Thursday, February 28, 2013

St. Patty's Day: 10 Club Ideas

In 2013 St. Patrick's Day falls on Sunday, March 17th. If you hold your "Shamrockin' Club" or "Green Club" on Monday March 18th, you can get great deals that morning on St. Patty clearance items at Wal-mart.  If you don't have a Monday club, I'd recommend celebrating the week before, otherwise St. Patty's day just feels old.

Ten Ideas For Shamrockin' Club

1. Host a "Ms. Shamrock" competition for the ladies similar to the "Mr. Christmas Tree" for the fellas. You can read more about that idea on the Christmas Club idea post and just tweak things to be "shamrocky" instead of "Christmas Treey."

2. Let your character host for the evening be "Patty O'Furniture" Green tights, red wig, bow tie, shamrock shades (see #3 below), irish hat, beard, etc... A terrible Irish accent is a must.

3. Order some fun party favors to pass out at club. At Oriental Trading Post you can buy all kinds of novelties for cheap and they do have 2-3 day delivery. You can get shamrock shaped silly bands for ten cents/band; shamrock tattoos for a nickle/tat; etc... You can also buy some pretty sweet shamrock shades at this website for $3/pair if u buy 12 or more.

4. Download some Irish background music for free from this website

5. Game: Have a relay race where teams race to shoot marshmallows out of the noses into a bowl of lucky charms sitting on someone's head.

6. Have everyone dress in green. If they don't then pinch them. Not an original idea, but pinching people is fun.

7. Game: An Irish Jig dance competition doing dances like this one but probably funnier if you made a video ahead of time.

8. Mixer: "Feeling lucky?" Give one student $5 or $10 and tell him/her to give it to the 11th person that shakes their hand. Have everyone shake hands and meet someone new and tell them what's going on. Play some Irish Jig in the background.

9. Game: (stolen from Have 3 teams of two come up and whoever finishes a two-liter of Mountain Dew and a small bag of Lucky Charms wins!!

10. Skit: (also stolen from and If you haven't used the classic YL skit "Little Nemo" in a while, now's a good time to do it with Lil Nemo being a Leprechaun.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Harlem Shake: Young Life Editions

Yesterday posted some hilarious YL versions of the Harlem Shake. Check those out here.

Below are ten others that have been sent in. Thanks to all those who emailed and tweeted at us! We're doing 'Walking Dead club' this upcoming Monday and will be filming a 'Zombie Shake' that I hope to share on the blog next week. -Drew

The Windy Gap Shake
via @Sir_Walpole_III

The Malibu Shake
via @ConnerMertens

Park Hill YL
via @bailieoconnell

The Wyldlife Shake 
via @jacobrkerr

The Quest Shake
via @ktallmanmusic

West Point Club Beyond Shake
via @bekahsiau


Nease/Bartram Shake
via @PaThomas15

Maryville, TN Shake: Heritage High 
via @JoeGregory14

Wenatchee Shake
via @KyleEberth

JMA/GMC Shake 
via @jccrain

Add the link to your club's Harlem Shake in the comments below.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hang Glider Need/Sin Talk Illustration

With enough effort, we can accomplish anything.
At least that's the promise of the American dream.

The lie is... 
We can be our own gods.
We don't need God. 
We don't need His power.
We have our own will power. 

In a need or sin talk, it's important to illustrate how our own power fails us. To show how we need Someone who never will fail us.

This video is a short and sweet opener to illustrate that point.

There are tons of other 'fail' videos online that are hilarious. I like this one because of the song that plays with it, "I Believe I Can Fly." 

We either believe:


When we arrive at the latter and become convinced our own efforts will always fail us, only then can we realize that we NEED Jesus.

We don't go to the doctor until we're convinced we're sick.

That's the job of a need/sin talk. To remind us all that we have a disease we can not cure. And there's only One who can. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You Might Be A Young Life Leader If...


You can't check Instagram on M or W bc your high school friends post too many inappropriate pictures.  #ManCrushMonday #WomenCrushWednesday

You might be a @younglifeleader if you own more than 15 hawaiian shirts or spatulas #allcampvolleyballtournament

#youmigtbeayounglifeleader if you regularly schedule things at random times besides club and campaigners- Dinner @ 5:42pm?

If your idea of a nutritious fall friday night meal is a hot dog, stadium nachos, and a blow pop you might be a YL leader.

