This is more of a team builder for your adult volunteer leaders. We use it to identify which leaders have built relationships with which youths, and which youths need to be concentrated on by us a little bit more.
We take a large bulletin board and clear it off. (If it’s a really big group, use a WHOLE wall.) I get my leaders to sit down, and on white paper write down all the names of the youth they work with (one name per sheet). Then, we take green paper and write down the names of all the leaders (again, one name per sheet).
Using thumb tacks, we place all of the youth who are our 'core kids' in the middle of the bulletin board or wall. We would define 'core' as youth who we see on a consistent basis and with whom we have a strong relationship. We then place the leaders’ names in a circle around those youth with thumb tacks. The 'fringe kids’ names are placed outside the circle of leaders’ names (again using thumbtacks). These would be youths we are having trouble connecting with, or who infrequently attend.
Each leader is given a ball of string, which they tie to the thumbtack holding their own name. They then take the string and wrap it around the thumbtack of every youth (on the outside or inside) they feel they have a strong relationship. When each leader has done this, you end up with a big web of strings going everywhere.
Talk with the leaders about things you notice. Which youth has the most strings attached? Which youth have the least? What does a 'good relationship' mean to the different leaders? Do your introverted leaders have more or less relationship than the extraverted ones? Who will connect with the kids who have little or no connectivity to other adults?
There are lots of great things you can learn with through this team builder. It's also great to get leaders to think about which youth may need more attention and focus, so they can connect with them in the future.
Idea by John C.
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.