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.
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?