First, middle school kids are in different places developmentally so club should be planned to meet the needs of younger kids.
Second, these kids might be involved in the ministry for 6-7 years and might get bored if they experience the same clubs year after year.
Here are a few ideas:
- Consider different locations for club. If Young Life meets in homes, host WyldLife at the school or a local recreation center. Holding WyldLife before or after school also helps with transportation.
- Occasional club activities like kickball, Bunco and scavenger hunts are ideal for high-energy middle school kids. Let kids play and spend time with leaders, then end the time with a talk.
- Designate certain events or themes in your area as WyldLife-only and others as Young Life-only. Perhaps WyldLife kids get to enjoy crud wars and Hat Club while high school kids get to experience drive-in movies at the park and Mustache Club.
- WyldLife clubs typically feature fewer songs and skits and more mixers/games that include everyone. Middle school kids can be uncomfortable singing and would rather participate in mixers than be entertained by walk-on characters.
- Keep a record of the games, skits and mixers you use. If the new freshmen just played Human Twister at their last WyldLife club of the year, don’t play the same game at their first Young Life club.
- Train high school seniors to be WyldLife leaders and help with club. Serving as WyldLife leaders can give kids a new perspective on their high school club, as well. When they understand the “whys” of club, they will be excited to bring friends.
Written by Julie Clapp.