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Found 15 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

    Bigger or Better

    This is a community youth ministry game where the youth will be going door to door. It is best to send the kids in groups and have an adult with each group. It is very simple. Start everyone at the parish with a small item like a rubberband or paper clip. Give them one hour to run around door-to-door saying that they are playing a game with their youth group and they are wondering if they can trade their item for something bigger or better. When they make a trade, they move on to another house and do it again until their time is up. Keep in mind that the item can be bigger OR better. We have had youth come back with tractor tires, snow blowers, large screen t.v.’s, and a toilet in the past. This game is truly a gem!
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Eric Gallagher

    The Shoe Game

    Directions This is probably one of the greatest games for retreat type atmosphere when you need to lighten things up a little bit. To start have group of between 6-8 people form a circle. You can just have one or two groups. They do not compete against the other groups and there really is not a winner. This game is played like ‘Hot Potato’ with a twist. Have one person volunteer to use their shoe as the hot potato. Start off by playing one round like hot potato and start the music. When the music stops, have the person holding the show stand. You will give this person an action that must be done every time they are given the shoe from now on. You start the music again and when you stop have the person who ended up with the shoe do a different action. If it was the same person as the first round, they must now do both actions before they can pass the shoe. Here are some examples of actions. Yell ‘I HAVE THE SHOE’ Give everyone in your group a high five. Sing “It’s fun to sing at the Y.M.C.A. while doing the actions. Do the chicken dance Do the Macarena Blow Kisses to everyone in your group Skip around the group once Say two words that rhyme. Do the entire head, shoulders, knees, and toes Flex like a professional body builder (must do different flex each time) Usually this is enough actions. Keep a look out for people who have several actions and those that think it is a little too funny and be sure ‘accidentally’ stop the music on them.
  6. Eric Gallagher

    Hula Circle Pass

    Found another quick and easy youth ministry game on YouTube. The directions are very simple. Find a hula hoop or something like it. Have a group of youth join hands. When you say go, they have to pass the hula hoop around the entire circle without letting go. Watch the video for a good example of it!
  7. 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.
  8. Eric Gallagher

    Larry, Curly, & Moe Game

    This is a youth ministry game that we started playing about two years ago and is always a great game because it is quick to put together, the supplies are minimal and it is extremely competitive and engaging. The Ideal Setting This game works if you have anywhere from 12-99 people. Those may seem like random numbers to you, but the trick is that people are in teams of three. So as long as you have a dividend of three you are good, but the more teams you have to more crazy it gets. Game Set-Up (image below) You will set-up a circle game area using cones, tape, or maybe the center of a basketball court. Then you will have all of the groups line up outside of the circle and have the three people in each group form a line. Then you will have random objects (or just small balls) in the middle of the circle. How The Game is Played Each person on each team will be given a name. The first person is named Larry, the second is Curly, and the third is Moe. The person leading the game will say one of those three names. Whichever person has their name called will run around the circle, around all of the other teams, until they get back to their team. Then they will go under the legs of their two teammates and rush to the center to grab one of the objects in the middle. There will be less objects in the middle than the number of teams and the teams that do not get an object are out of the game. You play until you are down to one team. Miscellaneous Stuff Be sure to state that teams can not “back-up” to slow the other teams down. As you get fewer teams, have the spread out evenly across the circle. A good strategy is to have the two members get really close so that is it easier to get through their legs. Usually better if you can have gender separated teams. Have fun and trick people by saying one of the names leisurely instead of shouting it out. Image of play
  9. Eric Gallagher

    Lifesaver Pass

    This youth ministry game is a favorite and very simple. Buy some lifesavers and toothpicks. All of the youth are given a toothpick and put in to teams with even numbers and each team is given a lifesaver. Have all of the teams stand in a line. When the youth leader says go, the youth will pass the lifesaver to each other using only the toothpick in their mouth. If the lifesaver is dropped, the group must start over from the beginning of the line. The first team to pass it to all of their members without dropping it wins. If teams have more people than another, have some people do it twice to balance it out.
  10. Eric Gallagher

