Are you looking for a fun, competitive activity for a youth group or Scout meeting? At today’s middle school youth group, we had a popsicle stick bridge building contest! Students paired up and received popsicle sticks, clay, clothespins, and rubber bands. They had about 15 minutes to build their bridges. When done, the students had to be able to put at least one book underneath each of their bridges. Then, we tested each bridge to see which could hold the most books on top. Of course, you could change many aspects of this activity, like the size of the groups, materials used, time allowed, and so on. The students that built the strongest bridge won a prize, but they all had a good time!
If you have tween or teen children, or if you associate with teenagers through church, Scouts or somewhere else, then you know they can be utterly confusing. I still think that Middle School Ministries is the best starting place to understanding tweens and teens, but if that is Parenting 101, then the latest book I finished reading might be Parenting 102:
An Intimate Understanding of America’s Teenagers: Shaking Hands with Aliens
The author is a veteran school teacher and youth group leader, so he packs years of insight and wisdom into this book on teenagers. He covers many points that won’t surprise you. Teenagers need stability, love, boundaries, purpose and respect. If you would like to better understand why they need all of that, and how you can help provide it to them, then you’ll find heart-felt and thought-out guidance throughout thise book.
Extra note: each chapter ends with advice for parents, teachers, and teenagers! So, this is even a great book for teenagers to understand more about themselves and their fellow teens.
Leader Journey book and girls’ Journey books
Pre –meeting: Play back-to-back, adding new girls as they arrive.
Opening (as usual)
- Ask each girl to remind us of her Journey name and to say if they consider themselves a part of any circles of friends or cliques of friends.
- Ask girls: Have you ever traded in something you believe in just to belong? What pressures (good and bad) have you felt to do certain things?
- Play Where Do You Stand. Mark a line on the board from 1 to 10. Ask scenarios.
- Make lists for Clique and Circle.
- Ask girls: Do you and your friends ever act like a clique? Circle of friends? How do cliques start? How do you get out? How do they hurt people?
- Discuss and practice “I” statements.
Closing (as usual)
Family traditions are important to children. It gives them a sense of belonging and something to pass on to their children.
Every St. Patrick’s Day, for the last 14 years, we have started the day by reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. All the while, we actually enjoy a plate of green eggs and ham!
If you have a child, then you probably already have the book. If not, then you can get it here:
Green Eggs and Ham (I Can Read It All by Myself Beginner Books)
For the dish, we just scamble some eggs, mix in some chunks of ham, and stir in a little green food coloring.
What St. Patrick’s Day family tradition do you have?
After seeing it win 5 Oscar Awards, we had to watch Hugo. It’s a nice family-friendly, artistic feel-good movie! The plot was a little different from what we imagined it would be. There is a little more drama and a little less action than what you might think from the previews. Good story.
Hugo (Three-disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)
If you have seen the movie, then what did you think about it?