Friday, September 21, 2012

Out Of The Box Contact Work

Last August I asked for suggestions on how to reach kids outside of our normal circle. One of the comments below the post was super helpful:

"Do things that are specifically aimed at being inclusive. In our area we have created an Ultimate Frisbee League. Even in name its called "The Ultimate League For Non All Stars That Still Enjoy Ultimate." It worked, we have kids from all kinds of
backgrounds, athletes, drama kids, band kids, nerdy kids. They all like it because of the very fact that its specifically inclusive. Then, by the time we meet new kids at Ultimate and then get them to club, they know people when they get there. It doesn't have to be ultimate, or even a sport, just as long as you're getting kids to hang out together. Once they do that, they realize they should have been friends with these folks all along. Not to mention about how contact work like that strengthens and opens the doors for new relationships."

Special Thanks To Whoever Left That Comment!

A few years ago we also started an Ultimate Frisbee Club Team at the high school where we led Young Life. It began with 10 guys and gals we knew from Young Life, but by the second practice, there were over fifty kids showing up, many of whom we had never met. It seemed it was easier for my friends involved with YL to invite their peers to Ultimate practice than YL club.

We only practiced on Mondays and Thursdays after school, so it was low commitment, and only played in a few tournaments throughout each semester. Most kids never even associated Ultimate and YL in their minds, even though the coaches were YL leaders. It was a booyah way to get to know more kids and to care for them even if they never came to a YL club. I love the idea above of calling it "The Ultimate Team For Non-All-Stars" or something that invites kids in who might otherwise feel like they are not talented enough to play. 

What other out of the box contact work ideas have you done? Have any of you helped start or lead other types of clubs at the high school?


  1. Couple of non-sport related contact ideas:
    Volunteer as an in-school tutor at the school. If you are a college leader, especially one with an existing background check clearance, most schools would jump at the chance. Plus, you'll likely meet a very different group than the kids with body paint at the football game.
    offer to help with play/musical costumes and set design. This is usually concurrent with rehearsals, so plenty of chances to meet new kids.
    This last one we used for a college group, but it could work in college towns. We reserved a big lecture hall on campus and hooked up some game systems to projectors. This is an awesome way to help gamer kids feel comfortable inviting friends -are who wouldn't want to play Halo on giant screens with stadium seating? You can get some less violent, more "first-timer" friendly games like Rock Band too for inclusivity.

    1. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. Love the tutor idea and the set design! -Drew

  2. We are trying to be really creative with our contact work this year. We are about to start volunteering at the late desk signing in kids a few mornings, and we just recently had one of our leaders be in charge of intramurals (sports club in between sports seasons). Last year, I volunteered in the library during kids free period. Its be different but fun!

  3. A great way to meet some guys is bring a radar gun and a bucket of baseballs and just clock some pitches after school. Lots of dudes want to know how hard they can burn one down the middle.