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!

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.”

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

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)

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)!

Aliens

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.

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….”

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.

Anger

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”)

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

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

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

INTENTION
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?

Drama
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 :
ððððððððððððððððPurposefulððððSpontaneous
ððððððððððððððð|————|————-|
ððððððððððððððð|ðððððððððððð|ððððððððððððð|
Constructiveððð|ðððððððððððð|ððððððððððððð|
ððððððððððððððð|————|————-|
ððððððððððððððð|ðððððððððððð|ððððððððððððð|
Destructiveðððð|ðððððððððððð|ððððððððððððð|
ððððððððððððððð|————|————-|

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).
Tips:
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.

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.

Armor of God – Silly Version

When teaching Kids about the Armor of God, it’s always good to use an illustration. My fiancé and I try to take a less traditional approach on Bible lessons, so they children don’t get bored or tune us out because they are so familiar with it. So on this particular lesson we brought in a bunch of old goofy items and had each child wear a different piece or “armor.”
Helmet of Salvation: crazy “cat in the hat” type hat with wild colors and stripes (then we taped a cross on it)
Breast plate of Righteousness: an old velvet vest turned around (so the buttons are in the back) with a cross tapped on it
Shield of Faith: a large pillow (a sham works better so they can put their arm inside to hold it more like a shield)
Belt of Truth: an old “cowboy belt” w/ a large buckle
“Feet fitted w/ the Gospel of truth”: Large house shoes
Sword of the Spirit: a large roll from wrapping paper and a paper towel roll that we cut and glued and made into the form of a sword.
Afterwards the children went into the main sanctuary and told the adults what each piece meant. It was not only a chance for the kids to learn and have fun, but also for the adults to see what their children were doing.

Balloon Balloza

The kids will love this game!

You will need a lot of blown up balloons, and flashlights.

Split the group into 4 to 6 teams. You need at least 2 kids on each team. Assign the teams a balloon color. (The more kids you have the more interesting is gets.) Make sure the teams have a station and at least 2 flashlights per team. (We put the stations in the fellowship hall.)

Close the doors to the room the kids are in and have a few other youth leaders hide all the balloons wherever they want around your church. When the balloons are hidden make sure all the lights are turned off in the building. The teams can go out searching for balloons, but they have to find their teams’ color. They can pop other teams balloons. After they can’t find anymore balloons, have them return to their station. Whichever team has the most balloons is the winner.

After you determine the winner, you can tell the kids whoever picks up the most balloon pieces is the 2nd place winner. (It’s a good way to clean up.)

Balloon Bop

First thing you need to have is balloons filled with air.
Have the kids line-up all in a line and the Youth Pastor says Ready, Set, BOP! Then the kids run after each other and start bopping other kids on the head! Then who ever gets bopped 10 times is out!!!

Banana Rumble

Give everyone a banana. Everyone puts a mark on their banana to be able to identify their’s. All the bananas are put in the middle of the room in a big pile. Everyone is in chairs in a square around the room around the pile. Be sure to be in a square shape because each side of the square is a team…4 sides–4 groups.
When a signal is given, everyone rushes to find their banana. The team that has their bananas and is sitting down first wins. [Doing this game several times is likely to get a few squished bananas out of it so make sure you have quite a few extras.]

Banana Showdown

Everyone has a banana in good enough condition to eat. 2 teams face each other in parallel lines. The people have to put their banana in a pocket. When the signal is given, the people must draw their bananas like guns and instantly peel it and eat it as fast as they can. Whoever has their banana eaten first wins.

Banana Tag

Divide up into two teams. Sit in parallel lines across from each other. Make sure the 2 lines are about 15 feet apart. Put a banana in the middle. Number the people off.
One line: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9…
Other line: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1…
So that the same numbered people are diagonal from each other.
The leader will call out a number. The two people with that number run up to the banana. The object is for one of the people to get the banana and get back to his/her seat without being tagged by the other person. [This is very hard, since both people are standing right next to each other.]
Once one of the players picks up the banana the other player can tag him/her. If a person is tagged, the banana must be put down and another number called. Whoever tags earns a point for the team. Whoever gets to his/her seat without being tagged earns a point for his/her team.

Beautiful Feet

Materials needed: Various colors of washable paints (Tempora or finger paints work well). small paint brushes, small plastic wash tubs (one for each pair or they can share), liquid detergent, washcloths, and towels.

