Here’s a little glimpse of our incredible weekend in Pennsylvania for Youth Winter Fest 2017! I want to say a very special Thank you to our amazing team who worked so hard and tirelessly to put this event together and made it possible for students to come and have an encounter with Jesus. Also, a big shout our to Josh Griffin for coming as our speaker, Dan Bremnes for leading us in worship, and John Branyan and the Nubian Gents for blessing us with their gifts and talents. Let’s continue working with Jesus as He is building His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. #YWF17
We arrived safely in Jamaca at noon today. After lunch we got settled into our rooms, enjoyed a quick dip in the pool, then had dinner, orientation, worship and sharing. Matt and Tabitha both shared devotions with our team, then we got into small groups to discuss our hopes for the trip and pray for each other. Tomorrow our service begins! We will be serving at three locations this week. Thanks for your prayers. Everyone is in good spirits.
Below are a few games that are camp favorites as well as some good game idea websites.
Greased Watermelon Football
Football with a greased watermelon in shallow water.
Materials: Swimming area, watermelon, Crisco, two baskets
How To Play:
Take a watermelon and put Crisco on it until it is nice and slippery. In about 4 feet of water, place two buckets 100 feet apart or so. Weight the buckets to the bottom with rocks.
Divide the players into two equal teams. The goal of the game is to get the watermelon into the opposing team’s bucket. Players try to grab it and move through the water with it while other players try to tackle them/rip the watermelon away. The team that scores the most points in the given time period wins.
It can be helpful to have an extra watermelon (or 2 or 3) just in case it breaks.
Some helpful rules are:
- No holding anyone under water (FACILITATORS WATCH TO MAKE SURE NO ONE IS DROWNING OR GETS KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS IN THE WATER)
- No biting/scratching/kicking
- No going in less than 3 feet of water (watermelon can break easier when out of water)
Kiddie Pool Kickball
Materials and Setup:
- We used 2 boxes of plastic sheeting 6mil 6’X100′ from Home Depot that we bought online for 33 bucks a box.
- Roll out 50′ and fold under pool.
- You never have to cut anything because the pool filled with water weighs it down.
- Pull it tight as you fill the pools and it won’t go anywhere.
- Repeat to each base.
- We use the cheap bouncy balls you always see stacked high at a Walmart or Target.
- Make sure to use tear free soap.
- Use a little league baseball field instead of a lawn if you don’t have enough yard.
How to Play:
- 3-5 innings
- 3 outs per inning.
- Students in the field can have pool noodles to beat the runners as they round the bases.
- To be safe on base you must sit down in pool.
- Can’t run from base until ball is kicked, must slide into home for the run to count.
- No bunting.
- Best scenario is 15 to 20 on each team.
- You will need to continually fill pools during the game.
Important: Lots of slipping and falling involved. Please play safe and at your own risk.
Credits: This video was originally created by Andrew Martin Kolstee for EPIC Student Life a youth ministry in Russell, Pennsylvania and then edited by REMIX Ministries.
Tic Tac Toe Relay Race
Materials: 9 Hula Hoops; 5 bean bags/t-shirts/other objects of one color; 5 bean bags/t-shirts/other objects of a different color
How to Play: See Video
Water Balloon Capture the Flag
Materials: Tons of water balloons; 2 flags (can be bandanas or other); field lining paint; buckets, trash cans; or large coolers 1/4 filled with water to put the balloons into; flag football flags (optional); garbage can lids or the like for shields (optional); referee shirts; whistles; garbage bag for cleanup.
Setup: You will need lots of time to fill up enough water balloons. One idea it to send each student home with a pack of water balloons to fill up and bring to the game with them. You will need to create a mid-field line and end lines using field liner, a long rope, or similar.
How to Play:
Divide into 2 teams. Put a bandana or similar behind each endline. Teams are defending the flag as in Capture the Flag. Each team has some players playing offense and some playing defense. Offensive players are trying to score by running into enemy territory, grabbing the flag and returning to their territory with it. These players are safe when they cross the endline of enemy territory or when they are in their own territory. If using flag football flags, when a player takes a direct hit (not splash) one flag is removed. When they are hit a second time, their second flag is removed. Once both flags have been removed, they are no longer allowed to cross into enemy territory, and must stay on their side and play defense. Repeat game as many times are desired. Referees will have to determine “fresh” hits for ensuing games.
Websites for Great Game Resources
Small groups are the most important thing we do in our ministry to students. Today I put together kits for each of our groups to help them maximize engagement and eqip our leaders to be even more effective. You can put all kinds of things into a box like this. Our leaders already have thri curriculum content, so here’s what we put in ours:
- Small Groups Info Sheet (purposes of small groups, schedule, guidelines for meetings, tips and reminders for leaders)
- 99 Thought for Small Group Leaders
- Hot Seat
- On the Spot No Prep Games
- Throw and Tell Ice-Breaker Balls
- Nerf ball (can be used to designate who is allowed to share during discussions (i.e. If you have the ball, it’s your turn to talk.)
- Index cards
- Pens and Marker
This morning everyone got to the airport on time. After getting checked in, we prayed together and gave lots of hugs to parents, then we had lunch and went through security. Everything went well. We only two security check incidents. One leader (who shall remain nameless) had a can of mosquito repellent in their carryon. After Mike Fenimore had his bug spray thrown away we only one student who brought a full water bottle through and had to go back again. He said his mom packed it for him. (He is laughing as I write this. Parents, you can guess if the culprit was your son. lol!) We had a nice flight to Miami, grabbed dinner, and boarded our next flight to Managua. Another uneventful flight. We landed, went through Immigration, got all of our luggage, and met our Forward Edge trip coordinators, loaded the bus, and drove to Villa Esperanza. We got settled in and had a beief orientation, then we did group devos. We are about to turn in for the night. Unfortunately my computer decided to crash, so I am typing this on my phone. I have FFS (Fat Finger Syndrom), so please excuse any tuyops (typos).
Many of you may remember the excitement we experienced 8 months ago when our youngest daughter Natalia started the first-ever Christian Club in her middle school. All year they averaged almost 30 students in weekly attendance, and it was awesome watching the influence they had in the school and beyond. A few weeks ago, they received a Certificate of Merit from the New York State Assembly for their project of sending Valentines to Veterans which is going to be framed and displayed in the school!
After an amazing school year, yesterday we attended the final club meeting of the year. We have been so proud of our girl for all of her hard work and leadership. She assembled a great team of her peers and led them as together they led the club all year. Perhaps the most impressive part of her leadership is that right from the start she recognized that as an 8th grader this was her final year in the middle school, but she wanted the club to continue long after she was gone, so she was looking for future leaders from day one.
About 3 months ago, she and her team really started praying, watching, and talking with the younger students who had been faithful and active in the club, and who had a desire to be lights in their school. Two months ago she approached two 6th graders and asked them about the possibility of them leading next year. After they accepted, she began training them, giving them opportunities to lead, and giving them leadership feedback. Yesterday, as we celebrated a great inaugural year for the club, Natalia and her team formally handed the baton of leadership to the aforementioned students and prayed over them.
This is absolutely hysterical! If you’re a basketball player, you’ll recognize these guys. So funny!
(Start at 3:05) Leadership requires team. Leaders need companions for the journey. We all need help in order to complete our mission. It is only when we are honest about our questions, fears, and inadequacies, admitting that we don’t know it all, that others are able to step up and help us.