Fun Event & Activity Ideas

Kidnapped Gnomes

Similarly named ÒRoaming GnomesÓ has at least a 20 year history (Google Òroaming gnomesÓ to find hilarious stories). The tradition is that a Lawn Ornament (e.g. gnome, rabbit, etc.) is kidnapped and taken on adventures that are recorded on pictures or video. At the end of the adventure, the LO returns home happy and content and has pictures to show its family of where it has been. Here is how you do it.

First, split all students into teams. Teams should probably be about 5-6 students, plus one adult leader. (That way, all team members can fit in one mini van.) The adult leader needs to do all the driving!

Purchase (or have donated) 5 LO gnomes and put them at 5 pre-arranged houses, maybe even the houses of 5 adult volunteers.

Announce: ÒYour mission tonight is to kidnap a LO from the address specified and take it on adventures around the city that you will capture on video camera!Ó

Rule #1: The game is called ÒKidnappedÓ, not ÒMurderÓ. Treat your LO well. Tell us if you damage it, so we can pay for ÒhospitalÓ costs.

Rule #2: Everyone in the group must appear in at least one scene with the LO, and the more scenes that include lots of people, the better.

Rule #3: Have fun, but donÕt get arrested. Keep it G-rated so we can give a copy of the video to the family of your LO.

Video Tape your LO doing the following, and while youÕre at it, give the LO a name, voice and some personality:

50 Points Each
Drinking coffee at a coffee shop
Shopping for vegetables at a grocery store
Playing on a swing set
Going to school
Dancing or playing an instrument
Driving a car as if in a speed chase
Trying to get in a store that has a ÒClosedÓ sign up

100 Points
Caught in the act of trying to escape
Eating with chopsticks
Having a conversation with another LO about the experience
Being interviewed by a reporter about his/her adventures so far

200 Points
Asking a stranger for a date
Posing with a community or emergency worker (paramedic, fire dept. personnel, police officer, etc.)
Working behind the counter at a fast food joint
Posing by a house with a ÒFor SaleÓ sign & saying why they like this house
LO doing a TV commercial for a product

Prizes will be awarded for:
Blockbuster Award: Most Points
MTV Award: Single funniest scene
DirectorÕs Award: Funniest overall video

Youth Leaders: Drive around before the event and get the addresses of houses with LOÕs. Write the addresses on a slip of paper and have each team pick one from a hat.

Added by Kristin Clark


Jonathan McKee

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 Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.


  1. Diane
    November 25, 2012 at 12:00 am

    must do this!

  2. Kimithy Nagel
    March 2, 2013 at 12:00 am

    We had a blast doing this!

  3. Charlie Dyson
    May 17, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Our youth group loved this! Only one adult from church had gnomes, so they both took a gnome from their garden, but it was hilarious! Video here:

  4. Kristy
    October 27, 2013 at 12:00 am

    So much fun! Everyone loved it! Thanks for posting this.

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