Salt & Light Retreat Resource Manual
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Another Shoe Game
Everybody takes of a shoe from one side (lets say right side) and throw that shoe in a pile. Then everybody grab (at random) a shoe from the pile and put in on. Now the aim is to pair up the shoes. Each person must find the people who are wearing the same shoes as he/she is, and stand such that the pair of shoes are together. E.g. I'm wearing my shoe A and somebody's shoe G, I must find the person who is wearing the other shoe A, and stand so that pair of shoes are together (AA), and I must find someone wearing shoe G, and put my shoe G with his/her shoe G. Both shoes A and shoes G should be together in space and time (i.e. the object is to form a sort of a line or 'twister' kind of formation where all the shoes have been paired up.) 
Barnyard game
There are several ways of doing this. Either in the dark or in a lighted room. Dark is a lot more fun, but you need to make sure none of the adults are playing (because of liability and Harassment). It does work well in a lighted room too. While the "kids" (Term used loosely - since most of the people reading this would probably consider me a kid at 20) are coming into the room assign them animals (i.e.: Donkey, Chicken, Horse, and Elephant; get creative). Tell them not to tell anyone what animal they are. They have to find everyone else with the same animal that they have. They do this by making the animal sounds (They may NOT talk). Give them a while, and when it seems like they've all found their groups, let them stop. You can also play other games with the groups they've made. They can do some mixers in the small groups - get to know each other.  NOTE: You can have each group hold hands once they've found their group - Jr. Hi Usually Loves the idea, and High School usually doesn't really care.
 Birdie on a Perch
Have everyone get a partner. Have them decide who is the birdie and who is the perch. Have all the birdies stand in a circle and all the perches stand in a circle surrounding the birdies. Have music ready. When the music starts, the birdies walk clockwise around the circle and the perches walk counter-clockwise. When the music stops, the birdies must find their perches and sit on them. Usually the perch kneels on one knee, making a perch out of the other leg. The last couple to pair up is out and the object is to be the last couple left. It's more fun if you make them move quickly in their circles so that they are at least jogging. To speed it up, you can make the last 3    (or more) couples to pair up be out.
Body Part Musical Chairs
Have everyone form a big circle of chairs with the chairs facing outward. Remove one chair. Have music ready. When the music starts everyone must walk around the chairs (again it's fun if you make them jog).  When the music stops, a caller yells out a body part. Then everyone races to touch that body part to a chair, one person per chair only. If they touch a chair before the body part is called, they are out. The one person who doesn't get a chair is also out.  To speed it up, you can remove more chairs. We usually start out simple - nose, hair, left elbow, etc. but towards the end we get more complicated - your bare feet, someone else's left hand (they must grab one of the people who are already out). The object is to be the last one left.
“Boom Chicka Boom”
Person leading: "I Say a BOOM"
cast: "I say a Boom"
leader: "I say a boom - chicka "
cast: "I say a boom-chicka"
Leader: "I say a boom-chicka-boom"
cast: "I say a boom-chicka-boom"
leader: "I say a boom-chicka-rocka-chicka-rocka-chicka-boom"
cast: "I say a boom-chicka-rocka-chicka-rocka-chicka-boom"
leader "Oh yeah"
cast: "Oh yeah"
leader: "One more time"
cast: "One more time"
leader: "In _____ (opera, jive, rap, preacher revival, sign language, whisper, sexy, valley girl, fast, slow, etc.)"
1. The leader leads this with the cast or class. Each time he changes the style and the class must follow.
Bring Back My Bonny
This is a good mixer to do with all ages and lasts about 5 minutes.  Get the group into a large circle and have a leader stand in the middle and explain the idea.  The idea of this game is that every time the leader says a word beginning with a B the group stands up or sits down, depending upon if you are standing or sitting at that time.  The leader should make sure the group understands and then starts to sing the song “Bring Back my Bonny”:  
My Bonny lies over the ocean.  My Bonny lies over the sea.
My Bonny lies over the ocean.  Oh bring back my Bonny to me.
