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Found 14 results

  1. Eric Gallagher

    Ships & Sailors

    This youth group game is great for larger groups and does well in a bigger room or outdoors in the grass. It is a pretty simple game, and when done with a quick explanation seems to do great! It is something the youth from retreats and camps that I have been a part in have always remembered and wanted to do again. The game is an elimination game that cuts people out slowly until you are down to one or two people. The leader will shout a command and everyone will follow that command. Each time a command is shouted more people will be eliminated based on their speed or in some cases their cooperation in groups. Will do my best to write the directions out as I you were saying them out loud so you can read word for word when saying them to a large group. Ships – When I say ships, everyone runs to the this side of the room (point to one side of the room). The last one there is out. Sailors – When I say sailors, everyone runs to the other side of the room. The last one there is out. Hit The Deck – When I say Hit The Deck, everyone must get down on the ground as low as they can go. The last one down is out. Man Overboard – When I say Man Overboard, everyone will find a partner. One person will get on their hands and knees and act as a ship, the other will put one foot on top of them and look out in to the sea. The last group or anyone who does not find a partner is out. Three Men Rowing – When I shout Three Men Rowing, you will find a group of three. All three will sit behind each other and row in their boat. The last group or anyone who does not find a team of three is out. Four Men Eating – When I shout Four Men Eating, you will find a group of four. All four will sit like they are at a table and pretend they are eating a meal. The last group or anyone who does not find a group of four is out. Five Men Pointing North – When I should Five Men Pointing North, you will find a group of five. All five will gather close together and point north. The last group or anyone who does not find a group of five is out. You play down to one person and that person is the winner. Leaders Tip – You will want to do number games to eliminate people so you do not have to worry about the ‘last’ group. Meaning if you just did Five Men Pointing North and have 20 people left, do something like Three Men Rowing next because there will be an odd man out. Be sure to keep things moving and act quickly after you eliminate people. The quicker the games the more fun they are. When you are down to two people, really use the ships, sailors, or hit the deck to eliminate the last person. Also the cues ‘ships’ and ‘sailors’ are great transitions in between the other cues. It splits up groups (alliances) and keep their blood flowing. You do not have to eliminate someone each time you say ships and sailors, you can just make them run around a bit also and then say one of the other cues. Enjoy! Photo by Flavio Gasperini on Unsplash
  2. Eric Gallagher

    Ninja Game

    You may have seen this game before and not really understood what was going on. The game is called Ninja. It is an extremely easy game to figure out and explain but can take a lifetime to master. Youth Ministers like it simply because they will play and analyze it more than anyone else, ensuring that they could beat any youngster up for the challenge. Here are the instructions: Size of Group: You can play two people but I would recommend starting with at least four. If you have more than 20 people, it may be good to split them in to small groups of ten. Goal of the game: To hit/touch someone else’s hand with your hand. This eliminates them from the game. Directions: Have everyone stand in a circle, take a bow (like on the Karate Kid), and strike a pose like a Ninja. One person will move at a time and you will go in clock-wise motion. Basically the person whose turn it is will try to touch/hit the hand of another person with their hand with ONE motion. The person they are trying to attack can make ONE motion to move out of the way. Both people stay where the end of their motion ends and are frozen until it is either their turn again or they are attacked. How to Win: You play until one person is left in the game and they are declared the winner. Things to Know: You always go after the person who started to your right at the beginning of the game. The circle will eventually collapse and people may get out of order. Always remember who you go after. If someone goes out of turn, have them return to where they were. Can set a rule that your hands must visible (recommended) A role, jump, or spin is considered one motion. Once your youth start to understand the strategy to this game it can become extremely competitive. It is a great game that most enjoy (especially the volunteers!)
  3. Eric Gallagher

    Egg Russian Roulette Game

    This game was a huge success at our summer camps. To start you will need one dozen eggs for every two teams. Seven of the eggs in each dozen should be boiled and five should not. Mix them up in the carton so you can't tell which ones are which. We had the teams (small groups) send a representative up to challenge a representative from another team. They each selected one egg and (on a count of three) smashed it on their head. The first team to get three of the raw eggs lost. Here is a video of Jimmy Fallon doing this with Ryan Reynolds: Please share other ideas and stories of your experience of this game below! Photo by Kate Remmer on Unsplash
  4. Eric Gallagher

