You Don't Say!

Have your campers break up into groups of between five and eight campers. The purpose of the game is to spark conversation and prompt campers to learn more about each other. So, fewer than five tends to be too few, while more than eight tends to involve too much at one time.

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After your youth are split up into groups of 5-8, have a staff member sit with each group. Each staff member needs to be given a piece of paper and writing utensil. Then, have the director of the game stand up front so everyone can see and hear him/her.

The director of the game will have a piece of paper with 25 questions or so on them. Each question will have different possible answers, each worth a different amount of points.

Such questions would be:

• Give yourselves one point for each person who lives in Colorado (if your camp is in Colorado). Give yourselves five points for each person who lives in a different state.

• Give yourselves 1 point for each sibling a person has. Give yourselves 5 points if you are an only child.

• Give yourselves 10 points for each of you who like pizza. Give yourselves 20 points for each person who doesn't like pizza.

• When all the questions are done, the team with the most points wins.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind for this game...

• Staff do not get points, only the youth.

• When asking the questions be sure there is a pause between choices so campers do not change their minds.

• Make up questions that find out the uniqueness in people. You will see that kids will get really excited when they know they will get 1 point for each sibling they have. Then when you talk about the only child, they get even more excited because they see they get even more points.

• Allow a minute or two of conversation between each question so the staff member could prompt the campers with comments such as, "Greg, I didn't know you were an only child."

• As you can see from these rules, the main purpose of the game is to promote uniqueness and conversation. Often, youth will pick on someone because they may be "different" from everyone else. This is a game that actually rewards people for being different and encourages others to be excited about it. Strangers have a better chance of being friends once they get to know a little about each other.

• Now that you know the purpose of the game, keep it to you and your staff. Don't tell the kids the purpose beforehand, or even after the game. Telling them will destroy the honest excitement they would display if they didn't know.

At the end of it all, reward the winning team with something small they can enjoy.

Chuck Rowe , Territorial Boys Work, Camping, and Community Center Consultant Central Territory, The Salvation Army, Des Plaines, Ill.

Bryan BuchkoComment