We started the summer with a free concert with local Christian bands at a small town festival. We love free concerts, and we have gone to lots over the years with our Youth Group. This one was a typical summer concert that was outdoors. Usually not a problem, but on the night of the concert, it was windy, rainy, and in the low 50s. Not the best night to sit outside with a group of teenagers. But, we toughed it out, and made it for (most of) the concert, complete with about 10 umbrellas, tarps, and blankets.
|Yes, I am wearing a scarf, and this was on the last day of May...|
This was the first event that our new class Youth Group members were invited to. I don't know about you, but it can be tough to make those new kids feel welcome while still supporting the friendship of the older kids. This is what I planned for this particular event, and it worked out great:
Step One: Count seats in the cars that you have going on the trip. In a cup, put one crayon the same color of the car for every seat available. For example, there was room for five kids in the white vehicle we had going, so there are five white crayons in the cup.
Step Three: Hand each team their Christian Concert Scavenger Hunt form. I just came up with a list of things that you commonly see on road trips and at Christian concerts. It gave them something to work on as a team, and made the ride and all of the sitting down time at the concert a little more fun. It also helped the new kids and the "old" kids work together, talk, etc. In our case, it was also a great distraction from the fact that it was so cold and wet that our faces and feet were going numb.
Step Four: Go over the rules-be honest, be respectful, work as a team, etc. I had to add more rules later in the evening that none of the items could be completed based on anyone from the group we were with (no, you cannot wave your cell phone around and check it off the list!). I also gave random bonus points for silly things. For example, after we got dinner, I gave each kid a bonus point if they bought their food from the Knights of Columbus stand instead of the other food vendors :)
Step Five: Because the concert was practically rained out, the kids had a hard time completing the hunt. So we compromised and stopped at Walmart on the way home- when in doubt on a Youth Group trip, fill time with Walmart! We gave the kids 15 minutes, and additional rules about proper behavior, and sent them off. Each group had a camera to document their finds. They reported back and we hung out in the attached McDonalds as the kids shared their pictures and I scored their sheets.
Step Six: Give out ridiculous prizes. I always save random junk for "fabulous" prizes for games like this. Every kid got a prize, but the winning team could "steal" at any point. The prizes ranged from lanyards, a rubber duck, holiday themed pencils, a honey-do dry erase board, shoelaces... you get the idea. They love it, and it costs me no money.
So there is the basic idea for a Youth Group themed Scavenger Hunt. Below is the link to the one we used for the concert, but you could easily adapt the idea for any other kind of trip.