    This is So Much Fun

    This is a hilarious youth ministry game that someone showed me this last summer at camp. You need NO supplies and can do it with two people or 100 people. I found a pretty humorous video on YouTube of two guys who explain the game well. This is a different variation from what I saw, but the concept is the same. Two people have to look at each and do little slightly embarrassing actions with each other. The person who smiles first, loses the game. Typically the actions will build off of each so you are doing several things at one time. In the video below they choose to just do a single action at a time. Actions could include: putting your hand on the other’s shoulder putting both hands on the other’s shoulders hopping on one foot spinning in a circle tapping each other’s nose bopping your head If you want to skip right to the part where they are playing the game, go to the 3:54 mark. Have your own actions you think would be fun? Please comment below!
  5. Eric Gallagher

    Bonkers – Best Youth Camp Game Ever!

    I have been involved in our Diocesan summer camp now for about 14 years. As a youth, a volunteer, and now the coordinator of the camp, this is always the favorite. What You Need This game only works with a larger group of people. We have about 80-100 youth and about 30 counselors. You could have less (or more), but would need to adjust a few things. As I explain the game, keep in mind the numbers we had. As far as supplies, your basic supplies would be: Bandanas – 10 of two different colors (we use red and blue) 10 Long Socks Flour Markers Different Colored Yarn Those are the basic supplies, but you will also need supplies for several stations. How The Game Is Played There are several stations that each of the youth must try to complete. They get a string tied to their wrist every time they complete a station. We would have 12 stations. One person at a time can try to complete each station. Each station can also form a line of up to three people waiting to do the station. If you have 100 youth this would mean that about 1/2 of the youth are at a station and the other half are trying to find one that is available. While all of that is going on, there are Bonkers (wearing red bandanas) running around trying to hit the youth with a sock filled with flour. The youth working at the station and the three in line are safe. Everyone else can be bonked. If you are bonked, the bonker will mark your arm with a marker and you are frozen until a medic (wearing blue bandanas) comes and saves you. They will turn your mark in to a cross and you will be free to run again. The game is played over a large field, with plenty of room to run around and is played for a set amount of time. You count up points by adding all of the strings up and subtracting the number of bonks. Other Helpful Hints We had about 10 bonkers and about 8 medics each time we played. Bonkers are not allowed to throw the sock at youth while they are running to get them. Make the stations fun but not necessarily easy. If possible have one person running the station and another to tie string on the the wrists of the youth. Use a permanent marker so it is harder to wash off during the game. Youth are only allowed to complete each station once. What Types of Stations To Use? Here is a list of some ideas for stations that you can use: Spin around a bat 10 times and shoot a finger dart at a rock Drink 2 glasses of water Catholic Apologetics (answer questions about the faith) Count to 100 Balance a glass of water on your head and walk from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ Change in to one set of clothes, run to one end, change in to another set of clothes and run back. Name 5 counselors Talk for 30 seconds without saying the words ‘Like, Umm, or Hmm..’ Tell a joke Carry 10 bats from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ and back all at once without dropping any Blow up a balloon, tie it, and sit on it to pop it. Take a piece of gum and blow a bubble Find a verse in the bible Make a paper airplane and have it land in a certain area (two people) Do the wheel barrel with each other from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ Enjoy!
  6. I often have friends in ministry who ask me for directions on games I play and I typically just point them to the site. When a friend asked me about Spoons and I realized I had never mentioned it on this site, I immediately realized how incomplete the game library on here is. So, for those who don’t know, here are the instructions to the youth group game that I take much too seriously! Supplies Needed Spoons (one for every person) Playing Cards Directions This game is very simple. It is played like musical chairs where everyone is competing for a spoon and the one person who does not get one is out. You play the game until only one person is left. It is ideal to play with no more than 8-10 people. If you have more than this, break it in to several games and have a championship table when each group is down to only a few. Have everyone sit around a table and put one spoon for each person in the middle of the table. Take one spoon out so there is one less spoon than the number of people. Have one person deal four cards to each player. The goal with the cards is to get four of a kind (4 Aces, 4 Kings, etc.) To start the game the dealer will take one card from the remaining deck. They must decide if they want to swap the card out with one of theirs or pass it to the left. If they swap it out, they must pass one of their previous cards to the left, leaving them always with four cards. The person to the left does the same thing with the passed cards and the cards continuously go around the table. When someone has four of a kind they can grab a spoon. Once one person has four of a kind everyone else can grab a spoon at the same time. That’s it. Shuffle and deal again, removing one spoon each time and a eliminating a new player! Video Example Here is video I found online of a group playing spoons.
  7. Eric Gallagher