Bring back, bring back, bring back my Bonny to me, to me (sing the line 2 times)
Captain’s Calling
This is a great blood pumping game for all ages and it lasts about 15 minutes.  You must choose one leader to be the captain.  This person is usually outgoing and loud.  Then you must have one of the leaders be a jailer.  Have the captain explain all the rules and control the game.  Have the group form lines, one behind the other, facing front.  Then have the captain explain that this game is a lot like Simon says.  You are crew members on a ship and I am your captain.  Whatever I say to do, you do.  If you disobey my orders then you go to jail, where the jailer will make you do push ups and jumping jacks (This is a good deterrent for the slackers to try).  When the captain says stern, the crew must run backwards.  When the captain says bow, the crew must come to the front.  When the captain says port, the crew must go left.  When the captain says starboard, the crew must go right.  Make sure the crew understands these directions before you go on.  The rest of the commands should be done when the captain says the call and they do not stop until the captain says captain’s calling.  When the captain says this, the crew must stand back at attention.  One of these commands is captain’s ball, where 2 people get together and dance with one another.  The person who is left out is out.  The crew must dance until the captain says captain’s calling.  If the captain says stern before he says captain’s calling and some people go backwards, they are out because they must be at attention before they can do any other action.  The other actions are rowboat, where three people get together and row a boat.  The people left standing are out.  There is also octopus, where 4 people get together and sit back to back and kick their legs up.  Then finally there is starfish, where 6 people link arms and swing around in a circle.  The game ends when there are two people left.  This gets the retreatants up and going and excited about the retreat.
Cinderella’s Shoe
This is an icebreaker that is great for all ages and lasts about 15 minutes.  Have the group find a partner and have the pair sit next to one another in a circle.  Now that everybody has a partner, take blindfolds and blindfold one of the partners in each pair.  Once at least one person per pair is blindfolded, tell the non blindfolded person to take off one shoe and throw it in the middle of the circle.  When a leader says go, all the blindfolded people have to go to the middle and bring back the right shoe that belongs to their partner.  Their partner can scream and yell from their seats, but cannot touch them or physically guide them to their shoe.  The blindfolded person must bring back the right shoe in order for the game to be stopped and Cinderella to live happily ever after. 
Crows and Cranes
Find a stick or other fairly sized object that is two sided. Pick two teams-crows and cranes. When the object lands on one side, crows chase cranes. When on the other side, the opposite happens. The teams start facing each other and a line is designated behind each as the goal. If the crows chase the cranes, the cranes have to get past their line before they are tagged. If they are tagged they become a crow. This lasts FOREVER!!!
Do you love your neighbor?
Here's a icebreaker that they can play as a group. With chairs formed in a circle, make sure everyone has a chair, you will then take away one chair and you can decide who will be the person that's out. The person that is out will go up to another person, and have that person stand up and they will switch places (person out now has that persons chair) still remain standing and face to face person that was out, asks "do you love your neighbor" ? New person out says Yes especially those who have eyebrows!  Then all must leave their seats and can only run to the chair open across from them, they may not move to the seat that is to either side of them. The group has only three chances to say no, to the question "do you love your neighbor"? When saying no, all must leave their seats and find another seat. Example for other replies to do you love your neighbor are, especially those who love Jesus, those who play basketball, those who are wearing T-shirts, or the color of clothing etc... If no is replied the fourth time, the game is over. It gets pretty loud, but the teenagers love this game.
A Frog’s Perspective
This story starts off with a guy walking in with no emotion on his face, but has a (hopefully stuffed) frog on his head.  Then he begins his story, staying without emotion the whole time.  I have a friend who had the weirdest problem you’d ever heard of.  He had a frog stuck to his head.  So he went to many different doctors throughout the United States and nobody could help him.  So he finally went to this one doctor that all the other doctors he went to recommended to see.  He walked to the receptionist’s desk and signed.  It just so happened that the doctor saw my friend while he was walking down the hall.  The doctor did not know what to do because he never had seen anything like this before.  So he called his Harvard professor and researched different books, but couldn’t find an answer.  Finally the doctor told the receptionist to let him in, since he was sitting in the waiting room for a very long time.  Once he got into the examination room the doctor asked my friend what the problem was.  My friend just stood there looking at the doctor.  The doctor asked again, “What seems to be the problem?”  Still no answer from my friend just a blank stare.  Finally the doctor exclaimed, “If you do not tell me what the problem is then I cannot help you and you will have to leave.”  As the doctor said this the frog spoke up and said, “Can you please help me get this wart off my ass.”  This story just goes to show you that you can take different perspectives on a similar issue.  You can be open to what the retreat has to offer or you can look at this retreat as a total drag.  It is all in your perspective.  
