Thursday, October 30, 2014

15 Second Camp Promo Videos For Instagram

We recently found out our summer camps dates and are already working hard to get our high school friends signed up. 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 those 15 second videos for all the camps 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. 

Only 232 days until our area heads to Crooked Creek! 

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

Follow @YoungLifeLeader on Instagram. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How To Start A YL Rec Basketball League In Your City

In my hometown of Greensboro, NC we have a high school basketball Rec League with 8 teams from the area YL clubs. It's awesome! I asked my Area Director, David Page, if he would do a little write up about it. Thanks DP!

--Since becoming a Young Life leader almost three decades ago, I've been showing up in the lives of kids, moving into their world and onto their turf. In Young Life, we call that contact work; making contact with kids, building bridges of friendship in hopes of eventually walking across that bridge with the gospel of Christ.

By far some the best advice I've ever gotten in the area of contact work falls along the lines of this:  What is something you're already doing and passionate about in which you could also include your high school friends?

The easy answer for me and many of our leaders here in Greensboro is basketball. I've lived on Tobacco Road my whole life and basketball, simply put, is a way of life here in the Tar Heel state.

Over the years as my hair's gotten grayer, my steps gotten slower and my jumper flatter, the way to enjoy/use this passion has changed; but it is still incredibly effective. Now-a-days, I play a little less and coach a little more. 

For the last nine years I've coached a Young Life team in one of our city’s high school church leagues. It has been a wonderful way to combine my passion for basketball and my love for kids. Through basketball, I've had the opportunity to meet and influence kids for Christ whom I never would've met otherwise. 

Why It’s So Great
  • 2 to 3 hours a week spending time with guys doing something we all love
  • Meeting new kids who would've never come to Young Life if not for YL B-BALL
  • Opening the scripture and praying before each practice
  • Meeting parents of kids who love that you're coaching their son
  • Opportunity to build relationships with other churches and coaches in the league
  • Displaying the trophy in your office when you “win it all”
  • Having kids from the team come to Campaigners and club each week
  • Rivalry games with other YL teams
  • Bonding with coaches who are also Young Life leaders
  • Creating and having a lasting bond with old players who remember glory days
  • Practice with the guys lets you still impress them with your old man skills
  • There are some really good players who might just not be quite good enough to get playing time at a varsity level. They're really fun to coach. 
What’s Hard?
  • Practice time. Finding open gym time during the Winter can be a difficult task
  • Figuring out playing time for each player. There's a fine line between being competitive and letting everyone play enough
  • You may not get to see many games at your high school because the schedule conflicts or you simply don’t have one more night to be out that week.
  • You have to limit the team to 8-10 kids, which means you tell some kids it is full and they can’t play. 
How To Get Started
  • Explore where there's a church or YMCA league in your town. Go sit and talk with the director and tell him your vision for what Young Life is and why you want a team.
  • Ask to bring a team to join the league so you can pick your own players.
  • If the league is full ask how you can be put on a waiting list or start a 'Young Life division.' In our city we have 8 church teams and 8 YL teams and we play in our own divisions and then the champions from each division play one another. 
  • Decide if you are going to be a “for fun” team or a “competitive” team and then decide how to coach.
  • If you've never actually coached, sit down with an experienced coach and get simple plays and drills you can implement in one hour a week practices. (Possibly ask a dad to help you coach but make sure they will represent YL well).
  • Read Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood by Jeffrey Marx. It's a great read and puts sports coaching in the right perspective.
  • Make it a Junior/Senior only opportunity like a right of passage. You will build anticipation for when they get to play.
  • When picking a team, start with your Campaigner friends. Grab a couple of them and let them help recruit and build a team to include a combination of athletes, their buddies who don’t come to YL, and the Campaigner group. If they are into sports this will be really easy. They know who the players at school are. Never advertise, it will get out of control with lots of folks that want to play. Hand pick the team of (8-10) players.
  • Let your non-athletic Campaigners be assistant coaches. They can dress in sport coats and ties for the games and give them a clipboard.
  • Limit your team to 8-10 players and it will make playing time so much easier to manage. No one wins with kids you love sitting on the bench. It's bad for you and bad for them.
  • Get high quality shirts that kids will want to keep. We charge kids $25 for a reversible mesh jersey, plus the league fee. It's no more than they charge at the YMCA.

*Ultimate Frisbee is very similar and is growing in popularity. One of our leaders does the same with this sport. Here are some thoughts on starting Ultimate at your school

Monday, October 27, 2014

$3 Booritos At Chipotle: The Perfect YL Leader Halloween Plan

This Friday night, on Halloween, Chipotle is discounting all entrees to $3 if you're wearing a costume. It starts at 5pm nation-wide. 

