Tuesday, June 30, 2015

#YLChacoTan Contest Winner: Casey Richardson

During the month of June we've been holding a #YLChacoTan contest to win a brand new pair of chacos. Congratulations to the winner: Casey Richardson! (@caseface356)

We had tons of entries and used a random number generator to select the winner. Since she entered almost daily, Casey had a pretty good shot to win and her number was randomly selected! 

Casey, email us with your choice of sandals (color, style and size) from Chacos.com along with your mailing address and we'll have them shipped your way. Congrats!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Camp Survival Guide for New Leaders

A guest post by Craig Linder.
As a new leader at camp, you may feel nervous or under-prepared for what awaits you at camp. Here are some of the most important things I’ve learned about serving campers well.

Time With The Lord
This may seem obvious, but time with the Lord is what will fuel you throughout your day. You will be tempted to get an extra 30 minutes of sleep before breakfast, or the leader meeting, but start your day with the Lord. Waking up early to be in His Word and praying throughout your dayare of upmost importance, especially when you get tired. Pray for the needs of your campers, the staff, or whatever it may be. Make your requests known! We need the cross every day. Laying down your life before Jesus will allow you to love your campers in a more Christ-centered way. He is the reason that you are there. Give your requests and then give Him the GLORY!

Establish Yourself as the Leader
Establishing yourself as the leader can be a scary thing. At first, it may mean that you aren’t as rebellious or cool as they thought you were, but when choosing between friendship and respect, err on the side of respect. Here are some examples: Don’t allow sneaking out; No practical jokes on other cabins; Don’t allow kids to talk or sleep through the message at club. Essentially, anything that seems like a bad idea, or could distract someone else from hearing the full message of the Gospel, kindly shut down. But be wary that you aren’t another one of their parents. They didn’t come to camp to be yelled at by their mom or dad.

Don’t Whine
Never complain in front of your campers. If you want your campers to have a positive attitude, they need to see how excited you are (to the point where they think you are really weird) for every little thing that happens (even if you really, really don’t want to participate). You should be twice as excited as you expect your campers to be.  

Keep Surprises
Don’t let the campers know the agenda even under the most persistent of pressures. Suspense and surprise are key! Encourage your second timers to keep the week’s surprises too.  And discourage them from comparing this camp to the one that they had been to previously. Encourage them to see camp through the eyes of their friends experiencing it for the first time. One of my favorite lines that my leader said to me when I was a camper is; “Don’t anticipate, PARTICIPATE!”

Know Your Campers
You have been establishing relationships with most the kids going to camp all year. But camp is a time when you are able to get to know them in a new place, a place unfamiliar to them. During “down times” like the bus ride, or waiting in line for the giant swing or a shake at the snack bar, use the time to get to know new kids or grow deeper with the kids that you already know well.  

Ask Key Campaigner Kids to Help
I have always been a fan of delegating responsibilities to solid Campaigner kids. From helping in cabin times to sitting in on some of the one-on-ones, it is a really cool opportunity for them to grow. Also, having the Campaigner kid open up and be vulnerable in a cabin time, or to spur on conversation when the room gets a little quiet, encourages others to join in the conversation. But it is important to set up that opportunity and let the key Campaigner kids know how important their role is in the cabin. Have that conversation before camp!

Cabin Times
  1. Being prepared starts with prayer. Pray for God to touch the hearts of your campers. Pray for the speaker to be clear. You can never pray too much.
  2. Try your best to preserve your voice. This is often a difficult task, but I have seen leaders lose their voices on day two or three, and it makes leading the cabin times that much more difficult.
  3. Set the ground rules for cabin times. Everyone sits on the same level (easier for eye contact); no one lies down; the cabin is a safe place to be honest; be at meetings and clubs, etc. I have always written down all the cabin rules we agree to and ask all of the cabin sign the list. We post it on the door so we see it all the time. It’s never a bad thing to start off your cabin time with a fun question. It opens the floor and allows everyone to talk a little bit.

Your job for cabin times is to lead and direct discussion, not to be a preacher. The purpose of cabin time is to get a better understanding of what the kids are thinking, not to correct their theology. That said, try to keep everyone on track, and don’t let the conversation get too far off topic. Make sure that everyone in your cabin understands what the speaker has said throughout the week. You don’t have to know every answer. Assure them that being completely loved and accepted without knowing all the answers is the beauty of being in a relationship with Christ.

