded well to this lesson and some even tired of the writing and reading even though a good estimated average for them is 120 text a day. Some of our teens had text some hurtful things to other teens and I was aware of some of the teens putting personal info on their profiles.

I used the time to talk about internet safety, how to report and the importance of talking to their parents even when they receive unsolicited text, e-mails or images. Many law enforcement agencies will present internet safety classes to your teens or their parents. This issue is tearing apart youth groups and churches with Facebook being the main contributors. Talk to your teens about the internet not being reality and how texting doesn’t share true emotions or express an individual’s true intent. (My background, School Resource Officer for 15 years, Juvenile Investigator for 10 years, Teen Youth Leader for about 15 years, I have enjoyed your site and used it many times)

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Bearing Your Cross

Make a large cross (we used 6×6 beams) that’s about 5×7 or larger. Have youth try to carry it (or get a rope and drag it) individually, then have others join in. It will show the importance of ‘Bearing Your Cross’ with fellow Christians along the way.

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Youth Group Devotional

Instead of using daily devotional guides published by your denomination, have your youth group write their own. This gives the young people a chance to express their ideas about the Christian faith. Most importantly, the kids will want to read the devotional because they know the authors and they can relate to their own peers better. Sample Format: Day and Month, Scripture, Commentary, Thought for the day.

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Acid River

Take the group out in the woods, or anywhere suitable. Make sure you have 3 coffee tin cans that are strong and sturdy as well as two boards roughly 4 feet long and half a feet wide. Set down two ropes about 10 to 12 feet apart. The object is to get everyone on the boards or cans at the same time and then to get everyone off successfully without anyone falling off and touching the ground with their feet – or else they fall in to the imaginary “acid river.” If one person falls off, the whole group has to start over. This activity will build communication skills, leadership skills and fellowship skills.

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