An All Day Event TheyÕll Never Forget
Ever looking for another event besides the proverbial mini-golf? Well maybe your group would like ÒLOST.Ó Imagine dropping off your students at a far off unknown location in teams of eight, equipped with only a $100 bill per team, an envelope of crazy instructions, and a video cameraman recording the whole thing!
Many of you have seen shows like ÒLOSTÓ where they drop someone off in the middle of nowhere and make them find where they are and find their way home. This is the same idea as ÒLostÓ and ÒThe Great Race,Ó but with your youth group, and for only $12 bucks a kid. Interested? Keep reading.
This is an event you can do for pretty cheap. But it does take a lot of work. It takes a good staff ratio to ensure safety, and it takes a lot of pre-planning. WARNING: Do not cut corners on the planning of this event. You are entirely responsible for the safety of your youth group. You will want to note DaleÕs safety precautions and evaluate your own. Use wisdom while planning this event- use these ideas at your own risk.
HereÕs what Dale did:
He divided his group into teams of eight. Each team of eight students had two staff members, each with cell phones. He divided teams by picking names out of two hats: a hat full of the guys names, and a hat full of the girls names. This mixed students up with other students they hadnÕt met of different ages and genders.
The entire group took their church bus towards an unrecognizable destination, 30 minutes out, placing blindfolds on all the students. They dropped them all off in a town called Walnut Creek, CA. Each team got out and received a packet. The packet had several numbered envelopes in it and one $100 bill.
The teams would score points by the following:
1. Who got to their final destination first
2. Who had the most money left
3. Who guessed the closest to the final destination
DaleÕs group started in Walnut Creek, riding BART (the subway) into San Francisco to Ghiradelli Square. On their journey they had to go through Chinatown and order a specific item in their packet that was written in Chinese, they had to ride a taxi, ride a cable car, buy chocolate in Ghiradelli, and a cookie in the San Francisco Shopping Center. Each team had a staff person video taping the entire day.
Dale said, ÒI couldnÕt have planned the discussions that happened after this day. Students couldnÕt stop talking about it. They got a glimpse of what it was like to feel lost! They had to call a cab, ride the subway, order Chinese food and try to break a $100 bill! We asked them questions like: What would you have done if you were dropped off alone? One student said, ÔI have to be honest. I would have opened up all the envelopes at the beginning and cheated!ÕÓ
I asked Dale how he kept this event safe.
ÒEach team had two staff people who each had cell phones. We kept a 1 in 4 staff ratio. When they booked the cab- they had to get a cab that fit six people, including the driver, because I wouldnÕt let them split up from their staff person. Then each team had to call three designated times throughout the day.Ó
There you have it. ÒLOST.Ó An event that can kick off discussion after discussion about how weÕre ÒlostÓ or searching for the right path.Ó
Here are the instructions that Dale included in each packet. These included original instructions and individual assignments in each envelope. (Note: These are just to give you an idea. I donÕt know all the specifics so please donÕt email me and ask me how he did assignment # 4 and what the clue was. YouÕre on your own on that one!
Where are you? Where are you going? How are you going to get there? These are all questions you need to answer today. One of your leaders has an envelope with all the necessary information for your journey. You must complete each assignment before opening the next. You have been given enough money for the day, but you need to spend wisely. You must record all of your expenses.
But first, do you know whom you are making this journey with?
Your first assignment is to write down everyone's nameÉ
What city are you in?
Where do you think the finish line is? Be specific.
(The team that is closest gets a fantastic prize. You cannot change your answer once itÕs written.)
Once this page has been completed you may open envelope # 1.
Your first assignment is to get to the Walnut Creek Bart Station. It is too far to walk, but how you get there is up to you. Your team must travel together. The map below might be a good wayÉ
(925) 555-3950 (This was an actual number- I just changed all numbers for this article.) – Info. Line
When you get to the Walnut Creek Bart Station, open envelope #2
Congratulations, you made it to the Walnut Creek Bart Station. Your first assignment is to call Dale @ 408-555-3572 to check in. Secondly, buy tickets, board the Bart and get off at Powell Street in San Francisco!
When you have arrived at the Powell Station, head towards the SAN FRANCISCO SHOPPING CENTERÉ Once your team is off the train you may open envelope #3.
Go to the San Francisco Shopping Centre. Find a place that sells cookies. Purchase a cookie, have everyone on your team take a bite.
Go ride the Cable Car to Chinatown.
Get to Ghiradelli Square. You can get there any way you wantÉ options include Cable Car, walking or a Taxi! (Try the latter, it should be the quickest!)
Buy a piece of candy from any store in Ghiradelli Square. Have someone eat it and then open envelope # 6.
The final leg of your journey!!!! The church bus is near pier 17. Get there any way that you can! Muni (the trolley) is a good option but it's up to you!!!! Call Dale (408) 555-3572 so he knows you are in the home stretch.
Your entire team must touch the bus to finish. Congratulations! You made it!
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; 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.