Fruit Game
This is a fun icebreaker for all ages and lasts about 10-15 minutes.  Have the large group form a circle with their chairs facing inward.  Have everyone go around and state a fruit. Tell them to remember their fruit name and that nobody can choose the same fruit.  Then choose one volunteer from the audience and remove his chair.  Hand a towel or rag to the volunteer.  He is the person who is “it”.  He must tag any person that is standing up before he/she sits back down in his/her chair.  The way the game works is the person who is it calls out a fruit.  Then the person who chose that fruit stands up and states his fruit and another fruit before sitting back down in their seat.  Then the new fruit stands up and states her fruit name and another fruit name and so on.  These people must say their fruit name, another fruit name, and sit down before the person who is it tags them with the towel.  If the person gets tagged before he/she sits down then they are the new person that is it.  The one rule is that the person who is it cannot attempt to hurt anybody or throw the towel.  If people start memorizing the people with the fruit names then it is time to stop the game.   
This is a good in-between game for all ages.  One person stands up front on a chair and explains to the large group that all they have to do is clap every time he crosses his hands.  The leader should cross his hands two or three times then fake one and see how many people clap.  Some people will.  Then you can slow down your crossing motion or even tell them how many times you are going to cross your hands.  People will still clap.  Do not do it too long because it gets old pretty quick.
Have you ever...?
Any Size Group
Inside Game w/ Chairs
Have them sit in a circle with one less chair than people. Odd person is in the middle. They say have you ever...fell asleep in church? Or, cheated on a test?, etc. Everyone that it applies to has the get up and move at least 5 chairs from where they were sitting. The person in the middle tries to get a seat and so someone else will be left in the middle. It works best to not only be specific but general as well - "Have you ever attended this YG before?"
Caution: Sometimes it gets rough! Make sure they don't shove each other over the chairs.  
I'm Going to New York
1. Break the class into two teams. Place them on opposite sides of the room.
Team one decides on an occupation that they will act out for the other team to guess. Team one then moves toward the other team while saying the following dialogue:
Team one: We're going to New York
Team two: What's your trade?
Team one: Lemonade
Team two: Give us some, or go away.
2. The students then act out the occupation and the other team two guesses out loud. When one student guesses what the occupation is team one tries to run back to their side before being tagged by team two. Everyone who is tagged returns back to team two's side.
3. You may also act out different things that are being studied or, for younger ages, animals or other objects.
LaVida Tag
Any Size Group
Break the group into two. Have them line up shoulder to shoulder facing the other group about 10 feet away. (This should make two rows of people standing side by side looking at each other 10' apart. Choose two people on the end. One is it the other gets chased. They have to run around and between the two lines of people until one is tagged. Boring, right?  Here's where it gets fun. The person being chased can run up behind someone and push them  in the back into the middle where they become the one being chased. The person being chased can only make someone else run by pushing them into the middle from behind.  Now "IT" is outside the rows and the other person is inside. Let them play like this for a while until they get used to it.  Now add this rule; If you are in the rows you can turn around and face the person trying to push you in and not allow them to change positions with you by facing that person. Another option is to have the rows move until they are about 1 foot apart. (This makes it really difficult for the person being chased).
Link Tag (Elbow Tag or Pac Man)
Any Number (Even Number of People)
Indoors or Out All Ages Athletic!
Everyone splits off into two and finds a space within the play area. They then link arms. The youth leader picks a twosome as volunteers! One member of the twosome is IT and the other runs from IT. This works like a normal game of chasing except that the person who is running can grab the free arm of any person in any other twosome at any point they like. When they do this they become a part of the twosome and the original member of the twosome who was not grabbed must now run from IT and try and link up with another twosome. If IT catches the victim, then the victim becomes IT and It becomes the victim and must run and link up with another group.