If you have had window chalk on your back windsheild for over a year then you might be a @YoungLifeLeader

If you are not that much older than your high school friends you lead, but still call them your kids, you might be a @YoungLifeLeader!

If you have to explain to kids why you have two full marching band uniforms in your trunk then your probably a YL leader.

#youmigtbeayounglifeleader if the contents of your trunk are: skates, life jackets and a trash bag full of stuffed animals

If you have a box of dress up clothes and you're in your 20s you might as well be a YoungLife leader.

If you've ever bought more than a hundred goldfish at once, you might be a @YoungLifeLeader

#YoumightbeaYoungLifeLeader if it seems normal to eat your dessert at a restaurant without using your hands.

You might be a YL when you take your bf/gf to a high school basketball game for date night... after Chipotle

You might be a @younglifeleader if you are still selling pizza kits and cookie dough at age 26 #Camp #Bestweekofmyhighschoolfriendslives

#youmightbeayounglifeleader if you drive a mini-van and have no kids of your own.

If you can't sleep on Sunday nights because you know club is on Monday you might be a #YoungLifeLeader

If you own Chacos, Toms, Five Finger shoes, NorthFace and Patagonia Items an love Jesus! Your prolly a #Younglife leader

If you have no money, and still pay for EVERYONE'S food... you might be a @YoungLifeLeader #aftercampproblems

If you're 23 and you catch yourself using highschool lingo in everyday conversation, you might be a @YoungLifeLeader.

If you shove your brand new couch in the back of a pickup, just to take pictures, you might be a @YoungLifeLeader

youmightbeaylleader if you spend every afternoon in the car pool lane and have no kids of your own

If you're blowing all your money on coffee dates with highschoolers, you might be a @YoungLifeLeader

You might be a @YoungLifeLeader if you hear a funny story and say, "that would be great for a talk!"

You might be a @YoungLifeLeader if you make it into the hs yearbook at any age above 20.

If you are accustomed to getting weird looks at the Wal-Mart checkout line for what you are buying.

If you eat at Chick-fil-A 2-3 times a week you might be a YL Leader

You might be a @YoungLifeLeader if the highlight of your week is a Tyler Perry movie marathon with girls on a Friday night.

if you've eaten weird stuff in front of a group just for fun, you might be a @YoungLifeLeader

If you get a wig as a Christmas present from your area director, you might be a @YoungLifeLeader.

You know youre a @YoungLifeLeader & teacher when you spend most of your planning period working out club details and enjoy it #totalYLmove

You might be a YL leader if your car is full of costumes, camp flyers and Sonic bags.

If you had to tear down a wall in your kitchen to make room for more kids to eat at the table you might be a @YoungLifeLeader

You know you're a @YoungLifeLeader when you're excited to set your alarm for 5am on a Friday to "Wake Kids Up with YL"

If you're 22 and attending middle school sports yet aren't related to any of the players you might be a Wyldife leader.

You might be a Young Life leader, if... You know ALL the lyrics to more than one Miley Cyrus songs.

If a large majority of your timeline posts are RT's from @totalYLmove @YoungLife or @YoungLifeLeader you might be a #YLleader.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Family Camp Song Suggestions

Our Weekend Family Camp is coming up in a few weeks. Does anyone have any suggestions for songs to do in club? So far here are some ideas we already have:
  • Party in the USA
  • What Makes You Beautiful
  • Baby by Bieber
  • Twist and Shout
  • Sweet Caroline
  • Smile by Uncle Kracker
  • Go Bananas song
  • Blindman
  • Sing Alleluia
  • Prince of Peace
  • Light the Fire
  • Can't Nobody

Please offer any other family friendly suggestions in the comment area below.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Raffle Prize That Keeps on Giving

Here's an idea for a raffle or game prize that will keep kids invested week to week, shared by David Page, Area Director in Greensboro, NC. 

Start with something small, like a foil fast food wrapper.  The winner takes it home and adds to it as much as he/she wants.  The ball is brought back to club and then goes home with the next winner, and so forth. By the end of the semester your club will end up with a huge foil ball.  You can celebrate the progress at the last club by cutting it open.  It is pretty funny to see all of the layers inside.  
Another idea with a similar premise is to give an actual door as a "door prize" each week.  The winner decorates the door and brings it back the next week.  It is a lot fun to see the final effect.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Brand New YL Committee Recruiting Site

If your area is looking for a tool to recruit new folks to join your local YL committee, check out this new helpful website:

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Campaigners Books Winner Is...