The Perfect YL Leader Halloween Plan

  1. Pick your middle or high school friends up from school.
  2. Head to the YL office and raid the skit closet.*
  3. Dress up in costumes and head to Chipotle.
  4. Eat cheap Booritos. 
  5. Roll your Area Director's house.**
*After borrowing costumes from the YL skit closet, the costumes should be returned in an organized manner. 

**Nothing says "I love you" like toilet paper in trees. (Unless it's raining.) Actually one thing communicates "I love you" even more than rolling your AD's house, and that's helping pick up the toilet paper the following afternoon. 

Many of you will have Costume Club this week. Here's a link to some ideas for that

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Car Stuff Game

If you're looking for an all club mixer this week, try the car stuff game! Take all the kids outside and divide into groups and different cars depending upon the size of your club. Test drive the competition with friends or your Campaigners group before club to see how many can typically fit in a car. I've put 16 kids in my Honda Accord! *REMEMBER, DON'T START OR DRIVE THE CAR WITH 16 KIDS IN YOUR HONDA ACCORD.  

  • Explain the game inside while you have their attention before you bring them outside.
  • Depending on the size of your club, divide groups between gender and classes.
  • Each team has 90 seconds to get as many people as possible into (not on) a small car. I wouldn't use the trunk. 
  • Pro-Tip: remove the rearview mirror before club and clean out your car as much as possible. 
  • BE CAREFUL- we had one YL leader comment that their windshield was broken during this game! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Paper Bag Pickup: A Low Prep Game For Club or Campaigners

Paper Bag Pickup is an easy game to do at club or Campaigners. If you got enough bags (1:5 people) you could do it as an all club mixer.

All you need is a large paper bag, which you probably already have in your house. If not, just stop by your local grocery store or you could also use a fast food bag.

Here's a video showing how it's done. 

  • If applicable, cut off handles of paper bag
  • Set down a fully open bag, right side up, in a fairly open space
  • Have one person at a time come up and try to pick the bag up off the floor using only their mouth
  • The only trick is, they must also only be standing on one leg!
  • They must grab the bag with their mouth and come back up without letting the bag fall out of their mouth
  • Once everyone has a shot at it, either take some scissors and cut off an inch or roll the bag down. 
  • After everyone has a turn trying to grab the bag at the new height, cut another inch off or do another roll. 
  • If you can’t grab the bag then you’re out and you don’t advance to the next round The winner is the person who can stand on one leg and grab the bag when it’s cut the shortest!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Young Life Costume Club: Music, Skits, & Games

Who doesn't love a YL style Costume Party? Below are a few ideas to help make it YL'd and festive. We're having our Costume Club next Monday, 4 days before Halloween.
Pre-Club Photo Booth 
Great night to get some solid photos to throw up on Instagram throughout the week. Delegate to a high schooler to shoot the pics and post them on Instagram.

Entry Music
Here's a video you could have playing on the screen as kids enter the club room. It's a Halloween light show to Gangnam Style.


Monster Video

Use JibJab to make a Monster video with pics of 5 of your YL kiddos. It costs $ to download the video. 

Costume Contest
Instead of the usual mixer, hold a costume contest. Build a run-way. Invite everyone wearing costumes to participate. Identify the best costumes before club starts, as those folks cross center stage, pull them aside. Once you have the top 5-10 and everyone else is sitting down, vote by audience applause. We're advertising 3 prize catergories: Creative, Insane, & Hilarious. Give a good prize.

No Costume Smackdown
You know those folks who are too cool to dress up for Costume Club, well this game is for them. Call up 4 folks without costumes and tell them you found the perfect costume for them to wear, then make them put on a sleeping bag. After they're wearing sleeping bags have a wrestling match. Pair off 2 at a time, winners face one another for the championship. Just a Costume Club spin on the old sleeping bag wrastlin' game. Make sure you don't do this on a hard floor. Carpet is key. 

Pumpkin Head
Carve out some real big pumpkins with some funny faces. Cut a hole big enough in the bottom where kids can actually wear them as masks (while holding them). The funny part is the people actually wearing a pumpkin head, once that happens, you can go a few different directions with the game. Either have a running race, which is hard since they can't see well. Call it the "Pumpkin Run.'  Or you could cover the pumpkin in cake icing or whipped cream and have kids throw Halloween candy at the people wearing pumpkin heads, seeing who can get the most stuck on their pumpkin.

Pumpkin Smash 
If your "Costume Club" happens to fall AFTER Halloween, you can get a good deal on pumpkins. Hold a pre-club "pumpkin smash."

Candy Apple (Onion) Eating Contest

All you need are 3 apples, 1 onion, 4 popsicle sticks and some caramel coating.  Cover the onion to look like an apple and have that eating contest. Pretty hilarious. Provide milk and breath mints for the contestant who draws the short straw.  