Musical Circles
Have each person find a partner. Have them make two circles - one inside the other (each partner should be in a different circle facing their partner.) The object is to be the last couple in the game. NOTE: you'll need a CD player or tape player.  When the music is ON they should be walking around in their circles - In opposite directions. (i.e.: inner circle clockwise and outer circle counter-clockwise.) When you STOP the music yell out 2 body parts (i.e.: foot and ear) and they need to find their partner and connect the body parts (i.e...touch one persons foot to the other person's ear). They need to hold their position until you tell them to circle up again. After a couple of practice rounds, start calling the last 2 or 3 couples out, and have them sit by the side. If you have some good music, have them clapping with the music to keep from getting bored (or in trouble) You can use
any number of body parts i.e.: rump, knee, foot, ear, head, nose, etc...usually as a last one - when there's only a couple of couples left, (for the older kids) use something like nose to nose, or nose to ear... they don't really end up doing anything, but it looks incriminating, and the hesitation can often be funny.
Pass the Carrot
Have everyone form a circle.  Place a carrot between the knees of the tallest person; he or she must pass the carrot to the knees of the person to the left without using their hands.  This continues until the carrot goes entirely around the circle.  Then break off a piece of the carrot and pass it around again.  If a person drops the carrot, he or she is out of the game.  The last person left is the winner.  Give him or her a fresh carrot to take home.
People to People (Anatomy Clumps)
This is good for all ages.  Have the large group stand in a circle.  Have a leader call out a body part and a number. (ie. 5 elbows)  Everyone has to immediately get into groups of five with their five elbows sticking together in the center.  Keep doing this with different body parts and numbers.  The last one should be a ridiculous number with a ridiculous body part (ie. eyelashes).  No one will do it and they will probably sit back down.  They now know the game is over.   
Pharaoh, Pharaoh
This is a great song icebreaker that last about 5 -10 minutes and is good for all ages.  You will need to play the song “Pharaoh, Pharaoh” by Steve Angresano for this activity.  One of the leaders goes up front to explain the hand motions for the song.  The motions follow the words to the song.  The first words of the song are “Pharaoh, pharaoh”, so the group puts their hands together over their head and makes like and Egyptian.  Then the next motion is two quick claps.  After that, the words are “Oh Baby”.  This is when the group makes an O with their hands together over their heads.  After you have the O, hold your hands together and swing them down to your belly, making like you are pregnant (Baby).  Then next line is “Let my people go.”  This is when the group points with both of their hands in front of them with their index fingers and then draws back their hands to point backwards with their thumbs.  Then the group does a Pelvic thrust for the “Uh” sound.  Then Steve sings “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.”  This is when the group walks like an Egyptian.  Then one verse starts and the group just dances and claps their hands.  Then you repeat this action when the refrain comes back.  Now you are ready to start the song.  It is a lot of fun if the group is open to it, but if they are not open, it could be a disaster.  
Pile Up (Traffic Jam)
This ice breaker is good for all ages.  Have the large group sit in chairs in a large circle.  The activity leader calls out directions such as, “Everyone who listens to Michael Jackson move two chairs to your right.”  Then the people who like Michael Jackson move two places to the right and sit in that chair or on the person’s lap who is still sitting there.  This continues with other questions.  This is why we call this game pile up or traffic jam.  At some point there will be tall piles of people and empty chairs.  If a person who is being sat on agrees with the question then he moves without the pile.  The questions are individually based and not pile based.  Questions can deal with clothing, personalities, hobbies, etc.
Pope Visit
This is not an activity, but a story joke.  This is good for a transitional icebreaker between talks or calling people back together on a longer retreat.  It goes like this:
My friend and I went to Italy this past summer because we wanted to see the Pope.  When we arrived we were walking around aimlessly trying to figure out where exactly we could see His Holiness.  Finally, we pulled aside this nice older lady and asked her, “Where is the best place to see the Pope?”  She replied, “I would recommend standing outside the gate of the Papal Gardens because His Holiness goes there everyday to pray.”  We thanked her kindly and went to the gate of the Papal Gardens.  My friend took out his hibachi and started grilling up some hamburgers for us to eat.  We waited and waited and still the Pope did not come out of the gardens.  My friend then asked me, “What do you think would happen if we hopped this fence?”  At first I thought he was joking , but by the look on his face I knew he was serious.  I replied by saying, “The guards would arrest us for trespassing.”  He said, “Oh!”  Then I turned around and enjoyed the sights.  When I turned back towards him all I saw was his butt hanging over the fence.  I said, “What are you doing?”  He replied, “I am tired of waiting.”  Then he hopped down to the ground on the other side of the fence.  He told me to come over also and not to forget his all precious hibachi.  So I threw over the hibachi and climbed over the fence too.  My friend fired up the hibachi again and cooked some more hamburgers.  All of sudden I saw the Pope on top of a hill in the distance and he was making his way towards us.  I was deathly afraid of getting caught so I ran off and hid in some bushes (pointing to the left).  Then I saw the Pope come down to my friend and do this to him (Sign of the cross).  Then the Pope left.  I ran out of the bushes to my friend and said, “That was amazing you got blessed by the Pope.  He replied, “Oh, it was nothing.”  I then said, “Nothing?  You were blessed by the Pope.”  He then stated, “Actually the Pope said that I want you (pointing forward), your hibachi (pointing downward), and your friend in the bushes (pointing left) to get out of my garden (pointing right).”