Thanks to everyone who left comments on this post to win 'Graceful' by Emily P. Freeman for your entire Campaigners group.  

The random number generator selected comment #42, so congrats to Corenna Hoyt in Rhode Island for winning. Corenna, email us your mailing address and how many gals are in your Campaigners group and we'll send the books your way.

If you didn't win, you can purchase 'Graceful' for only $5 here. 

And check out Emily's other book, 'Grace for the Good Girl,' to read on your own. My wife has led a group of college YL leaders through it and it was a huge blessing to those ladies. It's on sale this week at Amazon for only $5.60.

You can always read Emily's blog here for free. 
There will be another chance to win a different book for your Campaigners group in a couple weeks. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday & The Season of Lent: A Campaigners Discussion

Originally posted Feb. 2012
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. I didn't start practicing Lent until college when our Regional Director taught on the spiritual practice at a YL leadership meeting. With each year, this Lenten season grows more personally significant and is consistently a time of deeper intimacy with the Lord.

The term 'Lent' comes from the English word Lenten (lengthen), referring to the season of the lengthening of the days, the Spring. Ash Wednesday, the first day in the Lenten season, traditionally has been a day of repentance. Ben Witherington writes "The remorse for sin is symbolized by the imposition of ashes (on the forehead), but in that imposition is the sign of hope, for the ashes are imposed in the sign of the cross—the means by which our sins were atoned for."

During our Campaigners group this week we talked in detail about Lent. Understanding a relationship with a God they can't see or touch often feels intangible to a high schooler. Yet, it seems the concept of Lent is something they can wrap their minds around, something they can actually do.

At Campaigners we discussed the concept of Lent through the metaphor of athletic training, one quite familiar to most the guys. In order for an athlete to excel, they must prepare. When you watch an Olympian break a record, you know they didn't just walk out there and get lucky. Their performance happened because of years of repetitive behavior.

Lent also involves preparation, prepping our hearts to grasp the power of the cross (Good Friday) and the hope of empty tomb (Easter). One way we can prepare is the same way athletes prepare, with repetitive behavior. We can set our mind to do almost anything for 40 days.

A Few Suggestions I Threw Out To Our Campaigner Group

A nightly time of written confession in a locked document on their laptops or phones, or in a hidden journal. Three sections of specific confession each night, "Thoughts," "Words," and "Deeds." (based on the Book of Common Prayer general confession)

Giving up a bad habit that will be hard, but doable. Some guys are giving up porn, alcohol, masturbation, sex, weed, etc... (things that should be given up anyways, but hopefully Lent will be a catalyst to some better life habits following these 40 days.)

Giving up a comfort that will be hard, but doable. Some guys are giving up things that aren't necessarily "bad", but things they consistently run to for pleasure instead of God. Ex: desserts, fast food, soda, Netflix, iPhone games, video games, Twitter, etc..

Taking on a new habit replacing an old one. Instead of playing iPhone games or reading Twitter before bed, reading a chapter of the Bible on the YouVersion app on their phone. Lent just a behavior modification program? Not at all, but it is still important to modify behavior because behavior often influences belief. By choosing to purposefully give up a comfort or habit of pleasure, we take our eyes off of ourselves, our needs and our wants. Before we can fix our eyes on Jesus, we must stop being so preoccupied with the idol of our own flesh.

Dr. Chuck DeGroat writes, " an intentional season...where we’re challenged to arrange our lives in such a way as to be daily frustrated. As people addicted to comfort and convenience, we’re often unaware of how we live to feel good about ourselves, to gain a bit of affirmation, to exert influence, to maximize our own pleasure, to satisfy our immediate needs. Lent invites us to intentionally frustrate ourselves, to engage in a season of deprivation, which actually makes us more aware of the depth of our dependence on any number of things – a substance, our reputation, control, achievement, being right, being comfortable, being secure....Lent is not about going off chocolate or caffeine or alcohol. It’s about frustrating what Thomas Merton calls our 'false self'....Lent strips us of everything that is not us. In that sense, Lent is not a chore. It is an opportunity for profound grace by a God who longs to love us at our core, not in our false projected self which desire influence and accolades, but in our truest, most humble and dependent self, once lost but now found in the wilderness of Lent." Read the full post from Dr. DeGroat's here. 