Pumpkin Prize
For one of the games or the costume contest, award a pumpkin with a crown on it as the award for being the 'Pump-king."

Background Music (to play on iPod during games)
Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
Rock Lobster (B-52's) 
Ghost Busters (Ray Parker Jr.)
Monster Mash (Boris Pickett)
Thriller (Michael Jackson)

Club Songs (we're giving these a shot as club songs)
Thriller (guitar chords) Download the Thriller lyrics on ppt slides here.

Ghost Busters: It's pretty simple to play on guitar, just five chords. Here's a guitar chords link.  Download the Ghostbusters lyrics on PowerPoint slides here

Lean On Me: We re-wrote a Halloween version. You can download the lyrics and ppt slides here.

Check out more Halloween ideas on doing a Zombie Club from here.

What other suggestions would you add?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Need An Upfront Game For Club This Week: 'Tear It Up'

Need an upfront game for Club this week?

Tear It Up

  • Curtain rod 
  • 2 rolls of toilet paper
  • 2 empty soda cans with top attached
  • String
  • Slide two rolls of toilet paper onto rod with one roll on each end.
  • Tie one end of string to soda can pop top and other end of string to end of the toilet paper roll.
  • Repeat for other soda can and second toilet paper roll.
  • Have individual players or two teams of two shoot rubber bands at soda can.
  • First team to break the toilet paper wins.
I discovered this game here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Camp Musician Of The Month: Sam Heilig

We're starting a brand new page on featuring different Young Life Camp Musicians. Each month we'll add a new musician to the list. 

Our first artist is Sam HeiligSam first got connected to Young Life as a high school student in Snellville, GA. He later became a volunteer leader while in college at the University of Georgia. In 2008, Sam began leading club music at Sharp Top Cove for weekend camps. One weekend, the camp musician had a last minute conflict that kept him from playing, so Sam filled in and he's been doing it ever since. This summer Sam was the camp musician during 1st session at Crooked Creek Ranch. Sam has a brand new album, Broken Branches that just released. Download it on iTunes here. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Content Songs Go With What Young Life Talks?

I received an email this week asking advice on what content songs to pair with specific talks. Below is my first stab at creating a guide to answer the question. Many of these songs can work well before any talk, but some are particularly powerful when sung before or following a specific talk. The *starred* songs below are ones I love to do when giving that specific talk in the sequence. I'd love your input too... so please comment below with suggestions of songs that go well with each talk in the progression, or you can always email me here. -Drew

Download the chords and slides for all of these songs here.

Intro Talks/ First Talk of the semester

  • *Keep Our Eyes Open (Nashville Nine)
  • *As I Am (Lee Younger)

Person of Christ Talks

  • Keep Our Eyes Open (Nashville Nine)
  • As I Am (Lee Younger)
  • What If What They Say Is True?
  • *Let There Be Light (Nashville Nine)
  • *I Am Yours (Jenny & Tyler)
  • Amazing Grace/Peaceful Easy Feeling
  • One Of Us (Nashville Nine)
  • It's Amazing
  • *Your Love Is Deep (Jami Smith)
  • *You Won't Let Go (Nashville Nine)
  • Prince of Peace
  • *Amazing Love (Ryan Long)
  • *Enough For Me (Nashville Nine)
  • *Change Me (Ryan Long)
  • Only You
  • I Have A Maker
  • I'll Find You There
  • O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
  • One Thing Remains

Need/Sin Talks

  • *SOS (Ed Cash)
  • *The Valley (Ellie Holcomb)
  • *Where Do I Go? (Andrew Osenga)
  • *Enough For Me (Nashville Nine)
  • *Come And Lay My Burdens Down
  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (U2)
  • Change Me (Ryan Long)
  • *You Won't Let Go (Nashville Nine)
  • *I Could Run Away (Waterdeep)
  • *I Will Never Be The Same (Nashville Nine)
  • You Will Find Me (Andrew Ripp)

Cross Talks

  • *Love Immeasurable (Ryan Long)
  • *How He Loves (Crowder)
  • O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
  • *Let There Be Light (Nashville Nine)
  • As I Am
  • One Thing Remains
  • *SOS (Ed Cash)
  • *It's Amazing
  • Your Love Is Deep

Resurrection Talks

  • *Beautiful Things
  • *Change Me
  • **I Will Never Be The Same (Nashville Nine)

Appropriation/Relationship With Christ/Commitment 

  • *Who Do You Say That I Am?
  • *I Am Yours (Jenny & Tyler)
  • You Will Find Me
  • Somebody's Calling Out Your Name

Download the chords and slides for all of these songs here.