Divide your group into pairs. Have one of each pair sit on a table and the other sit on a chair in front of their partner. Then read Isaiah 52:6-7 and/or Romans 10:13-15. Talk a moment about the importance of speading the Word of God to others, describing various ways of doing so. At some point your group may begin to wonder why they are divided as they are. Say, “Now we are going to have a ‘beautiful feet’ contest.” Have the youth sitting on the tables take off their shoes and socks. Give their partners in the chairs the paints and brushes. Then have the seated youth decorate their partners bare feet with the paint; tops, bottoms, toes, up to their ankles. Those who are extremely ticklish will have a hard time holding still. It is a blast to watch. Have a judge determine who has the most ‘beautiful feet’ and award prizes.

Then read John 13:3-5 and 12-15, emphasizing verse 15. (The youth will begin to get the picture real quick.) Then give the seated partners each a small wash tub with warm water, a squirt of detergent, a washcloth and towel. Then… well you get the idea. The seated partners may get a kick out of painting their partners feet, but they may not be as anxious to wash them afterward.
You could talk about how Jesus washes us clean of our sin by His being a servant to us.

Bible Basketball

Get all the teens in your meeting to put the chairs into a square with an equal number of chairs on all four sides. Place a large garbage can in the center of the room with the chairs around the can and facing the can. Ask them Bible related a question, the first one to raise their hand gets to answer the question. If they are right they get to shoot at the can with a basketball. If they miss, the ball can roll until another person gets it. While the ball is rolling no one can leave their seat. This is a good way to review the previous week’s lesson. Hint: give the four teams NBA names to add to the fun.

Bible Verse Hunt

This is a neat game to play after the Youth service although you can play it anytime. Usually I choose Bible verses that pertain to the lesson/service for that particular day. This way it ties it in with the service. First, count the # of pews in your sanctuary, this is the # of verses you will need. Choose your verses carefully. Don’t choose them all in the same place of the Bible. Ask you youth group to bring their bibles or provide them with one if they don’t have one. You can play this in 2 different ways: 1- one big group or 2 – split into 2 teams. Have the players sit on the very back pew. You read out the Bible verse (Psalms 4:2) The first one to stand and read it correctly (to your discretion) moves up a pew. This continues until the first person reaches the first pew. If splitting into teams, you could have the winner be the first team with all its members to reach the first pew.

Big Girl/Little Girl SleepOver

My husband and I work with the junior high kids at our church. We to offer activities that build relationships with each other and within the church body as much as possible. I think junior high kids are often mis-labeled as having bad attitudes and being difficult to work with. We believe this age group is the best age to set a foundation of what real friendships are, how to encourage each other, how to build others up, how to look at other’s needs, etc. That’s how
this idea began.

The Big Girl/Little Girl Sleep Over was an overnight at the church where each girl in the youth group requested a younger girl in the church to ‘buddy up’ with for an overnight event. The girls who didn’t know any little girls or who didn’t go to our church regularly, I assigned a little girl to them. First I got a definite list of Big Girls for the night. Then I personally called the mothers of the little girls to explain what we were doing and to invite them. That way, it came from one adult to another and if a little girl wasn’t available, I could substitute a new little girl with no hurt feelings.

The event went from 7pm until 10am the next morning. We held it at the church because there was more room for everyone! All the girls brought the regular stuff for a sleepover. The big girls brought their makeup and hair stuff. The little girls brought their favorite board games and favorite book to be read aloud and videos.

We made sure it was 1 big girl to 1 specific little girl. The big girl took complete charge of the little girl the whole time. We had a couple little games to help them get to know each other, then snack time, then we turned them loose to do the make up stuff! First the big girls did the little girls make up and hair and fingernails and toes. Then the little girls did the same for their big girls! We took videos and pictures of each pair. They surprised us and spent about 2 hours doing that! And they ALL loved it!

Then the big girls played the little girls’ board games. It was wonderful to watch the junior high girls playing “Pretty Pretty Princess” or “Clue Jr.” and interacting with these little girls (all about 4-6 years old). Big girls were in charge of getting little girls in PJ’s and getting sleeping stuff all ready. The girls even slept by each other.

Video time got most of the girls quieted down and ready to sleep. Then we let the big girls enjoy some time together after the little girls were all tucked in and asleep. In the morning the big girls got little girls fed and dressed and packed up and ready to go.

Both big girls and little girls loved it. It taught the big girls about mentoring and the little girls were enthralled that a teenager gave her so much attention. The parents of the little girls were thrilled with the junior high girls and the parents of the junior high girls were so proud of them. It was a positive experience that really touched a lot more lives than I expected.

We’ve decided to make it an annual event and the girls are already talking about next year!