Remember Why You’re There
The point of camp is to offer our high school friends an unbelievable opportunity to hear the greatest love story ever written! Yes, the food is great. The rides are fun. But nothing can ever compare to what Jesus has done for us. Knowing that, have fun living life to the full with some of the kids that you are able to call friends. This is a week that these guys and girls will remember for the rest of their lives. How cool is it that we get to share in the journey with them!

Follow Up
With your team, prepare some sort of follow for up the cabin (or cabins) to help them continue their walk with Christ as they return from camp. That is one of the most beautiful parts of Young Life, we don’t say goodbye to the kids after camp—we  come back to the real world to live life with them. Let them know that you will be there, with them and for them, whenever they need you.

Originally from Ohio, Craig Linder is a student at High Point University and currently wears two intramural basketball championship rings. When he's not ballin, he's volunteering as a YL leader at Southwest Guilford High School.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Best Thing You Can Do With Your Campaigners Group This Summer

Last summer I grabbed two of my high school friends with great leadership potential. We went on a car ride and listened to these talks below. I'm convinced that car ride changed the direction of their lives and deeply impacted an entire school for Christ. 

In my opinion, the most valuable thing you can do for your Campaigners group this summer is to get them to listen to Steve's talks. They're life changing and shared below with his permission.

2009 South Carolina Campaigners Camp at Carolina Point. Talks by Steve Gardner, Regional Director for The Carolinas. 

Saturday Morning (download from Google Drive)

Saturday Morning (download from Dropbox)

Saturday Night 
(download from Google Drive)
Saturday Night (download from Dropbox)

Sunday Morning 
(download from Google Drive)
Sunday Morning (download from Dropbox)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Win A New Pair of Chacos: Share Your #YLChacoTan

WE'RE GIVING AWAY A BRAND NEW PAIR OF CHACOS! The winner will get to pick any style sandals on Chacos.com

How To Enter

  • Throughout the entire month of June share a picture of your Chaco-tanned feet. 
  • Make sure the YL logo is visible somewhere in the picture. It can be on a water bottle, shirt, your hand, etc... Get creative. 
  • When posting the picture on Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtag, #YLChacoTan and tag @YoungLifeLeader.

The best Chaco-tan pictures will be featured on the Young Life Leader Blog and Instagram/Twitter accounts.

All pictures will be entered into a random drawing and the grand prize winner will be awarded a brand new pair of Chacos!  The winner be selected on July 1st. You have 30 days to go work on that tan! 

Did You Know?
That YL leaders are featured here on Chacos website

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bus Trivia Questions

If you have a LONG bus ride to summer camp, here are tons of ideas to help fill the time. Another fun bus activity is to simply play BUS TRIVIA. 

Below are 10 things I usually do when we play on trips:

  1. Give prizes! They go a long way to giving kids buy-in when playing the game. Offer a milkshake at the next food stop for the first place winner. 
  2. In order to buzz in, contestants must yell their first name. This is also a good way to learn kids names if you don't know everyone on the bus! If there's a tie or it's confusing as to who buzzed in first, have them play Rock-Paper-Scissors to see who gets to answer. 
  3. If you're at the front of the bus on the microphone, it gives an advantage to kids sitting near the front so I usually ask the kids that want to play to move closer to the front or station another leader near the middle in the aisle so they can help me judge who buzzed in first. 
  4. Let the leader standing in the aisle also be your score keeper, writing down kids names when they get a question right or wrong. 
  5. Each question is worth 1 million points. It's the exact same as each question being worth one point, just funnier. 
  6. Wrong answers are NEGATIVE 1 million points and as soon as a wrong answer is stated, anyone else can buzz in by yelling their name. 
  7. Have 4 different rounds and increase the point values each time like below. It's annoying to the kids who already have points, but it's funny and makes kids want to keep playing. If you have a REALLY long ride, break up the 4 rounds into different parts of the trip. "Always leave kids wanting more."
    • Round 1- 1 million
    • Round 2- 2 million
    • Round 3- 5 million
    • Round 4- 10 million
  8. We're YL leaders, so naturally we run Bus Trivia as a skit character. Yes, it's more work, and you're tired of being on the bus, but OH BOY, it's fun. Just go to the bus bathroom and put on a wig and sunglasses and have someone at the front play Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" as your theme music and then walk down the aisle as 'Mr. Good Times,' because 'It's always a good time, with Mr. Good Times."
  9. No phones allowed when answering questions! 
  10. Finally, get the bus driver involved and let him ask a couple questions. The kids love it! 