    Pictionary Telephone Tag

    Materials Needed – Lots of quarter sheets of scratch paper, pens/markers, chairs (optional) and a few volunteer helpers and printed download (available below). This has been one of my favorite youth group games to play. It is a quiet game that draws great competition and requires team work. The game is basically a mix of the three games mentioned in the title. Directions We use chairs that you can straddle while sitting on them. For ease of explanation I will use 10 youth and 4 volunteers as the example. You can adjust depending on your numbers. For 10 youth, I would break the group in to two teams of five. Have each team sit in a line in the chairs behind each other. The game requires youth to write invisibly on each other’s back. What will happen is the person in the back will be given a sheet with a number of pictures. That will person will draw the pictures one at a time on the persons back in front of them. That person will attempt to draw the same picture on the next person until it makes it’s way to the front. The front person will have a pen and tons of scratch paper and will attempt to draw the original picture. They will show each attempt to a volunteer in the front. The volunteer will check off the pictures one at a time as they are done. Each picture has a number and the volunteer in the front can communicate with the person in the back when each picture is completed. Otherwise, there is no talking allowed. The game is played until one team gets all of the pictures checked off. Hint(s) Be very strict with the no talking rule. In my experience when teams start talking and anyone starts cheating in any way, it can ruin the game pretty quickly. If the game takes too long (which is possible) then give them an amount of time they have left and the one with the most at the end of the time wins. Lastly, be sure to have plenty of extra scratch paper and pens. The game moves pretty quick once it gets started. Materials Of course we will not give you instructions to a game like this without providing you with great printable resources to help with it. The printout includes the sheet with eight pictures for the person in the back and score sheets for the volunteer in the front. It is sometimes helpful to have the sheet in the back cut up so they can throw away the pictures they have done. I've included two versions of the games so it can be played twice! The second one is a bit more difficult. Enjoy! Pictionary Tag - Game 2.pdf Pictionary Tag - Game 1.pdf
  11. Eric Gallagher

    Balloon Shock

    Materials Needed Sweatpants and shirt or loose clothing for each group Lots of Balloons Directions Start this youth ministry game by telling each group (typically 3-5 in a group is good) that one person will need to put on the loose clothing over their clothes. When you say go, each group must blow up and put as many balloons in the clothes of the person in the group as they can until you say stop. Be sure put size minimums on the balloons, so that are big enough. When the time is up, tell them that the first person to pop all of their balloons wins. They have two rules. They can not use their hands or the help of anyone else in the room. The trick to this game is acting like the most balloons in the sweats wins and then twisting the game at the end (That’s why we called it balloon SHOCK!) Say go and sit back and watch the hilarious ways that they come up with to pop the balloons.
  12. Eric Gallagher

    Buzz

    You should split up into groups of 3-6 people. You can have more than six, but not seven people. This game is unique in that the group(s) will work together to win. The goal of the game is to count to 50. One person starts by saying “1.” The next person continues with “2.” You go around the circle until you get to 50. The tricky part is that there are a couple of rules to follow. Anytime a person gets to a number that is a multiple of 7 or contains the number 7 (7, 14, 17, 21, 27, 28, 35, 37, 42, 47, 49) they must say BUZZ instead of the number. No one can help another person out or talk, unless it is their turn and they get one answer. If the person says the wrong number or answer, the group must start over. You can play with more than one group and make it so the first group that gets to 50 wins or play with one group and anytime someone messes up they are out. Make it even harder If that is easy enough for them, play BUZZ-FIZZ: Keep the Buzz game going as above, but add FIZZ each time a multiple of 5 or a number with a 5 in it is said (Tricky one is 35 when you must say Buzz-Fizz).
  13. Eric Gallagher

    Screaming Toes

    You will need at least 5 people to play. If you have more than 25 people, it may be good to split them in to two groups. First have everyone shake each others hand and introduce themselves to each other. Then have everyone stand in a circle. Directions: Everyone will look down at their feet. When the leader yells “SCREAMING TOES” everyone will look up and look at one other person. They should have this person in mind before the leader yells "SCREAMING TOES". If the person they are looking at is not looking at them, then they say nothing. If the person they are looking at is looking at them also, then the first person to yell the first name of the other person wins and the other person is out. Play until you are down to two people and both of those people are the winners.
  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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