Tuesday, March 31, 2015

15 Second Camp Promo Videos

One easy way to promote your summer camp week is to put a '15 second camp video promo' on your YL Instagram. You can download a 15 second video for your YL camp here.

It's a little tricky to actually upload it to Instagram, but it's worth the effort. Once you find your camp video, save it on your computer. Then, email it to yourself and open the email on your mobile device. Once you save the video on your mobile device, you can then upload it to Instagram.

Here's a post we put on our Northwest YL blog last year to inform parents about camp.

Follow @YoungLifeLeader on Instagram.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Memorable End Of Year Tradition: The Campies

This hilarious & meaningful Campaigners tradition is shared by Tom O'Neill, a volunteer leader in Sammamish, WA.

The Campies

For any fan of the TV show "The Office" you will recognize that this Campaigners tradition was inspired by Michael Scott's shenanigans. I was watching an episode of "The Dundies", which is an annual office award show, hosted by Michael Scott, who gives out awkward and hilarious awards in full tuxedo. That immediately made me think "this is pretty much a YL camp last dinner award show." With that "light bulb" moment, "The Campies" were born, a fusion of “The Dundies” and a camp program awards show. It’s a great way to cap off the school year with your Campaigners. 

I invited all of my campaigner guys (sophomores at the time) to attend the 1st Annual Campies, and instructed them that the dress code was "unnecessarily formal." My co-leader, Warren, and I then spent the morning of The Campies writing awards for each of our Campaigner guys. Many of them were inside jokes, that had been developed over the years, or happened in Campaigners that year (ex. “Better Late Than Never”, “Last Man Standing”, or “I’m a Lover not a Fighter.”)

Others were more serious, such as the coveted "Ironman Award" for the most YL events attended that year. I also always give the "Rookie of the Year" to someone who was new that year and became an integral part of the group. We make toasts (sparkling cider), take pictures looking quite dapper, and laugh a lot. We then talk about some of our favorite moments in Campaigners and what God had taught each of us that year.

This has now become a favorite tradition and something the boys look forward to each May. One of them was crushed when he was beat out for "Ironman" because he had sports conflicts.

A couple tips if you're considering doing this or something similar:

  • Hammer home the dress code and do it big yourself. It makes things more ridiculous and makes the pictures stand out on social media. Kids' friends always wonder what went down at The Campies and start asking about it.
  • Invite an amateur photographer or just someone with a nice camera to come shoot photos. Go paparazzi with photos as they enter and of course some posed shots.
  • Spend a good amount of time writing the awards. Think camp-style: Presented by Inside Joke, Reverse Inside Joke, Program Character #1, Program Character #2 etc. Maybe even get some help from another leader, two minds are often funnier than one.
  • Be sensitive to what is funny and what is offensive. An extra laugh is not worth a hurt kid. Err on the safe side and consider the relationship you have with each kid. Find ways to celebrate kids while making light of something ridiculous.
  • Get RSVPs ahead of time, so you know who you need to write an award for. I always print a few blank ones in case I need to hand write one last minute too.

Good luck, and go celebrate your Campaigner kids!

Thanks for sharing this great idea Tom! If you have any YL traditions you'd like to pass along, here's how you submit a guest post.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Club Game Of The Week: Goin' Fishin

Goin' Fishin' was shared with us by Alli Bixler, volunteer leader in Baton Rouge, LA.

Materials Needed
  • 2 or more long pieces of rope
  • 2 or more buckets
  • 2 or more whole fish you can buy from the seafood counter in a grocery store (we used catfish) - NOT ALIVE
  • Small/lightweight objects (whistles, sponges, small toys, etc.)
  • Ice
  • Tie the small objects along each piece of rope. Try to space them out.
  • Tie 1 fish per rope to the very end of each piece of rope.
  • Fill buckets with ice.
  • Coil ropes up and place each strand of rope individually into each bucket.
  • Make sure the fish is on the bottom of the rope.

How To Play
  • Organize kids into 2 or more lines. We played this at an all-city club so we did it by high school, but it could work girls vs. guys or any other formation.
  • Tell kids to put the beginning of the string through one shirt sleeve and out the other
  • Have 1 leader working each bucket, feeding the rope to the kids.
  • Tell them it is a race to see who can get the string through their line the fastest.
  • Once they are all strung together, they are stuck, and that is when the fish at the end of the rope comes out. (Make sure your string is long enough to have all the kids stuck on it, so no one on the end tries to sneak away)
  • They have to put the fish through their sleeves just like they did with the other objects.
  • Have leaders "coach" the kids who are freaking out about it and remind them they're racing the other team!
Our kids hated it and loved it at the same time. They're still telling their friends about the time they had to put a real fish through their shirt!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Join The Young Life Alumni Network

Every spring Young Life encourages college seniors who are about to graduate to register in the YL Alumni and Friends database. The intention is to stay connected and serve our alumni as they enter the next phase of life.

