I remember the excitement I had about a year ago when I was packing up to go on my youth group’s, high school, winter retreat. I knew it had to be better than the year before. That year I, involuntarily, flipped off the inner-tube while zipping past trees, down a hill of snow and landed on my face in a mound of hard-packed ice! The rest of the trip I still had a good time, between removing and replacing bandages and rubbing in gooey medicine. Much of my skin was torn off under my eye, under my nose, and next to my mouth. That's not including the black-eye and a massive, swollen bruise down the left side of my face! This year though, was going to be great! Let me tell you, for once in my life, I was right!
Have you ever been on a winter retreat? If you haven’t, and if you’re old enough this year, take advantage of this chance and sign up to go with your youth group! Four days surrounded by friends, music, and God while sledding in the snow and playing games is totally the best way to fill up a segment of your winter, not to mention all the new friends you’ll meet!
Imagine this: you and your best friend from youth group getting the opportunity to escape your stressful lives for 96 hours. Together in a place filled with the Holy Spirit and heavenly hot cocoa! Doesn’t that sound just too horrible to pass up? Here are some fun ideas you could maybe suggest to your youth pastor:
1) The trashcan game. This game is my personal favorite! Tugging, pushing, and whipping out cool matrix moves makes for an epic time!
Here’s what you need
a. A trashcan about 30-35 inches tall.
b. A wide open space such as a gym, field, etc.
c. A group of people willing to play (the more the merrier)!
The point of the game is to NOT TOUCH THE TRASHCAN. With your large group of people, hold hands so you’re all forming a circle around the trashcan. As soon as the go ahead is given, everyone will start pulling, and pushing other people to try to get them to touch the trash can. If the circle is broken, the two people who let go of the other’s hand are out. Once someone touches the trashcan, that person is out and the circle closes up smaller than before and continues. It hurts, but it’s totally worth it!
2) Ninja Destruction!: This game is probably one of the most fun I’ll ever learn! You can play with only two people or a hundred! And all you need is a partner! The point of the game is to get other people out by hitting their hand with yours and to avoid having your hand hit! With your group, stand in a circle and strike a ninja pose. The first person will start by making one swift movement to try to hit anybody’s hand. Once they move, they have to stay in their new position. Now it is the turn of the person next to them. That person is allowed to either try to hit someone’s hand, or to change their position. Everyone in the circle takes turns until there is only one left. The last one standing is the winner! Again, this game may be painful if you play with guys because they like to hit hard.
3) The Blob: Have you seen the old movie “The Blob?” I haven’t, but the game based off of it is fun!
Here's what you need:
a. A large group of people.
b. A volleyball net
c. Two balls that won’t hurt too bad if you get whacked in the head.
d. A big open space.
e. Two “it” people (one for each side of the net).
The two “it” people start with the balls and choose one person from their side of the net to start the blob. The blob lays on the floor. Everyone else sits on the ground spread out from each other. They are not allowed to move from that seat. They can lean, duck, and dodge but they must stay where they are unless they are hit. Then, the “it” people start to throw the balls on the other side of the net to try to hit the people sitting on the ground. If you are hit, then you lay down next to the blob and become part of the blob. The last one standing (besides the “it” people) wins.
I’m sure you’re youth pastor will already have games planned and ready to go, but these are just some suggestions you can make if any of them sound interesting to you. Winter camps may cost a lot because of where you’re staying and the cost of food, but most churches allow “scholarships” where you can work off the money and the church will pay for you to go. Besides all the fun with friends , and games, and sledding, and snowball fights, it really helps you make a new connection with God if you have begun to stray or doubt. The experience is phenomenal and being touched by God is the greatest feeling in the world. It's a feeling you get the chance to have at winter retreats. I totally encourage you and all your friends to go, the whole 96 hours is totally worth it!