This game is definitely for the OUTDOORS. It works best with really, really large groups (100+). Here’s how you play.
You can play this game at a park, in a big grassy area at your church, or even at a church camp, off in the woods. Set up a predetermined amount of “stations” (8-12 depending on the size of your group). At each station, place a responsible adult leader.
Next, assign 5-10 of your leaders/interns/adults to be the “bonkers.” They are given a pair of pantyhose with flour packed in it (or a sock). All bonkers must also have a black Sharpie. Also, choose 5-10 “nurses” for the game. Give each of them a black Sharpie as well.
Now, dismiss your station leaders, your bonkers, and your nurses to go take their positions on the field. Obviously, the station leaders will need to be at their stations, but the bonkers and nurses spread out anywhere.
You’re almost ready to play. Give every student a piece of paper with the number of stations on it (1, 2, 3, etc). You can also give them the location of the stations if you want, on a map. (Totally up to you.) Tell them that their objective is to make it to every station (in any order of their choosing) and get checked off. They must work alone –there are no teams – and when their sheet is completely checked off, they must race back to an assigned location to meet the youth pastor. First one back wins.
Here’s where it gets tricky. The bonkers will be out there trying to hit them with their sock/hose filled with flour. If the student gets hit, he must stop where he’s at. The bonker will then draw a short line on his arm. (The bonker is then free to go chase someone else.) The student must stay where he’s at, and call for a nurse to come “heal” him. The nurse “heals” the student by drawing a perpendicular line across the one drawn by the bonker…making an X.
Finally, when a student gets to the station, the station leader can ask them to do something weird in order to get checked off. The station leader might ask them to sing a song, tell a joke, do 5 pushups, etc. They may ask the student to do nothing at all…it just depends on how vindictive the station leaders are!
When everyone understands how the game is played, say “go!”
NOTE: Make sure to instruct the bonkers to hit on students’ backs and legs…nothing on the head or face! Also, this game could go on for a while, so you might want to have a few coolers set out for students to stay hydrated.
Idea by Alex A.
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.