Summer is FINALLY here!!!
All year long we hear our teens/youth group counting down the days and just dying for summer to begin! And then, summer FINALLY arrives. I see posts on our youth group social media pages of the exciting first days of summer break. Toes in the sand, floaties in the pool, and enjoying the first few lazy days.
And then, about two weeks later, those posts change from the excitement of “WOO HOO, SUMMER!” to the sad “I’m SOOOOO BORED!”, “No One Is Around”, “There is Nothing To Do”, “Anyone Still In Town Want to Hang Out?”, etc.
I came up with this idea a few years ago and I have used it every year since. Our youth group takes a break in July since so many of our teens have family vacations during that time. It works well for us since it gives our group a nice break to ‘miss’ each other and they really look forward to coming back to youth group in August! But, my 101 Summer Challenge is a way to 1) Keep them connected no matter where they are during the summer. 2) Encourage those who are still in town to get together and complete some of the items. 3) Give them ideas and fun things to do to keep the boredom away!
Here’s the plan….
The last youth group meeting in June before our July Break (or the first one of your area’s summer break), I hand out copies of my 101 Challenge List to all of my teens. I also post it on our youth group social media pages. Instructions are simple….Whoever can complete the MOST items on this list by our first meeting back in August wins a prize! (I usually award a yogurtland or jamba juice gift card). Basically, they can decide which items they want to complete and they MUST post a photo on social media and #101summerchallenge (or text me if they don’t have social media). I keep track of who completes which items. (The list has a line next to each item so they can check off each one as they complete it.) I also have them tag our youth group pages so everyone can see what everyone else is doing.
If nothing else….it gives them some creative ideas for those days when there is just NOTHING TO DO! (you read the bold/all caps words in the annoyed and exaggerated teenage voice, right?!) But, on the more positive side, it gets them to try different things, stay connected with each other, and perhaps learn quite a bit through varied challenges.
I have attached a copy of my list below. (click on the link) If you want to do this with your teens / youth group, be sure to read through and alter anything that may not work in your area. For example… I’m in Ft. Lauderdale so we have easy access to plenty of beaches. If you live in the mountains somewhere, #11 Bury a friend in the sand & #49 Learn to Surf are going to be things you’ll want to change. The beauty of this challenge is it is very adaptable to any group or age.
Here is my list:
Hope your teens/youth group enjoy it as much as mine do!
Praying your summer is filled with Sun & Fun!!!