Salt & Light Retreat Resource Manual
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Blind Faith
You need a strong 2x4 or similar that will not break when a kid stands on it. Send some of your youth out of the room and fill in the rest of the youth on what you will be doing. Have two to four of the strongest youth get on the ends of the 2x4 and hold the 2x4 about 6 inches off the ground. One at a time let the youth in and lead them over to the 2x4 blindfold them and have them step onto the 2x4 while holding onto your head for balance. Now tell him/her to jump off of the 2x4. Now have them step back onto the 2x4 and tell them that you are going to have the youth on the end of the 2x4's to raise the 2x4. Now the youth on the end of the 2x4's will kind of shake the ends like they are raising it while you bend your knees so that the person blind folded thinks that the 2x4 is really being raised. Now tell him/her to jump. The main principle behind this is that our faith in God is not a blind faith.
Blindfold Rope Activity
Here's a good game to play when you would like to get an idea of the natural followers and leaders in a group. It requires a big outdoor space and some rope. Oh, and some blind folds. This isn't that new, but I find it to be a great way to watch people and see who the problem solvers and followers are...Get outside and have the kids (this requires as little at 10 to as many as 20). I think 20 is pushing it a bit, though... ANYWAY, have the kids get in a circle and put their blindfolds on. NO PEEKING. The rope you have is a continuous loop long enough to give a space of about five feet between each person... translated: REALLY LONG.  Go around the circle and give each kid the rope. Now tell them to make a square using only their voices and tugs on the rope as communication.  A few things you will see: some people are totally lost, while others immediately jump forward and take control. Another thing I look for are the people with frustrated looks on their faces; you can see the ideas they are having for solving the problem but they never seem to get to say them. These people sometimes turn out to be your best leaders (in my experience).  I would sometimes ask questions about who was leading and who was following.
Blind Trust Walk - Pair up, one partner blindfolded, the other leads them around an obstacle course. After 5 or 10 minutes switch roles. Debrief on difficulty or simplicity of trusting in the person who can see... from Building Community in Youth Groups
Centurion
Age Group: All Youth  
This is a great game to play in the dark - they beg us to play it almost every week. You need 2 flashlights, prayer books and all the doors in your church unlocked and the lights turned off. Appoint 2 'Centurions' and give them each a flashlight. Everyone else is a 'Christian' and must carry a prayer book. Assign a service, like complain. The object of the game for the Centurions is to capture all the Christians. They do this by shining a light on them, but each one can only capture 2 at a time. They must escort the Christians to the jail (which can be any room they
choose and can be moved at the Centurions' discretion). The Centurions cannot guard the jail too closely. For the Christians, the object of the game is for at least x number of them (usually 1 or 2 more than half the total number of Christians) to read the service aloud from beginning to end. If any are captured and you have to find more Christians to complete the service, you have to start from the beginning of the service. A free Christian may free jailed Christians by touching one (but only one at a time).
Domino Race
 
Get a bunch of dominoes. In a small group, give each kid 20 dominoes and have a race challenging them to set them up in a line, on edge (you know, so they tumble and knock each other over...). Tell 'em it's a race to see who can set them up first.
Applications:
1) The domino effect as it relates to lying, drugs, sex ... any sin. It always has its effect on other aspects of life.
2) Start them off on a carpet to make it more difficult. Tell the kids their dominoes have to be less than 3 inches from the floor at all times (no tables). Kids may figure out to use books, board-games or something else as a more stable foundation. Then the discussion focuses on putting Christ as the foundation to our lives.
Electric Fence
Any Size Group
This is a fun game as well as a leadership training scenario. Set up a 15' x 15' area surrounded by a rope on post about 4'-5' high. Place the group inside and tell them they have to get out without touching the rope or the invisible fence from the rope to the ground. (The best solution is to throw people out so make sure your not playing on broken glass, etc.)  You will get a chance to see their problem solving skills as well as how they work together. If they have trouble suggest that they get the biggest people out first and leave the smallest person to be picked up last.
The Jungle
1. Have everyone pair off. One person in each pair will be blindfolded.
2. Change some furniture around so to create more of an obstacle course.
3. Have the seeing students come to the front, and the blindfolded will stay in the room. One pair will be "it". They want to catch everyone else. This happens by everyone listening to their partner who is telling them where to go. When someone is caught, he
can remove his blindfold and watch the rest of the game.
