Outdoor Youth Group Games

Capture The Flag – Tag Ball Variation

This game is like Capture the Flag but with “tag balls” (mini soccer or basketballs).
Split the students into two teams. Place the two flags on either side of a large area. Give each member a “tag ball”. If there are more players than balls then those free handed players can concentrate more on capturing the flag and bringing it back to their base. The players with the balls run around trying to tag their opponents by throwing the balls at them which freezes them and the player that is hit with a “tag ball” has to drop their ball if they were holding a ball. A droped ball can be picked up by anyone and used. A frozen player can be touched (by hand not by “tag ball) and freed to continue playing. No player can carry more than one “tag ball” at a time. Optional – only one player guarding their flag. Game is won by bringing your opponents flag back to your flag base.
This will hopefully be a big hit for your students.

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Capture The Flag – Variation

I remember playing this game as a kid in P.E. I don’t know the original source but I played this recently with my children’s Bible Club and they had a blast, just like I did when I was their age!

-Hula Hoops
-Tennis or small balls
-Flag Belts (flag football sets-two different colors)

Best played in a large field. Spread out cones in a line down the center from one side of the field to the other to make two sides (territories). Mark four corners as boundaries around the play area with cones (different kind or color cones from the rest to distinguish the boundaries). Divide an even amount of kids into two teams. Each kid will have a colored flag to distinguish their team’s color (usually red and yellow). Each side will have a hula hoop with even amount of balls (to start out with) in the middle of the hula hoop. The hula hoop and balls will be placed towards the back of each side/territory. Place 4 cones towards the back to form a square for the jail. (Not too close to the hula hoop and balls.) Leader blows whistle.

The objective is to steal balls one at a time from the other side without getting caught or rescue their teammates if they do get caught. Once a child steps on the other side of he/she is now in the other team’s territory and they can pull his/her flag and take him/her to jail. Each child that’s taken to jail has to stay there until a set amount of time or until someone from the same team rescues them. To rescue, once a child sets foot inside the jail he/she is allowed to take one child back to their side without having their flag pulled, but both have to walk completely back to their side before crossing back over to the other team’s side again. To steal a ball; once a child has the ball in their hand they are allowed to walk it back to their side and put it in their hula hoop without getting their flag pulled. The team with the most balls in their hula hoop at the end of a set amount of time wins.
Throughout the game, kids will decide if they want to stay behind to protect their balls from getting stolen from the other team, go out to steal balls from the other team to take back to their side, or rescue their teammates from jail.
After the game, ask them what they thought was more rewarding, rescuing their teammates, protecting their territory, or trying to steal a ball for their team to win. Discuss how sometimes we have to make hard decisions and how life-choices impact us daily.

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Capture The Flag Modified

Normal capture the flag rules are followed, except if a player is tagged, they must go to the middle “neutral” zone. In this neutral zone there is a jailer or two. These jailers should be well versed in scripture or have a Bible handy. The players must recite a Bible verse to get out of jail. You can add rules such as a verse may only be used once and so on. We told them that John 3:16 and “Jesus wept.” were off limits. Our youth love capture the flag and this requires them to use a little of their scripture knowledge as well.
[Ed. Note: Make sure you have an alternative means for unchurched kids to get out of jail (e.g sing a song, make up a poem, etc.)]

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Capture the Flag w/ Eggs

You divide into 2 teams. Each team gets a bucket of eggs. (1-2 eggs per person). You play somewhat like normal Capture the Flag but you try to see how many of your team’s eggs can make their way to the other people’s side. (Every side should have an empty bucket for the other team’s eggs.) Throwing eggs is not suggested but if an egg is thrown the person that threw it is out.

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Capture The Flag with a Twist

Divide your group into 2 teams. There has to be a main point where people from each team if hit with a water bomb must go for 1 minute. Each team also has to hide their flag from the other team. Once the game has started, they have to get the flag from the other team. Using water bombs as the defence for your two teams. Once a person has been hit by a water bomb, they are escorted to jail. Players rush or storm the opposite team by running to try and find the flag — but if you get hit — off to jail you go. Once a team member has picked up the flag they have to run back to where there flag is without being hit. If they are hit with a water bomb they must drop the flag where they were hit. After the opposite team’s flag has reached it’s opponents side–the game is finished.

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Cardboard Crossing

This game works best outside on the church lawn or in the church parking lot. Break the kids up into several teams (7-10 kids per team) and give each team two large pieces of cardboard. The kids have to cross the lawn, never touching the grass, by keeping the entire team on the pieces of cardboard as they cross. The first team to cross wins.

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Carry the Pew

Divide into teams of 5-7. Each team has a pew or a pew like seat that will take about 4 to carry and will seat all of the group. Play this at late dusk in a town. Each team has a destination to get to, it’s better if the destinations are different for each group, they must carry the pew to the destination. Spotters are in cars and spot the teams, the teams must not be spotted standing up, but they must be sitting. Couches from your youth roon will work too.

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Catch the Bacon

-a piece of cardboard 1 foot long by 2 inches wide

Wrap the cardboard with duct tape all the way around-make sure there’s enough so that the “bacon” is semi-soft and easy to throw, once you get the “bacon” about 3 inches in diameter it’s good.

At least 2 teams: we always play with 2, but if you’re really crazy, you may want to play with 3 or 4. Make sure your teams are as even as possible.

Play: Number each kid on the team, the ending result is that each team will have a number 1 kid, a number 2 kid, etc…
The leader is not on any team and they have the bacon to start out with. The leader will throw the bacon as far as they can and call out various numbers while they throw. The kids whose number is called must run out to get the bacon and bring it back to their team. You can call out 1 number or more. Only the people whose number was called can run and retrieve the bacon. But there’s a catch-if you grab the bacon and start running back to your side and someone from the other team tags you, you have to drop the bacon. You still have a chance at it. But you have to let it hit the ground. This game is so awesome. I guarantee you’ll have a great time.
Note: when calling out numbers you can call 5 through 7 or 1,2,3,and 8. Or even everyone. There’s no set number of people that are supposed to run after the bacon.
Also when throwing the bacon, you can fake the kids out and drop it in front of you. just make sure you get out of the way if you do that.

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Caving Expedition

Caving is a great way to develop group unity and to introduce your youth to a whole new dimension of God’s creation.
First, find out if there are any explorable, non-commercial caves in your area. Then find out if there is anyone who can either lead an expedition or train you to do so yourself. (I recommend the latter because if you know what your doing, it puts you in a great position for later discussion). Make sure the person you choose is aware of ALL of the safety precautions necessary for your trip. During and after the caving, there will be plenty of opportunities to discuss trust, togetherness, the wonders of creation, and much, much more!!! If you can muster up the guts to go in the cave, you won’t be sorry!!

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Divide players into two teams. Mark the Start and Finish lines about 30 feet apart. Teams line up with one person behind the other, facing the finish line. Next, players sit down and wrap their legs around the person in front to form the body of the centipede. Players’ arms become the legs. When the leader says “Go,” players lift with their arms and begin to push the centipede toward the finish line. If players become separated, they must try and reconnect. The winning centipede must completely cross the finish line with all its players connected.

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