Leading up to this event be sure that you have read the supply list and organized needed items for each portion of the event well so that there is a smooth transition between each activity. These events will bring a lot of energy, so the better prepared you are to usher the youth into the next activity the better.
Check the weather the week of the event to ensure you can be outside. Prepare a rain/back up plan if you will need to be inside.
Have everything set up in advance of the event so that you can jump right into the activities with the students.
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
1 Corinthians 12:17-20
If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body.
This session focuses on working cooperatively together to accomplish goals. It allows youth to cross new boundaries in a safe way by learning to trust those whom they might not know well in the youth group.
The goal of this event is to push youth outside their comfort zones and build on newly forged friendships. Youth will be pushed to listen to one another and give each member a turn to speak in order to effectively accomplish tasks.
The enhancer of joy for this session is community. We know that youth long for a place in which they feel as though they belong. This lesson provides an opportunity for the voices and ideas of all youth to be heard – something which should be replicated in how youth are encouraged to treat each other not only at youth group, but beyond. When they see how listening to one another can create successful and fun outcomes, they may just be that much more likely to listen well and respect their fellow brothers and sisters in the world.
The inhibitor of joy is competition. Often competition takes center stage at this point in a youth’s life. They yearn to be noticed, to excel, and to fit in. Their desire to be noticed can make activities like this challenging, but all the more reason to talk about respecting everyone. This day is not about being the best, but rather, being the best together.
Gather [10 minutes]
Greeting One Another:
Dear God we give thanks for this day in which we can be outside in your creation and learn to be as you intend for us – in community. Help us today to have the patience to listen when we are working together and remember that we are all here to have fun. Keep us safe and help us to form new friendships. Amen.
Introducing the Session:
Engage [40 minutes]
Activity 1: Plank Walk
Activity 2: Balloon Walk
The goal of this activity is for youth to cooperatively work together to move “as one”.
Activity 3: Yarn Connection
Reflect [10 minutes]
Gather the group back in a large circle and have them share a new connection they made today that made them feel part of the community.
Send Forth [5 minutes]
Encourage the students to consider today’s activities as a lesson on respect. We all have something to bring to the table and our opinions are all worthwhile. When we allow others to be heard, the same respect we receive back helps us build trust and community.
Ask and adult or youth leader to lead the group in a prayer in which everyone has an opportunity to lift up a time when they are grateful that they heard/experienced today.
This resource includes supplementary materials:
Introduction for Leaders