4. In round two, when the partners change positions, have the seeing partners allowed to move around the room and tell them where to go. They can whisper or talk loudly, but they can't touch their blind partner.
Narrow Road
Lay out with masking tape, or some other method of clear marking, a narrow trail around the youth room, out into the parking lot, wherever. The young people then must walk the trail, keeping at lest one foot on the tape all the time. Emphasize that it is VERY important that they complete the course and stay on course at all times.
- -put obstacles on the course to make it difficult to keep one foot on the tape. Also put chocolate or other goodies just out of reach beside the trail in different places, to put them off or tempt them off of the trail.
- -The course should take 3 minutes to complete.
- -Set them off at 30 second intervals.
- -explain that although not a race their best times will be logged (encouraging competitive spirits, great fun).
- -Near the finish have someone the kids really respect, yourself if you aren't at the start line, tell the kids that the exercise is over and because you are running out of time they must go right back to the start WITHOUT COMPLETING THE COURSE!
Afterwards, invite comments and reaction about what was the most difficult temptation / difficulty to overcome.
- -Lead this into a discussion about the problems and difficulties that face a young person? Perseverance Heb. 12:1
Could be adapted as Pirates treasure hunt
Trust Fall
 
Someone stands in front of you or another leader with eyes closed and arms straight out to the side and has to fall back, without stepping back, and has to have faith that you will catch them... Practice a couple of times to get the feel for it and to make sure you can be there to make the catch. Be reassuring so that they can have faith in you. It's a hard thing for the person in front to do... Follow it up with talk about having faith in God to catch you.. :)
--- Tell the story of the guy that was a huge fan of a acrobatic tightrope walker at the circus. (I'll give you the quick version... feel free to embellish and ham it up a little...) He went every Saturday night to see him and cheer him on. Every Saturday, the acrobat
would yell down something from the tightrope like "Do you think that I can walk backwards across the rope?" The guy below would ecstatically yell, "Yes.. Yes... You are the best!!! You can do it!!!" And the acrobat would do just that. Every Saturday, the acrobat would yell down a new challenge, the guy below would yell back his support and overwhelming faith that the acrobat could do it. Then the acrobat would do it. Finally, one night, the acrobat yelled down, "Do you think I can push someone across this tightrope in a wheelbarrow?" "Yes!!! Yes!!! I know that you can do it!!!! You're the best!!!" yelled the man... The acrobat yelled back down ... "Then come on up here and hop in..." (Follow up this with some talk on the difference in saying that you "have faith" and really having faith in God. Challenge them to think "Am I willing to keep that faith when I am put to the test?")
--- Job would be a great cross reference for faith in hard times...
--- Show the last part of "Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade" (watch copyright laws) where Indy has to step out onto the invisible "Bridge of Faith" and walk across it... It's not exactly the most theological footage, but really draws the kids in.  Follow it up with talk on having faith that God provides where he says that he will... My kids loved watching this. Just be sure to start showing it AFTER the part where that dude's face melts off... That can really gross some kids out and could distract a tad. I know that I always get a little distracted when someone around me has their face melt off.
Yesterdays
This activity is good for all ages.  It also takes about 15-20 minutes because of discussions.  Post each of the 4 pieces of newsprint on a different wall of the room.  The newsprint should have the following written on them:
Newsprint 1          Newsprint 2            Newsprint 3          Newsprint 4
Color                Watch TV              Hear a Story         Play a game
Sesame Street       Romper Room            Mr. Rogers            Capt. Kangaroo
Skateboarding        Biking                  Street Hockey        Manhunt
Parent/Relative      Teacher                Sports Figure         TV Performer
Call out the questions below and ask the teens to stand under the poster that reflects their choice and share with the group standing there something about that choice.  Make sure that there is one leader per group to facilitate the conversation.
1.  My favorite activity when I was approximately 5 years old was...Share why and any particular detail about your activity.
2.  At 5, my favorite TV show was...Share why or recall a particular episode you enjoyed.
3.  When I was ten years old, of the four activities listed, I would have preferred to play/do...Describe any incident that you remember during that activity.
4.  At 5 years old, my hero/heroine probably was...Who was it and why?
5.  At 10 years old, my hero/heroine was…Who was it and why did it change or stay the same?