Team Factor

I just thought I would share this idea with you that we are doing with our youth group. This year we have a number of newcomers and we struggled with how to build bridges between the newcomers and the regular teens in the group. We came up with the idea of Team Factor, which involves six weeks of team building activities. Instead of having our traditional game time each week, we now plan on major activity that involves a whole team. Last week, for example, I measured a number of items within our community such as buildings, signs, park benches with a banana. The team was given a list of the item I measured and 2 bananas and were sent out to measure and record their results. I awarded points for the team who came the closest for each item. Another important thing is that the teens do not get to choose what team they will be on. I broke the teens up by age and wrote numbers 1, 2 and 3 on three card (I have three teams) and had them come up one at a time and choose a card. After the six weeks we will stop and see how much the teens have learned about each other. So far they are enjoying Team Factor and we find the newcomers feel like they are a part of the group.
What I have given you here is just the concept, but it is up to the youth leader to decide how to use it. So far we are very pleased with the results.