Mid and Late Adolescents

Football Pop

This game requires a lot of balloons and is best played with a large group indoors. After dividing the group into two groups, place a balloon in the center of the playing area. The object is to get the balloon “football” to the opposing team’s goal without one of the opponents taking or bursting the balloon.
We have found that a successful goal is something that the balloon carrier must go under (a table) and then stand on a chair in order to reach the “football popper” (a pencil fastened to a high place on the wall).

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Four-Way Perpetual Capture the Flag

This game is based on the idea of capture the flag. It is layed out on a field, or even a parking lot as a giant four square. For twenty kids I lay out fifteen by fifteen foot squares. It is best with four teams, but it works with three teams and even two. just change the field shape. Usea pie with wedges for three and a head to head for teams of two.

Each team needs at least five to six people. I have played this with over a hundred people twenty five on a team. Just make the field bigger and use colored arm bands for team identification. You may need to use kiddie pool, chalk the ground, or use cones for the free zones.

Each team has two objectives. Get the other teams flag, and hold onto your own. In each spuare have a hool-a-hoop which serves as a free space and a place where the flags go. Each team should have multiple flags in thier free space. I use euor-balls like in McDonalds play land. I normally put two for each player on the team so six players equals twelve flaggs (balls) You can even have the kids use their shoes or missmatched balls, plactic cups, eggs, waterballoons, whatever.

Basic Game Play:
When your in your zone you are safe. If you go into one of the other three zones your not. If you get tagged our of your zone,your frozen and your team members must save you. It is best if you have defenders and flag grabbers. If you can get to the free space (hool-a-hoop) your safe. (we play at least a foot in the hoop)

This is a perpetual game and gennerally ends when you call it. We play point totals, most flags in five minuets, or total victory where one team gets all the flags. I have never actually seen this done! but it works in principal. After each round, I have one or two players rotate to the team on their right to mix it up a bit. Have fun and enjoy this seemingly never ending game!

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Basically this is a game that some of my friends and I made up in Southern Illinois and I think it would work good for any youth group.

Basics: Baseball with a Frisbee at night.

Rules: There are 2 teams. One “bats” and the other plays the field. The batting team stands on home and chucks the Frisbee. Players are out if they strike out (Frisbee has to make it past the baseline or if you foul 3 times) or someone catches it. If it is in the outfield, the batter runs until it is in control by a player in the in-field(they have to be holding it). We play with the half-way rule (where if you are half way to the next base you are on that base). We generally do a ten run rule too just to make the game go smoother.

Game is best played at night with a little light on a baseball diamond.

Have Fun!!

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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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God/Food Scavenger Hunt

My youth enjoy eating so we always have a supply of Little Debbie snacks so one night I got creative with them. I took all of our snacks and hid them in various rooms. I used the Sunday school room, kitchen, chapel, sanctuary, nursery and youth room. Attached to each snack box was a clue leading them to the next box. The clues were bible scriptures that contained the word for the next room. Example: “The peacemakers shall be called children of god” would be a clue leading them to the Peacemakers’ classroom. The last clue led them to the chapel where the last snacks could be found along with a Bible open to a verse saying that together if we search we shall find God.

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Good Friday Progressive Lockout

Instead of having a Lock-in at the church, ask members of your church or local businesses to host the youth for one to two hours throughout the night. At each house, have a plan activity plus snacks. We start at 5pm at the church and end at 7 am back at the church. The Kids have a blast!
Examples of activities
1.Wal-mart supermarket sweep and all items will be purchased for the local food banks. 3am in the morning is a great time. Only workers are in the store. Always have an adult with the groups of kids. Put clues in easter eggs and send them on their way.
2.Midnight Easter Egg Hunt – use flash lights or car lights
3.Slinky races down the stairs. Metal works the best
4.Tug of War
5.Dye easter eggs
6.Flash Light Tag
7.Easter Egg toss
8.Tumbling Contest in members yards
9.Hula Hoop Contest
10.Pudding Eating Contest – the catch is, MUST BE DONE THROUGH A STRAW
11.Pizza at the Pastor’s house
The list can go on and on.
Keep them busy or they will get tired. SO WILL YOU!