It's not too late for you to start Lent personally, or to do it with your Campaigner group. Even if you start next week, you have over a month before Easter. Below are two helpful resources that can help you get started.

Ty Saltzgiver's "40 Days of Lent"
Ty is a Vice President for YL and was my first Regional Director in NC. Many of you have read his book, "My First 30 Quiet Times." "40 Days of Lent" is the same small size that fits in many Bibles, easy to read in the daily format, and a helpful tool to hand to your Campaigners group. You can get it here for only $1.99 in hard copy or as an e-book.

Henri Nouwen's "Show Me The Way"
Henri Nouwen (pronounced Henry Now-Win) is one of my favorite authors. You could really pick up any of his books to help prepare you for Easter during the Lenten season, but "Show Me The Way" is specifically designed for that purpose. If you haven't read Nouwen yet, be prepared to encounter Jesus in a fresh way.

Posted by Drew Hill.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The YL Wall of Fame

One of our readers shared this great idea to incorporate into club week to week. 

"We photograph our game winners each week posing with a tiny plastic trophy. The next week we add their 8x10 pic to the wall of fame. Kids love seeing their fabulous mugs up on the wall."

What do you do for prizes at club? 

Other ideas:

Lunch with a leader

Monday, February 11, 2013

How To Get Kids To Camp: Eliminating The Five Excuses

Most of us are convinced there are few better ways to introduce our friends to the Gospel than at Young Life camp. 

Most of us are also currently discouraged because many of our friends will not get that chance this summer.

Why not?  Why are kids not going to camp?  

Over the years I continue to hear five main reasons why my high school friends say they can't go to camp.   

The Five Excuses
In a majority of cases, we can help eliminate these excuses.
Last year we published a series of posts sharing some practical ways to do that.  You can link to those posts above and also download a PDF of the compiled version here.  Feel free to make copies and share it with other leaders in your area. 

Posted by Drew Hill

Friday, February 8, 2013

"Graceful, Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life"- Win Copies For YourCampaigners Group

Female Young Life leaders, I am excited to share with you an amazing Campaigners resource from one of my good friends. Meet Emily Freeman and her newest book Graceful. Emily is the woman behind

Years ago Emily hosted a weekend for high school girls called 'Good Girl Weekend.' It was here she discovered young women believing the lie that what they do is who they are. Emily wrote her first book Grace For the Good Girl as a result of Good Girl Weekends. Here is how she describes her newest book Graceful:
"For the good test taker and the strict list maker. For the rule follower, the fear wallower, the messy, and the misunderstood. For the self-critic, the silent judge, and the girl who feels invisible. For the girl who is tired of trying and the one afraid to fail.

You don’t have to be perfect, but do you trust the One who is? The God who came to save you also came to live with you, in you, today."

And if you still aren't convinced watch this.

Win FREE copies of Graceful for your entire Campaigners group by commenting below! Leave your first/last name and your YL area. One winner will randomly be chosen next week.
“Graceful made me think about how much I want to be valued by other people. I realized that I don’t need to do anything to be important because God made me in His image, and I have value because of Him.” -Kylie Jones, high school senior
 --post by Megan Harvey, YL leader in Greensboro, NC

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Guest Post: Hunger Games Club

Hey guys! My name is Alex Ridenour and I am on staff in Costa Rica with the International Schools.  My team and I recently worked extremely hard to recreate a Young Life event the Real Life Hunger Games. I know there have been many other parodies of the Hunger Games but we wanted to truly recreate it.  So we began by watching the movie again, having a late night planning session with pizza for hours, and then spending 2 whole days prepping the materials for this club.   All that to say, I did not want our hard work to go unused, so that is why I am sharing it with you now!  We hosted our event last week; it was a blast and huge success!! I think Young Life events are a great way to draw in more kids that might not be as open to coming to normal club as well. I hope you can benefit from our hard work and enjoy a fun YL version of the Hunger Games!! 

Detailed Rundown of the Event
Upon arrival Kids are welcomed by Capitol people and placed in their districts
Katniss and Effie officially welcome them to the Capitol and
they begin training practice.