    Blind Dodgeball

    In leading 100’s of games over about 16 years this has been one of the favorites. Materials Needed blindfolds a marked off area (either a square in a gym or made with cones) dodge balls (softer is better) Setup Set up the boundaries. Have each person find a partner. One of them will be blindfolded and the other will not. Place a good number balls scattered around within the boundary. The blindfolded person will be in the boundary area and their teammate will be on the outside. To start, no one should be holding any balls and it works well to move the person around a bit so they don’t know exactly where they are at or which way they are facing when the game starts. Game Play When the leader says “GO” the teammates on the outside of the play area will guide their teammates to grab a ball and throw it at the other within in the play area. When a person gets hit by a ball or goes outside of the boundary, they are out. Play until only one person is remaining. I found many versions of this on YouTube. I’ve included a video I found of the version we played below.
  8. Eric Gallagher

    Throw Down Game

    This is a simple icebreaker that I have used several times. It is great in that it requires people to share about themselves, but in a competitive way. Supplies Needed You will need 20-25 pieces of paper for each person. I just give everyone one sheet of paper and have them tear it into 20 pieces. How It Works One person will start by saying one fact about themselves. It should reveal something about their person that others may not have known about them. The goal is to come up with something that as many people as possible would NOT have in common with them. For the other people, if they have that thing in common with the person, then they do nothing. If they do not have it in common with them, then they have to throw a piece of paper in the middle. The goal of the game is to be the last person with paper in your hands. Example One person could start by sharing that they have never broken a bone in their body. For everyone else, if they have broken a bone in their body, they would throw a piece of paper in the middle. If they have not broken a bone, they keep their pieces. Suggestions It is best to break them up into small groups so that you go around the circle several times, getting to know each person a bit more. You should also continue to remind them that it should be something that reveals something about you that the others may not have known. “I am wearing Red shoes” is boring and obvious.
  9. Eric Gallagher

    Tape Head Game

    This game is one of the more funnier games to watch. It is very simple but is wide open for variations. Supplies Needed Hats (usually simple winter caps are fine) Tape Something Else How the game works Have as many people that you want playing to put on one of the hats. Then you will cover the hat with tape, sticky side facing out. On the floor, you will have a lot of small objects (we have used coins or q-tips before). When the leader says GO, everyone with a taped hat on will move around on the floor trying to get as many objects as they can stuck on their hat. They can only use their head to do so (no hands). A couple of extras or variations We have had a great time putting the hat over their eyes so they could only move around by the help of their teammates voices. You could place different objects that are worth different values You could place several different objects around the room and call out what they should go for. After a set amount of time, call out the next item.
  10. Eric Gallagher

    Pterodactyl Game

    This is fairly new game that has made it’s way into the youth ministry world. The kids introduced it to me. It is sure to lighten people up, embarrass some, but most of have a ton of fun. Ideal Number of People 2-20 How It Works To begin, everyone will stand or sit in a circle. Everyone must make a face where their lips cover their teeth. If you show your teeth, you are out. One person will start and they are it. They have the option either say Pterodactyl or make a sound like a Pterodactyl to one of the people on either side of them. If they say Pterodactyl, the action continues in a similar direction. If they make the sound, then it reverses the order. Quick example: Person one says “Pterodactyl,” then person two is it, person two says Pterodactyl so person three is it, person three makes the sound of a Pterodactyl so person two is now it again. Who Wins the Game? If you show your teeth you are out and if you act out of turn you are out. Play until there is one person left. I’m a Youth Minister, I want the advantage… Be very creative and do things out of the ordinary. Be the loudest and the craziest. If it seems like there is a constant timing, respond really fast.
  11. Eric Gallagher

