The Great Outdoors
* For some reason this post didn’t go up or stay up from last week, so here’s a repost of Alicia’s post on the great outdoors.
I am by no means an outdoorsy person, though I love being outdoors! Oxymoron says you, no says I. I can do just fine camping, but it is not what I would necessarily choose to do for fun. I love the idea of going on hikes, but hate how exhausted and sweaty I get half way up the mountain. I love to shoot guns, but not at wildlife. While I may not love to do adventurous things outdoors most of the time, I still love to be outdoors and enjoy the nature that God has created. Especially in weeks like these!
This week has been absolutely gorgeous weather here in Central PA. It’s quite chilly at night still, but perfect weather during the day – reaching right around 70. It’s the kind of weather that you could wear shorts and a t-shirt if you wanted, or (as long as you’re not hot-natured) even wear a light jacket or hoodie. I love it! It’s weeks like these I long 1) for a window in my office and 2) for the chance to spend time outside. Who wants to join me for a picnic?
Today I want to give you some ideas to do with your students outdoors. It’s so easy in today’s culture to spend all our time inside and in front of a screen – whether phone, ipod, computer, xbox/wii, or you name it. Let’s be intentional about getting your students outdoors to enjoy God’s creation. Who knows, maybe you can even through a lesson in there about worshiping God!
1. Have a giant picnic. Cooking and eating are two of my top favorite things to do in life. In fact, a lot of my down time is spent finding amazing recipes online to try with Jason and I. Some of them are complete disasters (we made sesame chicken once, but it tasted like you were eating straight vinegar – gross!), while some of them are absolutely exquisite must-haves. That aside, take some or all of your students to the park or your back yard and enjoy some home cooked food together. Fire up the grill. Prep some picnic staples. And bring along a frisbee or football. These are the kinds of times your students will remember forever and make the biggest impact on them. I’m getting excited already!
2. Go to a playground. Quite honestly, I think I enjoy playgrounds now more than I did when I was a child. There’s not much more fun and relaxing than getting on a swing and pumping your legs to fly high to your hearts desire! Your students will either think you’re the best or a little out of your mind (which they may already be thinking anyways), but I can guarantee you’ll have a blast acting like giant 5 year olds!
3. Take kickball outside. We’re fortunate enough to have a large gym where we can play kickball inside. But as soon as the weather makes the slightest shift towards the warm side, we’re right back outside! Everyone may get a little sweaty, but there’s something special about playing group games outdoors. This doesn’t just have to be kickball. Play SPUD, Kan Jam, Kajabe Can Can, Steal the Bacon, or another one of your favorite games outside as well. Are you breathing that fresh air yet?
4. Become outdoors-men. Remember what I said earlier: it’s not my favorite thing in the world to go hiking and camping. Regardless, the times that I went with my youth group growing up are some of the times I remember most vividly. Not to mention it would probably be pretty funny watching some of the more “prim and proper” students in your ministry trying to rough it. Jokes aside, this is the perfect time to grab a sleeping bag, set up camp, and grill some hot dogs and s’mores (or mountain pies if you’re from PA). It’s amazing how God can use time around a camp fire or a hike in the woods to grow relationships and create conversations about Christ. Of course, I’m sure you all know how powerful an acoustic worship time at a campground can be also.
I hope you and your ministry have a great time getting reacquainted with the wonderful outdoors this season. These are just a few of the countless ideas to have fun outside. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait! What are some of your outdoors ideas? (Leave a comment below).
Posted on March 14, 2012, in Youth Group Ideas and tagged Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Family Ministry, Games, Outdoors, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.