Target practice: mark out a target on the ground with chalk or aim for the center with water balloons or fruit to smash [like Peeta’s strength]

Balloon Shooting: make faces on blown-up balloons, tie strings to them, and attach them to some sort of weight to hold them down…kids will have nerf guns, bow and arrows, darts/plastic knives to aim at the “people” [like Katniss shooting at the body outlines with her bow]

Hunger Games Trivia:  To study past tributes experiences

Q: Where did Peeta learn how to camouflage himself?
A: He decorated cakes in his dad’s

Q: What is the name of Katniss’ sister?
A: Primrose.

Q: What district are Katniss and Peeta from?
A: District 12.

Q: Who is Katniss’ best friend?
A:  Gabe.

Q: What was the pin that Katniss wore during the games?
A: Mockingjay.

Q: What is Katniss’ weapon of choice?
A: Bow and arrow.

Q: How did Katniss and Rue communicate during the games?
A: Whistling to
Mockingjay birds.

Q: What is Katniss’ nickname?
A: "The
Girl on Fire" or "Catnip".

Q: Who is the stylist for District 12?
A: Cinna.

Q: What color is the backpack that Katniss grabs from the cornucopia?
A:  Orange.

 Q: When living in district 12, before the hunger games, who does Katniss often sell    strawberries to?
 A: The mayor.
Q: Each district is known for something. What does district 4 represent?
A: Fishing industry.

 Q: What does Katniss shoot in order to blow up the other tributes’ pile of food?
 A: A bag of apples

 Q: How many fingers does Katniss hold up when showing respect with her district and for Rue?
 A: 3 fingers

Fire-Berries-Tracker Jacker Train Game (like Rock-Paper-Scissors Train Game): Introduce as "Alliances are good and a necessity for survival, but the only way to do it is this game..." Fire beats berries, berries beat tracker jackers, tracker jackers beat fire. Stop the game when there are 4 teams (Alliances).

Objectives given before launched:

Tell kids to work with their alliances that they made previously to entering the arena during training.

Build your makeshift hut: kids can use things around them to make hiding places.

Camouflage Yourself: kids have some paint, leaves, twigs, and tape to make themselves blend into the background/nature [like Peeta did with painting himself]

Warn them there will be Game Makers.

I also recommend making boundary rules that fit your setting!

Cornucopia/Steal the Bacon: kids round up [just like the entry of the game] with all the “packs” of tents/weapons/paints/rope up front…all go for them at once!

Balloon Lives: Each kid gets 2 balloons, one for each ankle. Their balloons equal their life. If both balloons are popped, they are eliminated. Like the common game.

Cannon sounds: When a kid gets eliminated, play a cannon sound and put their picture on the screen with their name (and their district #?)

Game Makers: Throughout the games, leaders will throw water balloons, ‘dogs’ –humans chasing the kids- come out, dried beans as tracker jackers, take ketchup and mark kids’ arms/legs/etc. Each limb that is marked cannot be used because its been injured.


  • Chalk
  • Masking tape
  • 6 papayas/ water balloons
  • balloons (water and regular) 60-80
  • tug of war rope
  • sheets/tarps
  • fun noodles (for bows and swords)
  • foam bats
  • sling shots
  • dried beans
  • marshmallows
  • face/camo paint
  • 3 bottles of ketchup
  • caution tape
  • paper flames
  • string (for balloons)
  • streamers maybe?- mark off boundaries and flames out of paper for fire wall
  • Bow and arrow maybe?—we made our own out of string and wood and fun noodles and string.

- Interview Guy-

These are just the ones we did you can make them fit your leaders and we also had to leaders just be Capitol people who were sponsors.  The sponsors were nice to have as a threat to calm and control the kids.

Club Line Up

-Effie will assign districts as people come in. Use stickers with district numbers.
- Introduction: Effie says, Welcome to the 76th annual hunger games, may the odds be ever in your favor,” etc.
-Training games: Katniss and Cinna (“here to help prepare you for the games..” etc.)
-target practice
-balloon game
-tug of war?
-Trivia game:
Alliance building: Katniss
Explanation of what’s going on in the arena: Caesar
-Launched into the arena- Effie and Katniss
Game Makers- everyone
Announcements: Caesar


Thanks, Alex, for this theme club idea! Let us know how you have incorporated pop culture to create theme clubs in your area. Here's how you submit a guest post.