Church Scavenger Hunt

I do not know if you’ve discovered this gem of a fact yet – but older kids still like to PLAY HIDE AND SEEK.

And, I let them. In the church building.

Relax. The nave (sanctuary) is off limits. We’re reverent in the appropriate spots.

Hide and Seek comes in handy when you’re doing a broad age range of child care for an adult program upstairs at Church of the Apostles. The key is time limits.

As in, “ok, if y’all are pretty good for most of the night then I’ll let you play Hide and Seek for the last ten minutes.”

If you’ve been in business as long as I have, then you know. That last ten minutes can be a doozie if you’re not careful. Best to have something great in reserve to pull out for entertainment. Voila, Hide and Seek has saved many of my days.

When I realized the sheer appeal of freedom in the building, I decided to make my own indoor scavenger hunt. You can easily make your own, too, based on your unique building and its uses.

I fill mine with actual proper names of things that I want them to learn – like sacristy and transept and ambo – because I like to make it EDUCATIONAL. But, hey, I’m also not about to argue against just pure fun.

If you do want them to learn, then be forewarned that you’ll need a wrap up time to review the concepts. They’ll be too engrossed in finishing before the other person or team to do it right. And that’s even when I stress that there is no winner.

FYI: I give each participant a bag to collect small prizes at each stop. They still run from stop to stop. They still run.

Here’s a sampling of my latest Scavenger Hunt clues:

RED GROUP

  • It is Sunday morning. Preparations need to be
    made for eucharist. You are on the altar guild.
    You go to the SACRISTY.
    (Go to the SACRISTY.)
  • The altar guild uses this space to prepare the
    bread and wine – “the ——- of God for the people
    of God.” This is not bread and wine – but enjoy
    the cookies and drink. Tell each other what
    “blessing” prayer that you say at your house
    before meals.
  • It is Sunday morning. Preparations need to be
    made for eucharist. You are an acolyte. Pretend
    you have already processed in. Where do you sit?
  • You just placed the cross or the candles. They are
    picture reminders to all of Jesus. “For God so
    ——- the world that he gave his only Son!” These
    heart candies are reminders to you of God’s love.
  • You are the priest serving today. You enter the
    nave from what door?
  • Look around. What is it like on Sunday morning
    here before service starts? Busy? Loud? What are
    you usually thinking about Sunday morning? Tell
    your group how you usually feel on Sunday
    morning – tired, grumpy, awake, happy,
    interested???
    The priest brings us all to the same thought –
    God is KING over all the earth. He announces and
    the congregation replies:
    Blessed be God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
    “And blessed be his ———— now and forever.”
  • You are a parishioner. You arrive for worship and
    choose a pew in the south transept. You pull the
    kneeler down.
  • You ready yourself for worship by praying.
    “If we confess our sin, he is faithful to ——— our
    sin and ———- us from all unrighteousness.” This
    eraser is a reminder to you that God wipes away
    our sin.
  • Service is complete. Someone (may) ring the bell.
    Where is the rope that pulls the bell?
  • At the end of worship, the deacon announces:
    “Go in peace to love and ———— the Lord!”
    Here is a pencil, a picture reminder to you that
    your story is still to be written. How will you be
    serving the Lord???

Why Games? Part I

Do you like games? Don’t say “no.” Everyone likes games of some sort or the other. Maybe you just haven’t found your game of choice yet. Each fall I’d start our new CLUB45 (4th and 5th grade group) year with GAME NIGHT. You can accomplish a lot at GAME NIGHT. Sometimes the kids even realize that. Remember to have a plan. Use a variety of games. Be flexible. Laugh. And recap it all (ok, some) to the parents. They’ll love you for it. And you’ll remember why you did it. Here’s our September 2014 Game Night Summary. And yes, you can copy it completely one evening soon. We met for 90 minutes – although there is generally some outside craziness included in that time, too.

Parents,

If this quote, attributed to Plato is true

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

Then I got to know eight children a lot better tonight. We were, um, loud.

Among 8, 3 are homeschooled and the rest go to 5 different schools (——–, ———, ——— , ———, and ——.)

I like to use these nights to figure out where the kids are in their life. They may come home and describe nothing of seeming spiritual substance, but I do try to have a purpose.

I told them that our goal is to create a community. I told them one of our community goals was to know the story of the bible.

We played the card game spoons and  I defined “competitive.” Most individuals were – ahem, competitive spoon players. How to Play Spoons

We split into teams to make the tallest marshmallow/spaghetti structure and I defined “camaraderie” as needed to work as a team.  Fun info on Spaghetti/Marshmallow Tower

We played pictionary with these bible couples: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Mary and Joseph, Jesus and the woman at the well. In this game, I wanted to see how many bible characters they knew. They knew all these. Upon guessing each couple, they put the names in chronological order as they appear in the bible. They did this easily. They also could say if these folks had competitive type relationships or worked together well.

I reminded them of Sunday School the past two weeks and how Genesis 1-11 tells the beginnings of all kinds of things. We noticed how people messed up a lot and God kept starting over.

I reminded them that tonight we wanted to see how we can create community with each other and God is pleased when we do. I shared that on Sundays adults , too, come from all different work places, like they come from different schools, and that we are united by our worship and what we believe. I told them that we say the big things we believe when we say the creed.

I shared a song via YouTube called This I Believe from Hillsong. It is based on the Apostles’ Creed. There was a static picture of NYC, I think, on the screen as the words to the song came up. Your children noticed that as a strange picture to have with that song. We stopped and talked about the picture and the things in it that show things that people sometimes put their faith/ belief in rather than God. They impressed me.

Thanks for bringing them!

Mrs. Melanie