Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Zanglais Part 2

Normally, a speaker and a team of organizers from the States come with the youth group to Zanglais. However, this year something urgent came up for the speaker and his team just 2 days before we left for Zanglais. Suddenly, we had no talks and no games. We quickly created a Plan B. Instead of an outside speaker, we, the youth group leaders, shared at the sessions. And instead of a team of Americans, I got to organize and direct all the games.

We did everything that did not require a lot of materials or preparation: human knot, criss-cross corner, noodle tag, human pyramid, sharks and minnows, the nose-ball race, and a fantastic new game called the Can-Can, named for the large blue trash can that you violently hurl you opponents against in order to eliminate them.

With something like group games, the enthusiasm of the leader is a huge factor, but having enthusiastic participants makes it even better. Teens are funny - they will complain about anything, even when I as a leader tell them from years of experience that they are going to love a game. So before we started, I named 4 seniors to be team captains. "All I want from you," I told them, "is enthusiasm. If you cheer and yell and play all out, so will your team." Having a little healthy competition doesn't hurt either, so we kept score for each game and shared a daily tally with the kids at mealtimes. In the end, it was Team Tim, headed up by my most enthusiastic and athletic captain, that took home the prize.

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