You can join the YL Alumni & Friends network here by filling out this short form

Some of the benefits to joining our Alumni and Friends network:

  • Let Young Life help connect you with a new Young Life area, find a job or get in touch with old Young Life friends.
  • Hear updates and stay actively involved in the mission of Young Life.
  • Reconnect and have an opportunity to serve as a volunteer leader or on an area committee.
  • Find local Young Life alumni gatherings.
  • Receive the monthly eNewsletter and hear about what other Young Life alumni are doing.

Check out this video.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Young Life At The Movies

As warmer weather is upon us, it's a fun option to move club outdoors. Kathryn Tilmes shared this idea of doing a Young Life movie night outside.

What You Need

  • Projector, laptop, DVD, amp, speakers and all the right cables.
  • Extension cords. 
  • A screen or a large white sheet and a rope to use for the screen
  • Snacks, drinks, cups, plates, and napkins
  • Electric tea kettles to make hot chocolate
  • Christmas lights, table cloths, and other decorations
  • Cushions, blankets, and lawn chairs
  • A playlist of songs to play as kids arrive
  • And of course, a hashtag #YLmovienight
  • An appropriate movie. Here's a list of some we used on our bus ride to camp.
Instead of showing a typical movie, you could also have kids make short videos ahead of time to show that night, sort of your own version of the Sundance Film Festival. 

Dan Griebel, Area Director in Kane County, Illinois also shared this Oscar Night idea. 

"This year we had our Second Annual Young Life Oscar Night at a local historic theatre. Kids worked together with their leader to make a movie that’s two minutes or less, and then we invited the community (parents, donors, teachers and more) to come be the “academy” and vote for the best picture. It’s a fun way to celebrate kids, enjoy time with them creating the movies, and invite adults into the ministry. This is a picture of everyone under the marquee at the end of the night. It was a great night!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Powerful Video To Show At Campaigners

During this season of Lent we've been talking in our Campaigners group about different spiritual disciplines. A few weeks ago we focused on prayer, specifically looking at the Lord's Prayer and the Psalms. When you look into the Psalms it's hard to miss how raw and real the psalmists were when they spoke to God. I showed this video below to help illustrate how we could pray similar prayers in 2015. 

I Don't Understand God Sometimes

HT to Ty Gallenbeck for sending me the video link.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Young Life Camp Work Week Dates For College Students

Come join old friends and make tons of new ones at one of the upcoming Young Life camp work weeks. 

It's a great opportunity to add another YL shirt to your collection...and to also help prepare summer camps for kids to experience the BEST WEEK OF THEIR LIVES!

FREE!! Your all-expense paid week will include housing, great food, club, fun activities, a t-shirt, and lots of hard but rewarding work!

College-aged young adults looking for a fun, rewarding, community-filled time to start your summer while serving a Young Life camp.

What To Expect
Work projects in the morning and part of the afternoon, free time before dinner, club in the evenings with plenty of time to connect with each other.

Carolina Point
May 13th-17th

Castaway Club
May 19th-24th

Crooked Creek Ranch
May 16th-21st

Frontier Ranch
May 15th-21st

Lake Champion
May 25th-29th

Lost Canyon
May 13th-18th

Saranac Village
May 30th-June 3rd

SharpTop Cove
May 10th-15th

Please contact camp directly for more information.

Timber Wolf Lake
May 4th-7th

Windy Gap
May 13th-18th

If you know of other YL camp work weeks, let us know here

Monday, March 23, 2015

10 Fresh Contact Work Ideas: Springtime Edition

Spring has arrived! If you need some fun, fresh, & frugal contact work ideas, you're in luck. Grab your middle and high school friends and make some memories.

Putt, Pitch, Punish (The YL-P3 Happy Gilmore Invitational)

Grab a group of friends, a bag of golf clubs, and $15. Kids need no prior golf experience to enjoy this outing. Head to a local golf course that has a driving range, putting green, and chipping hole. Pay $5 to rent a bucket of balls. Hold three separate contests. Start with putting. Practice, warm up and design a 6 hole putt-putt course. Lowest score on the 6 holes wins a $3 milkshake after P3. After the Putting Contest, move to Pitching. Each participant gets 5 shots. Closest to the pin wins a shake. Finish with the Punish Contest. Whoever can simply drive a golf ball the farthest wins. Each kid gets 10 balls. After all 3 contests are over head to a local restaurant to celebrate the 3 winners and buy them milkshakes. You can also spice up the outing by encouraging guys to dress 'golfy.' Call the golf course ahead of time and ask permission. If you go during a low traffic time, like 5pm, most courses will give you the green light.