    Categories

    his Catholic youth ministry game is very simple, requires just a little prep, but can be done several times. Materials Needed – Notecards Have everyone site in a circle or in a line. What you will do is you will have cards pre-made that have a category and one answer to that category on it. Starting with one person they have to name something from that category in five seconds or less. There are three ways they can get out: Say something that someone else has said Not be able to come up with something in five seconds or less They say the answer on the card You have one answer on the card because the kids think it’s crazy when the first person gets out. Play until you are down to one player. Example To Use States in the U.S. Church Staff Member Names Holidays Positions in Football (or any sport) Youth Group Family Member Names Letters in the Alphabet U.S. Presidents Priests in the Diocese or Past Parish Priests Gifts or Fruits of the Holy Spirit Past Youth Group Games Enjoy!
  12. Eric Gallagher

    Boppity Bop Bop Bop

    A great game for any size group. Typical ‘circle’ game where the person in the middle tries to get out. Comes with several different options. Easily create more of your own also! This game can be played with as little as 5 people and still be a ton of fun. It is a typical circle game where everyone is standing in a circle and there is one person in the middle. The person in the middle tries to get out of the middle. It is good to start the game off with the first two basic rules. When the person in the middle goes up to someone they have the option of saying one of two things. They can either say ‘BOP’ or ‘BOPPITY BOP BOP BOP.’ If they say ‘BOPPITY BOP BOP BOP,’ the person they are saying it to must say ‘BOP’ before they finish or they take the persons place in the middle. If the person in the middle just says ‘BOP,’ the person they are saying it to must not say anything or they are in the middle. You can play with these rules for a little while then add more. The rest of the rules are still said to one person, but there are also responses for those standing next to that person, so each rule includes three people. Add these in one at a time. As they get used to the new one add another, letting them use any of the previous ones also. Basically the one person who messes up their action the most (if anyone), must go into the middle. Add-In's If the person in the middle says: Jello (then quickly counts to 10), the person they are talking to wiggles their whole body like jello and the two people beside them make a bowl around the jello with their arms. If the person in the middle says: Disco (then quickly counts to 10), the person they are talking to makes a disco movement and the two people beside them make flashing lights with their hands. If the person in the middle says: Cow (then quickly counts to 10), the person the are talking to crosses their fingers with their thumbs pointing down (making utters) and the two people beside them grab an utter and "milk the cow". If the person in the middles says: Pirate (then quickly counts to 10), the person they are talking to points up and yells "Arrrr" and the two people beside them make rowing motions outside of the boat.
  13. Eric Gallagher

    Towel Throw

    Here’s a quick game that works in almost any setting…plus everybody gets to play. All you need is a hand towel (or dish towel). Here’s how you do it. Prior to the game, tie a small knot in the middle of a hand towel. (You may want to do this to several hand towels to speed up play.) Then, get everybody that wants to play into a circle, facing inward. This is an “every man for themselves” kind of game. The object is for players to throw the hand towel at the other players in the circle, hitting them BELOW the neck, and eliminating them from play. Players who are hit must leave the circle. The last 4 players standing, are the winners. Here are the rules: Players CANNOT throw the towel at people standing two places on either side of them. (In other words, they need to throw “across” the circle and not at somebody close by.) If a player throws the towel and hits another player in the neck, face, or head, the player who threw the towel is out. (Have a judge handy to make calls about this one. For instance, a player could have thrown a towel low enough, but the other player “ducked” into it.) After a throw (that gets somebody out or misses) ANYBODY who grabs the towel off the floor can throw it. There is no order for throwing. Catching is NOT allowed. Players must absolutely dodge the thrown towel NOTE: The extra hand towels can be used to speed up the pace of the game so that students aren’t chasing the towel between every throw. You can also use multiple towels at once for a real frenzy! Have fun with this addicting little game!
  14. Eric Gallagher

    Hunter, Gorilla, Woman

    This game is like rock, paper, scissors. We play it with individuals, if you browse around there is a group/team version of this game. Have everyone grab a partner and stand back to back. Count to three and have them turn around and do an action. You can create your own actions for the three characters or have the youth create them before you start. It is in an elimination game so the loser of the two is out. The winners take on other winners until you are down to one. As an icebreaker, be sure to come up with some clever things to have them get to know their partners a bit in between in each round. Use random “get to know you” questions or have them share stories. Who Wins? Gorilla beats the Woman Woman beats the Man Hunter beats the Gorilla
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