Hope it goes well! 
-Drew Hill

50 Trivia Questions For Bus Trivia

  1. Name a state that is only 1 syllable?  Maine
  2. Who invented the printing press? Gutenberg
  3. Name an actual word in the dictionary that rhymes with any of the following words: month, orange, silver, or purple.  There is none.
  4. Within 25 years, when was the 1st American Thanksgiving?   1621
  5. In Roman mythology, Neptune is the equivalent to which Greek god? Poseidon
  6. How many different ways are there to make change for a dollar bill, over 200 or under 200?  293
  7. Name the only rock that floats.  Pumice
  8. What famous childhood cartoon was based on 3 girls with super powers? Powerpuff Girls
  9. Name all 7 continents in alphabetical order. Africa,AntarcticaAsiaAustraliaEuropeNorth America, and South America
  10. What is the name of the vicious tree that Harry and Ron drove into in 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'? The whomping willow
  11. What are the little people called in Willy Wonka? Oompa Loopas
  12. How many animals of each kind did Moses take on the ark? (Trick question- none, Noah took 2 of each kind, Moses didn't take any)
  13. Who discovered Bieber? Usher
  14. How long (within 1 minute) does it take light from the sun to reach the earth? Approximately 8 minutes and 18 seconds. 
  15. Name an actual word that ends with the letters "mt." Hint: Martin Luther King did it: dreamt
  16. What jewelry accessory store is organized by color? Charming Charlies
  17. How many NFL teams are in the state of NY- name them all- Jets, Giants, Buffalo Bills
  18. What does “G.I.” in G.I. Joe stand for? Government Issued
  19. What is the smallest country in the world? Vatican City Population, total population 1,000. 
  20. What tree gives us prunes? The plum tree. 
  21. Where is the Suez Canal?  Egypt
  22. What does "CPR" stand for in medical emergencies? Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  23. Which Ranks highest in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em?  A. 3 of a kind, B. Straight, C. Full House, D. Flush?  Full House
  24. What is a cummerbund?  A tuxedo belt
  25. Name 5 of the 6 men pictured on our dollar bills, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50?
    • 1- George Washington
    • 2- Thomas Jefferson
    • 5- Abraham Lincoln
    • 10-Alexander Hamilton
    • 20-Andrew Jackson
    • 50- Ulysses S. Grant
  26. What guitarist is known as slow hand? Eric Clapton
  27. Who invented cotton gin? Eli Whitney
  28. What is a flat image that can be displayed in three dimensions, it starts with an H? Hologram 
  29. In a wedding, what is a MOH? Maid of Honor
  30. What caused Ray Charles to lose his sight? Glaucoma 
  31. What instrument do you use when you check the oil in your car?  dipstick
  32. What singer was dread and dead on May 11, 1981? Bob Marley
  33. What’s the opening line of the book Moby Dick? "Call me Ishmael."
  34. What key does the American car horn beep in? Key of F
  35. What was the first product to have a bar code? Hint: Chicago Cubs. Wrigley's Gum (Cubs play at Wrigley Stadium)
  36. Who were the 2 quarterbacks in the most recent Super Bowl?
  37. In a deck of cards, what is the only King without a mustache?  King of Hearts
  38. What planet rotates clockwise? Venus
  39. It was quite fitting that the first CD pressed in the United States was by 'the boss.' What was it?  "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen
  40. What are the plastic things called on the end of shoelaces? Aglets
  41. Who is Barbara Millicent Roberts?  Barbie doll- that's her full name. 
  42. What fluid is stored in a gall-bladder? bile
  43. Looking at earth from outer space, what is the brightest man-made place? Las Vegas
  44. What candy did Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie invent? M&Ms
  45. Name a sound that doesn't echo?  A duck's quack
  46. What does WD in WD-40 stand for? Water Displacer
  47. Name the first 5 presidents of the USA: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe 
  48. Tie breaker 1- What is the average life span of a major league baseball? 7 pitches 
  49. Tie breaker 2- How much did it cost to go to a movie in 1940? 24 cents
  50. Tie breaker 3- The Appalachian Trail goes through how many states? 14

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Camp Musician Of The Month: Annie Lawrence

Our featured YL Camp Musician this month is Annie Lawrence. Annie is no stranger to the ministry of Young Life. She first visited Windy Gap at only five months old! Annie was involved with Club & Campaigners and a senior leader for her high school. She went to Frontier Ranch as a camper in 2008, and although she was already walking with the Lord, he brought a great amount of healing to her heart and her relationship with him that week. The Lord used a gal doing camp music with her husband, Ellie Holcomb, to love on her well that week at camp. From that week on, she knew she wanted to get to love high schoolers in the same way - showing Christ through music and bringing hope to the broken. 

