Read an Excerpt
& SPORTS EVENTS
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat can be yours with a well-planned game night or sports event. For the most part, you don't have to be a jock to have fun playing these. For games that are part of a larger theme event,
see 'Theme Events' on page 95.
Here's a way for your church to have its own summer
Olympic games. Place participants in nations or countries (or just make the youth group one country and the rest of the church the other country).
Create an Olympic committee to organize and schedule events over a period of a month, with different events slated for each week. Kick things off with an opening ceremony; fi nish with a closing ceremony. Purchase or create awards (gold, silver,
and bronze medals) for the winners in each event.
Events can include both individual and team competition---volleyball, racquetball, tennis,
pool, bowling, ping-pong, tug-of-war, Frisbee throwing, cow chip tossing, anything that you can think up. Provide horseshoes and dart games for the more sedentary crowd, relays and bike contests for children, and especially competitive games for teens and active adults. These Olympics can truly perk up a dull summer and draw together your entire congregation.
John Herbert Jaffry
Bat and Putt Night
Rent a miniature golf course and batting cages in your area for about two hours so you can have it to yourselves. Create extra excitement by guaranteeing special prizes for all winners. Here's how to arrange your competition:
Divide your teens into groups at different competitive levels:(junior high girls, junior high boys, senior high girls, senior high boys) so that each person competes with those near his or her own level. The competitions can be arranged in several categories such as---
* Golf score for whole round
* Best score left-handed
* Highest number of strokes on one hole
* Highest number of strokes for a whole round
(These last two categories are for those who aren't as skilled as the others.)
If you have batting cages, you can add two more categories to your competition:
* Most hits in 25 tries
* Most consecutive hits
For each category you should award four minor prizes. Then four grand prizes should be awarded to the kids who have done the best in all categories. To determine this you have to establish a system of points awarded for their scores: number of hits, holes-in-one, and so on.
Or you could ask if the owner of the golf and batting course will give you some free passes
(assuming that you pay him a fair price for your evening's fun). If he does, you can award them to kids who meet the challenges you set before them,
such as making a certain putt or making holes-inone.
Another aspect of having a successful evening rests in your ability to sell it to the kids. Advertise it with posters saying 'First Annual (City or youth group name) Golf Open and Batting Championships.'
Build it up, excite the kids, and prepare to have a great time. Doug Graham
Bicycle Pedalmonium Day
This is a fun event that can involve the entire youth department in an exciting day full of bike activities.
* Bicycle Olympics. Divide the group into four competing groups if you have junior high through college age involved: junior high boys, junior high girls,
senior high and college boys, senior high and college girls. Points and prizes can be awarded the winners in each division.
Some sample events:
--100-Yard Dash. A race for time. Use a stopwatch.
--20-Lap Endurance Race. Should be about fi ve miles on a regular quarter-mile track. Award points to fi rst through fi fth places.
--Bicycle Demolition. Have all bike riders form a circle about 100 feet in diameter. They may each have all the water balloons they can carry
(stuffed in shirts, pockets, etc.). When the whistle blows, they all interweave in the circle and let each other have it!
--Bike Jousting. Bike riders ride toward each other in parallel lanes. Each rider gets a water balloon.
The object is to ride by your opponent and hit him with the balloon, without getting hit yourself.
--Bike Pack. See how many can fi t on a bike and still go 10 feet.
--Figure Eight Race. Set up a fi gure-eight track. Contestants ride it, one at a time, for best clocked time.
--Obstacle Race. Set up a track with obstacles
--- mud, trees, or whatever --- to make riding diffi cult. Include anything you want. The rougher the better. From a starting point, bikes compete for time. On the trail have a Long Jump
(4-inch log that the bike must jump over), Tight
Rope (a 2x6 that is 12 feet long and about six inches off the ground), a Limbo Branch (low tree branch or board about 10 inches above the handle bars), and a Tire Weave (eight or ten old tires set up in a row about six feet apart). The one who completes the course in the fastest time wins. You can make penalties for those who mess up on some of the obstacles.
--Baton Relay. Ride bikes across the parking lot and hand off baton to next rider on the team.
--Slalom Race. Time kids as they ride bikes through a slalom course. Have a stopwatch on hand.
--Snail Race. Mark off a narrow trail and riders must try to stay in the trail and ride as slowly as possible. Feet may not touch the ground. The rider with the longest time wins.
--Straw Race. Place coke bottles all over the parking lot with drinking straws in them. Bike riders must ride up to the bottles, pick up the straws with their bare toes, then reach down with their hands and take it from their toes.
* Bike Road Rally. This is a simple treasure hunt event in which teams of three to four bike riders must follow clues to reach a fi nal destination. By arranging for the teams to go different routes, yet ending up at the same place, they won't be able to follow each other. The fi rst team to fi nish the course is declared the winner. This should take about an hour.
* Bike Tour. Last on the activity list is a bike ride to a not-too-distant park or beach for a hamburger and hot-dog feed.
Make sure participants have appropriate safety gear. Ken Etley, Roger Disque and Nancy Thompson
Does your youth group enjoy bowling? If so, here's how to make an average bowling night much more interesting. Print up some awards like the one pictured here, and give them for categories like these:
* Most strikes
* Low game
* Most expressionless bowler
* Greatest hope for the pro tour
* Most creative shot of the night
* Best form (male/female)
* Most gutter balls
* High game (male/female)
* Sore loser award
Paul E.B. Gruhn