Pull Up and Reign
number of  people: 15 or up
number of minutes: 10-15
props:  music
retreatants: junior high school, high school, college  
Get the group to bring their chairs into a large circle facing inward.  Pick 2 boys and 2 girls that volunteer from the crowd and get rid of their chairs, so that there are no empty chairs in the circle.  When the music starts the boy and girl need to pull up somebody of the opposite sex.  (E.g.. A boy pulls up a girl)  Then that person pulls up another person of the opposite sex.  This continues until the music stops.  When the music stops you count how many boys and girls are in the middle.  If there are more girls than guys, the guys win.  There are some rules that they must abide by and they are as follows:
You cannot pick up the person right next to you or the person that pulled you up.
You cannot refuse to be pulled up.
You finally cannot whip the person out of their chair.
To make the game more fun, add another boy and girl.
Rainstorm Game
This is a good calm down game that gets everybody ready to listen to a talk.  It is good for all ages and lasts about 10-15 minutes.  Have everyone sit in a large circle facing inward.  Then have one of the leaders explain that they should do whatever he/she does when he/she passes them.  Then they should keep on doing this action until the leader passes them again with a different action.  Emphasis this activity must be done quietly.  The leader starts off by going around the circle snapping his/her fingers.  Then she rubs her hands together.  Then he/she claps her hands.  Then he/she stomps her feet.  After that, it goes back to clapping hands, then to rubbing of hands, to snapping, and finally to silence.  That was a rainstorm, which has helped everyone to be quiet.
Sit the group in a circle. Pick the "leader". Beginning with the leader (#1), number off all the way around the circle. Everyone needs to remember their number. The leader starts the rhythm, which is - clap your hands onto your thigh tops twice, then hand-clap twice, then finger-snap once on the left and then on the right. The leader begins and on the first finger snap says his/her number (which of course is 1) and then on the second finger snap calls out another number (must be in the circle). That person becomes "it". The rhythm keeps going continually - thigh clap/hand clap/snap/snap..... Whomever the leader has identified by calling his number is then ]responsible for calling the next set of numbers on the next finger snaps. First finger snap is his/her number and second one is someone else in the group. Whenever someone misses his number, miscalls, etc., he moves to the end of the circle and becomes whatever the last number was. Everyone else moves up a seat and their numbers change. Kids, seemingly, can play this for hours. The real object is to unseat the "leader" and as people keep progressing, new people assume the "leader" role and try to hold onto it.
This is a great get them up and going icebreaker for any age and lasts about 5 to 10 minutes.  You need one leader to stand up in front of the group to control the action.  Whatever the leader says and does the group has to repeat it.  So the leader starts out by saying, “Shake your foot.”, while shaking his foot.  The leader has to do this in a loud crazy voice.  Then the group starts shaking their feet saying “Shake, shake; shake, shake your foot.”  Then the leader repeats himself and says, “Shake your foot” and the group responds, “Shake, shake; shake, shake your foot.”  The leader then says, “Now freeze!”  The group freezes where they are at.  Then the leader says again, “Shake your foot.”  Then the crowd responds by saying, “Shake, shake; shake, shake your foot.”, while shaking their feet.  Then the leader adds other body parts.  For instance, the leader will say, “Shake your head.”  and the group will respond “Shake, shake; shake, shake your head.”, while shaking their heads.  This follows the same pattern up top.  Then you can add shake your partner also.  This really gets them going! 