Annie believes it's a true privilege and honor to get to share her story and songs through the wonderful ministry of Young Life to kids who long to be loved. Annie has served on Work Crew, Summer Staff and last summer served on her first summer assignment as Camp Musician at Lake Champion. She has also served on numerous weekend camps with Capernaum, WyldLife and Young Lives. Annie will serve as the Camp Musician this summer at SharpTop during session 2 and at Rockbridge during session 3. 

Her latest music is here on iTunes.
Visit Annie’s website: www.annielawrencemusic.com
Follow Annie on Twitter: @annieplawrence
Email Annie to play at your camp or banquet.

What other Area Directors are saying about Annie:

"I'll never forget hearing the Gospel alongside Annie's heartfelt, original, and compelling stories at a weekend camp last fall. High school students who joined the trip that weekend encountered Jesus's love in tender words and song, and for many, those words made all the difference. I was thankful for the truth I heard in her music, and I hope to hear it again soon." -Justin Ryder, Metro Director, Rutgers University

"I am a big Annie Lawrence fan. I got to see Annie lead Young Life in college at James Madison and then we served together this past summer at Lake Champion. I spoke and Annie was special music. She did an incredible job and was always willing to serve kids and the team. Her music opened up another avenue for kids to hear the Gospel. Annie was so available to partner with leaders to go the extra mile to help kids process the Great Love Story they were hearing. Annie loves Jesus and loves people." -Pete Hardesty, Young Life College, Eastern Division Coordinator

"I had the privilege of serving on an assignment with Annie Lawrence. Annie has an incredible gift of sharing Christ through her songs. She uses her own experiences of searching for God as a way of drawing kids in to relate in their own personal way. Annie has a unique ability to reach all types of kids. I think the fact that Annie purposefully takes the time getting to know kids during free time and hearing their stories speaks volumes to them. Kids love her for it! She understands the mission of Young Life and will serve in any way possible to help kids hear about Christ. The Lord is using Annie in powerful ways to share the Gospel." - Julie Ilg, Executive Staff, Harrisonburg, VA

"I first met Annie at Windy Gap when she was on Summer Staff and I was her SS Coordinator. It was obvious then Annie had much to say. She would pick up her guitar when we were just hanging out in Cedar Mountain Lobby and play. It wasn't long before the Summer Staff was gathered around. Little did she know "The Valley" (Ellie Holcomb introduced that song on our Assignment) would define part of her story as well, but she has walked through a valley in the past 2 years courageously clinging to Jesus. She is a Ravenwood High School YL leader helping John and Peyton, two high school kids, lead Club music. She is a genuine and tender friend." -Eve Sarrett, Associate Regional Director, Tennessee Region

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

WyldLife Wednesday: Leading Cabin Time For Middle School

Club is over and you’re headed back to the cabin with a group of middle school friends. What does cabin time look like at WyldLife camp and how can you make the most effective use of that time?

After each leader meeting at camp, review the cabin time questions provided by the speaker. Make sure there is a question that “every kid can get an ‘A’ on” so that everyone has an opportunity to speak. Be prepared with extra questions and different ways to ask the speaker’s questions.

WyldLife leaders sometimes have low expec­tations for cabin time, but let's un­derstand that it will be meaningful, helpful and important to kids. Even kids who don’t speak in cabin time often say “It’s my fa­vorite part of the week!” Cabin time may be short, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t go well. Kids do process what they hear, but they may not verbalize their thoughts, especially early in the week.

Look for small victories in cabin time – stay­ing on subject for a few minutes… every kid speaking… one kid giving an honest answer. Check in with your fellow leaders frequently during the week to celebrate those victories together.

Affirmation is one of your biggest roles during cabin time. Kids need to know you care about what they say – most WyldLife kids will speak directly to their leader rather than the group so even facial expressions are import­ant. Pay attention to what kids say rather than worrying about the next question. Say “thank you” or “Wow! That’s a great story!” when a kid speaks.

Bottom line… we need to pray and then let what happens, happen. WyldLife cabin time looks different every time, but as one veteran WyldLife leader said, “It’s a good cabin time when we know that kids felt heard and that what they say matters.”

