Thursday, September 15, 2011

How To Make Your Run-On Skit The Talk Of The School

A favorite Young Life tradition is the 'run-on skit.' A 'run-on' (or 'walk-on') is simply a skit where the same characters appear weekly. There are two main options for how to run your run-on:

1. No Storyline
The skit characters appear weekly at club with no storyline, simply to run-games/sell camp/give announcements, etc... Think of "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" from Saturday Night Live or "Mr. Good Times" (game show host) or "The Good Morning Young Life Guys" (that wake kids with video cameras).

2. Redemptive Storyline
Skit characters appear weekly in club, each week revealing a little more of their story. Typically this method is used to sell camp. For example: Twin brothers from different mothers, 'Montgomery' and 'John Michael' are competing in a local arm-wrastlin' contest with hopes of getting to the World-Wide Arm Wrastlin' Championships in Jasper, Georgia at a lil place called Tarp Cop Shove. (Which happens to be 'Sharptop Cove' where you're going for fall camp.) Each week they either train or have a competition. Since every good story involves overcoming conflict, villains are introduced (can be played by kids or leaders) and attempt to thwart their dreams. Club games can be used as 'training opportunities' for Montgomery and John Michael. It's great when you can pair up the sin talk week with the run-on week where all hope seems lost (because Montgomery broke his arm). Then the cross week is where he comes back out of nowhere and wins the semi-finals with his left arm to advance to Tarp Cop Shove. Maybe even make a video to show on the bus to camp?

Many of you already know these basic ideas above, but here are three bonus ideas I learned this summer. I think they can help your run-on skit create some momentum in helping kids invite their friends to club.


Bonus Idea #1: The Facebook Fan Page

Create a facebook fan page for your run-on characters. This summer at Sharptop "The Desire" was one of the program characters. The day after we came home from camp, I kept seeing online that my high school friends had become facebook friends with "TheDesire Jones." It was a fun way to keep that camp momentum going.

Bonus Idea #2: Give-Away T-Shirts

Connect with a local screen-printing business and ask them to cut you a deal on printing some t-shirts with your run-on characters' faces on the front. If you can't get a good deal, try to find a sponsor. Often an area business will pay for your shirts if you put their logo on the sleeve. They don't have to be super high quality, but just something to use as a prize all semester for the winners of the games you play during club.

Bonus Idea #3: Cardboard Cutouts

Honestly, who doesn't like to get their picture taken with a life-size cardboard cut-out? A friend who runs a sign company in town is giving us a great deal on getting two of these made of our run-on characters. We plan on breaking them out before club on week 4, after the kids have become familiar with the characters. We'll have them set up as a photo booth and post the pics of kids with the cardboard characters on facebook. The rest of the semester we plan on putting the cardboard characters in funny places around town (like kids' bathrooms/the principal's office/local hangout spot) and taking pictures of them to show at club.

If you need a killer idea, here's a link to a post on how to make Hilarious "Good Morning Young Life" videos, which makes for a GREAT run-on!

Do you have some good run-on ideas to share, please comment below?


  1. We had some campaigner kids come up with this idea, and it's been sweet on both the in club humor front and has helped us build bridges into the school. Our walk on character right now is just a kid pretending to be one of the fun, outgoing, teachers in the school, who is trying to teach 2 out of control hyper/hypo girl students.

    The cool part is we got the teacher to come and crash club in 2 weeks and confront his alter ego. Kind of a new take on the "Angry neighbor" bit. But the coolest part is that going and talking to the teacher about it has helped us get more plugged in in the school, and given us the opportunity to serve him by helping out with business club activities he's heading.

  2. Thanks a ton Eric! That's a booyah idea! I love it!

  3. We're currently doing a parody of the tv show "Finding Bigfoot." Two senior guys are Bobo and Reno, and every week we show an episode of their show "Searching for Sasquatch." Unfortunately, each week they confuse Sasquatch with our big guy leader, and try to catch him in different ways while he is just going about his business (walking to his house, grocery shopping, going to class, sleeping). Each week after they show their episode, he gets up and berates them for thinking he's bigfoot, and they apologize and say they just wanted to get a bigfoot so they could go to Rockbridge for Fall Weekend. The last episode of the show the Squatch Hunters walk into the leader's house and sit next to him, and say sorry but they were not able to find a bigfoot and therefore can't go to Fall Weekend. The leader tells them he has no idea why they need a bigfoot to go. They talk a bit more, and realize they confused "big form" with "big foot." They then cheer, everybody is happy and off to go on the adventure that is Fall Weekend.