Shoe Salesman
There was a man who was a shoe salesman in New York City and he was doing really well with his business.  So he decided to branch out and open a factory in a small village in Africa.  He sent all his developers and engineers over there and everything was going as scheduled.  One day the shoe salesman wanted to see how the factory was doing and set out for Africa.  He arrived in Africa and set out for the village.  When he arrived he noticed that nobody in the village wore shoes.  Stunned, the man called back to New York City and  stated, “You’re never going to believe this, nobody around here wears shoes.  Cancel the order!!!”  Another man who was a shoe salesman in Los Angeles decided to branch out and open a factory in a small village in South America.  He sent all his developers and engineers over there and everything was going as scheduled.  One day the shoe salesman wanted to see how the factory was doing and set out for South America.  He arrived in South America and set out for the village.  When he arrived he noticed that nobody in the village wore shoes.  Stunned, the man called back to Los Angeles and  stated, “You’re never going to believe this, nobody around here wears shoes.  Double the order!!!”
The point is that both shoe salesmen saw the same thing, that nobody was wearing shoes, but they had different reactions.  One saw it as a catastrophe and the other saw it as an opportunity.  You will all see the same things here on this retreat: the same talks, the same skits, the same activities, the same everything.  It is up to you how you are going to react to what you see.  Some of you will close yourself off and say, “What a waste of time, cancel the order.”  While others might be open to the experience and say, “That was great! Double the order!”  It is all up to you. 
Shuffle Your Bunns
Number of people: 10 or up
Number of minutes: 10-15
Retreatants: junior high school, high school, college  
Get everyone to put their chairs into a large circle facing the middle.  Make sure the chairs are tightly packed.  Have one person in the middle.  Also make sure there is one extra chair.  The person tells the group of  people sitting in the chairs to shift one way by yelling out “Left!” or “Right!”  Then the people in the chairs start shifting into the empty seat.  The object for the person in the middle is to sit in that empty seat that all the people are shifting into.  The person in the middle can also catch the group off guard by saying switch, which means the group has to switch the way it was going. (E.g..  If the group was going  left then they have to start going right if the person says switch.)  If  the person finally sits down in the empty chair the person, who was supposed to shift to that chair gets put into the middle. 
Sit Down Game
This game can be used for junior high school, high school, and college.  It should take about 10-15 minutes.  Have everyone gather into one big circle and stand as close to one another as possible.  Have everybody turn to the right and get as close as they can to one another or it will not work.  Then have everyone sit on the knees of the person behind them.  After everyone is settled, or somewhat settled, have everyone walk forward around in the circle without breaking the sit down chain.  It is hard to do and fun to watch.  Enjoy!
Streets and Alleys
Have everyone line up in rows, so that they're kind of in a rectangle. there should be room for people to run in between people.  One person is it and is chasing another. Everyone puts their hands out shoulder height and sideways. This is streets. If they put them up, same height, but front to back, this is alleys. Send the two who are chasing and being chased running through the maze of people. Start with streets. They can not cross the lines of hands. Switch as often as you want. when the two get tired pick other people-they love it!
The Wave With Foam
This is a fun ice breaker to do with a group of middle school kids and lasts only about 10-15 minutes.  I am sure you have done the wave before, either at a baseball game or just for fun.  This is the same concept only the foam is now added.  After a wave crashes on the shore there is a foam that is left behind.  So have the group sit down either in rows, in circle, whatever, it really does not matter the shape of the group.  Have the first three people start the wave by generating it.  Have them stand up and bend over, while spinning their fists over one another.  After they have generated the wave a little they should stand up and scream putting their hands over their head, then sit down.  Then the people next to them stand up and scream putting their hands over their head, and then sit down.  This continues until the wave gets to the end.  The last five people have a very important job, they are the foam.  When the sixth to the last person has finished his wave, the last five people all at once put their hands directly to the right (that is if the wave is going right), while making a crashing sound.  This can be done with various speeds to make the wave more fun.  Use comparisons of real waves to make it more interesting.  Some waves take longer to build up and break.  Some waves are bigger and quicker than other waves.  Have fun building and crashing those waves, dude.