Written by Julie Clapp

For more general on tips on leading Cabin Time, click here

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

50 Questions

A friend recently asked me to send him some questions to help him go deeper with a group of guys he meets with. Below is the list I sent him. I thought it might be helpful to use with your Campaigners group, College Bible Study or maybe to just toss around on a Saturday night with friends. -Drew

  1. What keeps you up at night?
  2. What gets you up in the morning?
  3. What’s the most fun thing you’ve done lately?
  4. Who knows you the best?
  5. Who has authority to speak into your life?
  6. What is your relationship with your dad like? 
  7. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  8. What do you put your confidence in? 
  9. What do you worry about most?
  10. When is a time when you’ve really screwed up/ a moment you’d rather forget?
  11. When is the last time you cried?
  12. When did you have a flash of creative brilliance?
  13. What are your strength-finders/Myers Briggs profiles and what does that accurately communicate about you?
  14. What’s your most significant accomplishment?
  15. What’s a book you’ve read that’s shaped you and how?
  16. What’s a movie or song that’s touched you deeply?
  17. What kind of shape are you in physically and why?
  18. How will you take better care of your health in this next year?
  19. When are you typically the least patient and with whom?
  20. Who has shown you undeserved grace?
  21. What angers you?
  22. Where are you giving your life away (serving/volunteering)? 
  23. What gets you the most fired up?
  24. What are the things that nag at you?
  25. Who is a person you find interesting and why? 
  26. What problem in the world do you want to help solve?
  27. How have you seen your appetites change over time?
  28. What appetite would you like God to decrease an increase in you?
  29. What have you been praying for this week?
  30. Identify 3 messes or clutter projects you’d like to clean up in the next 12 months?
  31. What are you doing today that if you stopped doing it, it would be missed by others?
  32. What are you trying to prove? Who are you trying to prove it to?
  33. What are you currently doing that requires faith/ What are you doing that could only be accomplished if God shows up?
  34. What do you use to comfort yourself when things go bad or get difficult?
  35. What makes you feel the most self-worth? Of what are you the proudest?
  36. What do you want others to think about when they think about you?
  37. What spiritual practices generated the greatest benefit to your soul?
  38. Describe “your most productively-satisfying work day” from waking up to falling asleep (at night).
  39. What grade would your kids currently give you on being a dad?
  40. What grade would your wife currently give you on being a husband?
  41. What grade would your parents currently give you on being a son?
  42. What grade would your siblings currently give you on being a brother?
  43. What grade would your friends currently give you on being a friend?
  44. What apprehensions do you have about the coming year?
  45. What major things do you want to accomplish this coming year?
  46. What one change could you make in your behavior that would help you to live in greater alignment with your values?
  47. Are you currently being a wise steward and generous with your money?
  48. What are your spiritual gifts and how are you currently using them?
  49. If you knew now that this would be your last year on earth, what would you do more of? Less of?
  50. Whats the biggest mental battle you face?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Border Fellows

Are you a recent college graduate who is wanting to start well?  If so, we invite you to become a Border Fellow.  The Border Fellows Program is an intensely practical ten month spiritual and vocational leadership program on the U.S.-Mexico border, preparing you to live a seamless life of faith.  The program challenges recent college graduates to integrate their faith in Jesus, vocation, gifts and relationships with God's heart for service, justice and reconciliation.  The program includes a part-time professional job in your field of interest, theological coursework, mentoring and community development service (Younglife, WyldLife and Elementary school programs in inner-city El Paso). All of this takes place in community with the other Fellows in your class. Our goal is for the Border Fellows Program to equip you to have a thoughtful impact in the world.

The vision of Border Fellows is twofold:  to equip recent college graduates for holistic lives, integrating faith, vocation, outreach, education and church involvement; and to build bridges between St. Clements Church and the Rio Grande neighborhood, spanning diverse culture, social and economic borders.  

Fellows are challenged to grapple with considerable gaps in income, socio-economics, culture and language.  Our desire is for fellows to graduate from the program knowing what it means to integrate their faith with their work, and having cultivated both the heart and capacity to cross cultural, language and ethnic borders, and leaving as bridge builders between the Church and marginalized communities.

By participating in the Border Fellows Program, you will discern how your story fits into God's story. You will begin your post-college years with a strong foundation for a cohesive life of faith—a full life that seamlessly weaves together your career, your personal life and your place in God's story.

If you are interested in becoming a fellow, you can contact Megan Feuille for more information, or visit the Border Fellows website to learn more.