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Gospel Court

You set up your court room like a real court room. You have two sides. One side proves the world’s view. The other side proves the Bible is the word of God. It really makes the youth have to study the word of God. It also shows them what the world thinks about the Bible and gives them the tools to go out into the world to teach them the word of God.

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GPS Amazing Race

We initially did this with our middle school group. It was so successful we modified it for our college group. We split into 4 teams of 6-8. Each had a digital camera and a GPS (it was amazing how easy it was for members in our church body to lend us these items. Key was to ‘assign’ one person only to the camera, 2 to the GPS with the rest solving clues, giving directions, and being in the pictures). The starting clue was a set of coordinates. An adult drove the van, but did not help. One person only could give directions.

Once the coordinates were reached, the driver gave the written clue/directions of the task to be performed. At the bottom of this clue were the next coordinates. We did 12 in all. It took 4 hours.

Examples of locations and tasks:
Plant nursery: find the common name for the following latin name (we did two different ones to keep groups from copying

Cemetary: find Joe Somebody and take a picture with him (we provided two names so they wouldn’t be at the cemetary all day-they only had to find one. We had them find headstones of kids who died at their age-it made a good point)

Coldstone Creamery: get them to sing without giving them a tip; Goodwill: Try on an outfit and find the person in the red hat, when he/she approves that this is a very crazy outfit, take a picture; send them to a public park and have MANY people from your church in black hats. Give different people a clue and have the teams find the one person with their clue. We had high school kids help; grocery store or food place and have them order their lunch with the time to eat being their ‘pitstop’. Once checked in we gave them 20 minutes and sent out exactly 20 minutes after check-in.

These are just a few location ideas. In order to not overwhelm businesses, we first asked permission then we flip-flopped the order so two of the teams were doing the first chunk while the other two were doing the second chunk and vice versa.

Our college group did a few other ideas like making salsa with the choice of about 20 ingredients and no recipe (it was fun to include bizarre things…). They were to take it with them for a snack after the race. They also got to choose recipes and bake or jump rope 50 times in a row for all members of the team as a road block. Another one was to translate a paragraph with translation dictionaries available. This could happen at Borders or a private location.

Note: We color-coded the clues to help organizing them. It did take a lot of leg work to get GPS coordinates and label the clues, but it was worth it! The kids talked about it for weeks. Make sure the GPS’s are all on the same map reading (there is a screen that will tell you-most are on the map that is structured from 1968). If they aren’t all the same, then some GPS’s won’t take the team to the right place!

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My brother-in-law actually ran this, but he did it with my youth group. What you do is you invite handicap children and young adults from around your community to come to your church for a few hours during your youth group’s Spring Break. We used Mon. & Tues. from 10:30-1:30 PM. We would have games, crafts, lunch and devotion time on both days. You can use a variety of themes. We are using an hawaiin luau theme. This means we’ll have island music with hawaiin shirts and grass skirts (over regular clothes of course).
For crafts we will let them color a visor for themselves with their name on it, and we will help them make the hawaiin necklaces. And for our lunch we would have items like Shishkibob and Hawaiian Punch. The key is that the youth will be the volunteers to help the disabled with the games, their crafts, and even their lunch. Between the Monday session and the Tuesday session, the kids will sleep at the church and have a debriefing session, Praise and worship, Bible Study, and also relaxation time. It’s really an eye opening experience for the youth to work with disabled children one-on-one. It would also be wise to try to have several volunteer youth sponsors to help as well if you have small group. It is also a great idea to get your group started with missions work.

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Heavy Burden = Heavy Rock

Bible Refrence: Matthew 11:28-30

Gather many large rocks, not too big..but as many as you think you need….for us we didn’t have enough so they had to carry “imaginary rocks”. Youth leaders: tell the group on this walk to be completely silent. Once you get to your destination set them down and have them listen to (?”Lay your burdens down”?) tell them to reflect on one burden in particular. Then after the song ends ask for any volunteers, tell them to talk about their burden and throw it into the creek (if you don’t have a creek or pond near your church, just pitch them into the woods) I hope this helps you get your point across…it really helped me!

NOTE: Once we got down to the creek there were some gravel…those people with imaginary rocks had something to throw.

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