Foot Golf

Another fun twist on golf is the new and fast growing sport of soccer-golf or FOOT GOLF. Here's an article explaining the game, but it's basically playing golf with a soccer ball and your foot on a real course. I've yet to play, but it sounds amazing.

Stick Ball

My personal favorite. It's simply a twist on baseball, playing on a tennis court with a broom handle and tennis balls. Buy a wooden broom and unscrew the handle from the bottom bristles. Use it for the bat and grab 6 tennis balls. It's much harder than it looks to hit a tennis ball with a skinny broom handle. Watching people strike out is funny. Hit it over the tennis court fence for an automatic home-run. 3 strikes and you're out, pretty much the same rules as baseball except only 2 bases, the net and home plate. Trust me, its a winner. We played a ton last spring/summer. It became a YL tradition.

Dog Park/Animal Shelter

If you have a dog, take your dog and some of your middle and high school friends to a local dog park. If you don't have a dog, visit a local pet store or animal shelter.


Take a group hiking. Ask your local outdoor store for advice on a good trail.


KanJam is a fun and simple frisbee game. Think 2 on 2 Ultimate Frisbee in the back alley with trash cans as your end zone. Set it up in the parking lot of the local late night hang out spot beside a set of corn hole boards. You and your high school friends can be entertained for hours. It's also a great pre-club hangout idea.

Build Your Own Frisbee Golf Course

Some friends and I recently mapped out a frisbee golf course around the local university. "Throw off the parking deck and hit the middle column on that building, par 4." It's free fun...unless you accidentally dent other people's cars with your frisbee.

Cards On A Roof

Find a mostly flat roof on a not so windy night. Grab a few high school friends, a blanket (or lawn chairs and a folding table) and some playing cards. Add a set of iPhone speakers and 6 pack of Stewart's Orange n Cream Soda. Bam. A night to remember.

Half Priced Shakes at Sonic

Now through the end of summer, Sonic is offering half-priced shakes every evening after 8 p.m.
No coupon is necessary and this offer is valid on all shakes, every day, at all locations.

Dizzy Shoe Game

Thanks to Mackenzie Olson for submitting this idea. Mackenzie writes, "Anytime we're at camp or when there is nothing around to do, I like to con kids into playing the Dizzy Shoe Game. But I don’t call it that… I only ask if they want to play a game. I make everyone put one of their shoes, or a stick, over their head and make them look at it (this is key to the game- the looking up part) and I make them spin around as fast as they can 15 times. Always screaming for them to spin faster. Once they get to 15 they are to throw the shoe and attempt to jump over it. If they truly looked up, and truly spun 15 times quickly, there is zero chance of succeeding and 100 percent chance of laughing very hard. A word of Caution: this is ALWAYS to be done on grass." Thanks Mackenzie for this fun idea. I've already used it multiple times when hanging out with my high school friends and it's been hilarious.

And of course...

You can always build an Eno village


play some Spikeball!

If you have other ideas to add email me here. -Drew Hill

Sunday, March 22, 2015

We 'Bout 4-5 Seconds From YL'n

HT to @KnapYoungLife for the idea. (The line 'we bout fourfiveseconds from wildin' is from the new song by Kayne & Rihanna & Paul McCartney, 'FourFiveSeconds.') 

You'll need to do some lyrical maneuvering in order to sing it as a club song but could always just use the pic to promote club on Instagram or Twitter.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Club Game Of The Week: Trick-Shot Quarterback

Here's a great club game to play now that it's warming up outside.

This game was created in the spirit of YouTube's "Alex Tanney Trick-Shot Quarterback" videos.

Set up two extended rows of various sizes of crates, bins, garbage cans, and other "targets." Form two teams and give each one a football. Assign a leader or kid as a "runner" (the person who retrieves the football after it's thrown.)

Space each target from one end of your large meeting area to the other. The easy targets are worth one point, and as you progress to the harder targets they're progressively worth more points. For example, a bucket that's three feet away from your starting line is worth one point, but a basketball hoop or a trash can positioned at the other end of your space is worth five points.

Each team member is allowed one minute to score as many points as he or she can. The team that ends with the most collective points wins.