For other post-grad programs, click here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Leading Cabin Time At Camp

One of the highlights of a week at YL camp is cabin time. If you've never led cabin time before or if you're just feeling nervous as you prepare to do it again, below are some ideas that will help guide you together with some questions you might ask.


Meet With Your AD
Be intentional about your training. Meet with your area director/staff person or another experienced leader and ask them how to lead cabin time. Experience is the best teacher.

Prepare for a Marathon
You wouldn't go into the Olympics without training before you got there. A week at YL camp is going to feel like a marathon, physically and spiritually. Get physical and spiritual rest. Be with Jesus. Cast your cares and fears upon Him.

Earn the Right to be Heard
Once you have spread mulch, washed cars, and sold doughnuts with kids to help them raise $ for camp, they are much more likely to listen to what you have to say. My pre-algebra teacher had a sign on her desk that said, 'People don't care what you know, until they know that you care.' Spend time BEFORE you get to camp earning the right to be heard.


Connect With A Head Leader
Head leaders serve on the assigned team to help you. If you feel overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask one of them to come and sit in your cabin time with you.

Set Group Rules With Your Cabin
  1. Everyone sits on the floor in a circle. No one on their bunks. It’s too easy to fall asleep and when folks are on different levels it makes it hard to look one another in the eye.
  2. What's said in cabin time stays in cabin time. We want this to be a safe place and not a starting place for gossip.  Protect kids. Stand up for them. Sharing honestly could leave them vulnerable to laughter, ridicule, and shame.
  3. Respect one another. When someone is talking, don't interrupt. I use a pair of clean, balled up socks. When you're holding the socks, you can talk. When you get done talking, you toss the socks to someone else.
Facilitate Conversation
Our job as leaders isn't to use the cabin time to give another talk. Listen more than you speak. Don't fear the silence. Be patient. Invite everyone in to the conversation. Try to open cabin time with a question that everyone can answer. Get folks involved who might otherwise just sit silently.

Take Notes
I have a pocket-sized red notebook I carry with me everywhere at camp. I take notes during the club talk and during cabin time. I tell my cabin on night 1 that I'm taking notes because I want to be able to remember everything.  It's super helpful to write things down that we're said in cabin time so you can follow up later with specific kids. I also use the notebook throughout the following school year to help me pray for kids.

Individually Prep Kids
If there are kids in your cabin who have been to camp before, pull them aside before cabin time and ask them to 'hold back' and not give 'all the answers.'  Ask kids who are following Christ to help you facilitate the time by chiming in appropriately.

Listen to the Holy Spirit
Your camp speaker will likely give you great questions to use in cabin time. Don't feel obligated to use all of them, they are just a guideline. Listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him guide your time. Don't stress if you feel like cabin time isn't what you had hoped. It's not your job to 'manipulate' kids, just create a safe place, set the tone, and trust the Holy Spirit to lead.

Read the Room
Ask the Lord to give you an awareness of what's going on 'behind the scenes' with the kids in your cabin. Some of them are probably dealing with heavy stuff. On Night 1, it's ok to let the cabin time be brief and no super deep. After the cross talk on night 5, there will be some kids who want to have a four-hour cabin time and some that don't want to talk at all. Be aware of how the conversation is going. It is okay to end cabin time and ask a few individual kids if they would like to keep meeting.

The Rephrase Tactic
Often kids will go silent if you ask a direct question about them. Ex: 'What is the biggest temptation you personally face?'  If you simply rephrase the question, for example,  'What do you think are some of the biggest temptations people your age face?' they will be more likely to speak up.

Tell Me More
If a kid cracks open a door to their heart, be sensitive. And when it's appropriate, ask them to tell you more. The simple phrase 'tell me more about that' will give kids permission to go deeper.

The 10 Best Questions
Follow your camp speaker's lead as to when certain questions should be asked. Below are some of the best questions that have led to deep discussions in our cabin times in the past.
  1. What do you do to be noticed?  (Rephrased: What do your friends do to be noticed?)
  2. How would your friends describe you?
  3. What emotions describe you these days? (Frustrated, lonely, confused, etc.)
  4. Describe your best day.
  5. Describe your worst day.
  6. What is your relationship with your parents like?
  7. Finish the sentence, "Jesus, don't you care that..."
  8. What have you done to deserve a relationship with God?
  9. How has your picture of Jesus changed this week?
  10. What is keeping you from believing and following Jesus?