Thursday, August 26, 2010

Busy Week...Fun Good-bye party...I think....

I've been soo busy with work this week, I can't even keep track of what day this is! Yesterday was a 15 hour day. It was that long because after work last night, we held a going away party honoring our Youth pastor (my boss) and his wife and little girls-he is leaving to be a youth pastor in his Dad's church in New Jersey.

The party was scheduled from 6:30-9:30 and was a potluck. We provided fried chicken from Wal-mart and lemonade and water (and of course, the paper products), and everyone else brought a dish to pass.

I was worried about having 3 hours with nothing to do but stand around and talk and expecting about 150 (but only about 70 showed-there was another event that a lot of them went to instead) high school students and their families (only 4 parents came-along with our volunteer adult leaders), so I decided to put together some games.

Have you ever seen the show Minute to Win It on NBC? We love that show in our house! Mostly because the challenges seem like something anyone can do. So, that's what I did. I got 13 games from their site, and bought all the supplies (cheap, everyday reusable supplies), bought 13 gifts for them (with money donated from our volunteer youth leaders) to go along with the games. I thought it would be fun for the students to play the games to win prizes for the family-rather than just give them a gift bag with some gifts.

I heard it was a HUGE hit...unfortunately, I was so busy setting up the next game while they were playing the first one (to keep from having a huge drag time in between), that I didn't get to enjoy the crazy, silly kids! What a bummer!!! 

Most of the gifts were oriented around their little girls (coloring books, crayons, craft supplies, DVDs, etc-and coke and mountain dew for mom and dad-with some of their favorite snacks and candies). As the challenges got harder, the prizes got bigger (gift card to Applebee's and Chili's and a gas card)-ending with a new GPS. I wrapped every gift in leftover Christmas paper turned inside out, so that they were all white and wrote the corresponding number to the games on each package.

Four different students played each challenge at a time. When they arrived, I stamped their hands with bingo markers (I had 4 different colors), and gave them each a number that was the same color as the ink on their hands. So when it was time to play the games, we pulled numbers out of a can and we had one person from each color come up. Sometimes they shy ones wouldn't come up and we ropes some of the leaders in to play the games-which caused the kids to laugh all the more louder!

The student who completed the challenge the fastest was able then to give the present to them. I thought that would be more fun than just handing over a gift bag with some gifts...

So, if we ever decide to play those games again in youth group, we have all the supplies and the PowerPoint slides I made with the game titles and instructions on them!

A few of the students even contacted me today to thank me for my hard work on the party-they said they really enjoyed it!!! WOW! How nice!!!

I wish I could show you the pictures I took last night-so you could see the giant spread of food we had and all the people hanging out-but for privacy of the students-I'll keep them private.

I was happy when it was all done and our youth pastor and his family looked like they had been really blessed by the the outpouring of love from the students-and happy to get home to some ibuprofen and a nice long shower! :)

Here are a few shots of the prizes/presents before they were wrapped.

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