Unleashing Your Creative Potential

The interior of the dome of the Pantheon in Rome. Built without modern technology in A.D. 120.
The interior of the dome of the Pantheon in Rome. Built without modern technology in A.D. 120.

Sarah and I recently got to visit Italy – home to some of the world’s greatest art, architecture, and historical sites. It is a very moving experience to stand in front of Rome’ Pantheon or Michaelangelo’s David statue in Florence and reflect on the human ability to create beautiful art.

You could make the case that some people are more gifted at certain skills and talents than others, but we are all still incredibly creative – more so than we give ourselves credit for. I believe God has imparted His image (which includes creativity) upon all humans. We all have a divine creativity deep down inside of us, and unfortunately, many people go through life not tapping what is already there.

I used to think that I was not “the creative type.” Then I realized that that was just a cop-out. Check out what some of the Bible’s first words say:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

That means we are stamped with the image of the one who created the universe out of nothing. Let that sink in for a moment.

When I am juggling or playing the piano (my favorite ways to express creativity), I feel like I am transported to another world. I think that is God’s way of showing us that He has made us all creative in unique ways and we can celebrate His greatness by doing those creative things. He fills our hearts with joy when we create the way He creates.

I recently presented a workshop on this topic. I don’t have all the answers, but I do feel there are some steps we can take that will help us grow in our God-given creativity. Here they are:

1. Realize that you are inherently creative.

2. Explore new things and ideas all the time (even things that seem risky or uncomfortable).

3. Face the fears associated with trying new and creative things.

Whenever I ask for volunteers at my shows, you know who wants to volunteer? Kids. The adults just sit there and stare in any direction except me when I ask for volunteers. The older we get, the more averse we are to trying new or different things. Kids want to try new things all the time. Jesus taught us to have faith like children (Mark 10:15). That’s the only way we can enter the Kingdom of God!

Growing in creativity means returning to a childlike view of the world around us – always exploring, trying, and discovering.

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”

-Hugh MacLeod

Here is a link to my notes for the workshop if you’re interested. Feel free to use these as long as you give credit as to where you got them 🙂

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1num3oEhjmTdFJHT0lKcW5tSXM/edit?usp=sharing

Life as a Professional Juggler: FAQ’s

PageLines- 6rings.jpgBy God’s grace, I am living a dream. I get to do what I love and I don’t even feel like I work. But what I do is serious “work” at the same time.

I get a lot of questions from people about what I do, so I thought I would try to consolidate the most commonly asked questions I get and answer them for you….

  1. You’re joking, right? You’re not really a professional juggler. Yes, I’m joking. I made up the fact that I’m a professional juggler because that’s crazy, irresponsible, and nobody could make a living doing that anyway. Next question.
  2. No really. You are a professional juggler? Alright, I can’t fool you. I travel and do juggling shows for families and kids. It really is a fun job.
  3. So do you do running chainsaws? Yes.
  4. You’re joking. You don’t really do chainsaws. No, I’m not joking. I already used my one joke at the beginning of this conversation. I really juggle running chainsaws with sharp chains on them. If you don’t believe me, watch my YouTube video of me doing said act of insanity.
  5. Where do you travel? Do you travel, like, out of state? Yes, and sometimes out of the country. But most shows are here in the states, coast to coast.
  6. So do people like, pay for you to come out? Do they fly you out too? Most of the time, yes. I do some volunteer shows throughout the year, but most of my shows are compensated, including the travel. This is how I make a living. I’m not a bazillionaire and don’t expect to live the high life of luxury from it. But I love it and I feel blessed beyond measure. My family is provided for and we get to take fun trips together around the world. We have a paid-for roof over our heads, food on the table, and we love each other. I couldn’t ask for more.
  7. How do people find out about you? I work with a booking office that arranges my schedule. They represent a network of entertainers who provide shows for various events nationwide. People call them looking for a speaker/entertainer/act and I’m one of them.
  8. So you do like birthday parties? I have, but birthday parties make up about 0.5% of my shows in a given year. Most of my shows are for church events, school assemblies, or camp/retreat events.
  9. So you do a lot of churches? Yeah, in most of my shows, I combine my juggling show with a message about the Bible. I try not to be preachy. It turns out that juggling is a fun way to connect with kids and then teach them something positive. A lot of churches and Christian camps around the country are looking for creative ways to do outreach and Christian teaching to their kids and youth. This is one way and I’m happy to help be a part of these outreaches.
  10. How did you get into this? So a friend taught me how to juggle in middle school. I enjoyed the skill so much that I went to the library and got as many books as I could about juggling. I practiced for hundreds of hours, until I felt confident enough to perform for my high school variety show (by then I was in high school). That was my big break. The audience loved it (and I did too). From there, I was spotted by someone connected to a local party company. They started booking me for local shows (like birthday parties and grand openings). I did not seek it as a career. In fact, I felt called by God into ministry, like pastoring and/or teaching in the Church. So I went to college and seminary and studied the Bible, Theology, and Christian Education. Along the way, it all clicked and I realized I could do BOTH! I could teach others about the Bible AND do a juggling show at the same time. I developed a show that did just that, people found out about it, and it eventually turned into a full-time vocation. I have been doing it full-time since 2007.
  11. Do you have a family? What do they do? I have a wife and a daughter. My wife is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and works two days a week at a Counseling office here in Richmond, VA, where we live. Our daughter was born in 2010 and she is smart, funny, and loves ballet. My wife stays with our daughter most days and I get to be with her the two days that my wife is at work (unless I’m out doing a show, which is when we get a nanny/sitter).
  12. Do they ever travel with you? Sometimes, yes (usually only to the fun places, like St. Simon’s Island, GA). But most of the time they stay at home because the like the normal pace of things at home. They support me in my travels. I’m gone a lot in the Spring and Summer. But I’m home a lot in the Winter. I work out of the house when I’m home, so I get to be very close by when I’m not on the road doing a show. We like the rhythm we’re in and it works for us at this point in our lives.
  13. I tried juggling once and it didn’t go so well. I don’t have the coordination. I’m amazed at people who can do that. Well, at least you tried. And thank you for your kind words. We all have our own things that we’re good at. But, hey, somebody’s gotta be the juggler!

Any other questions? Leave a comment if you have any and I’ll do my best to answer them!

 

The National Gallery of Art

IMG_2403529px-Woman-with-a-balance-by-VermeerIt’s a shame that we have lived in Richmond, VA for the past six years and it was only a few weeks ago that we took our first trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Just 110 miles away, this treasure of a museum has got to be one of the greatest collection of things common to the people of America (and the world, for that matter – they don’t check your citizenship at the door). It is free and open to the public.

My vocation as a traveling speaker/juggler is busiest in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. But the months of November through January slow down for me (of which I am thankful). These are our family “summer” months, if you will. So my first free Saturday of this period (just a few weeks ago) was a perfect time for a family day trip to D.C.

Usually traffic is real bad between Richmond and D.C., but we sailed the entire way to near downtown D.C. We found free parking at a park that is a short walk from the National Mall (East Potomac Park/Hains Point).

We walked through the main building of the Smithsonian on the way to the National Gallery of Art. Kezzie liked seeing the “princess castle.”

Then we made our way to the Gallery of Art. They have works by Picasso, Rembrandt, Monet, Cassatt, Raphael, Vermeer, Botticelli, Van Gogh, Titian, and many more. I loved many of the landscapes and Biblical art. My favorite was Vermeer’s Woman Holding a Balance. The light coming through the window, the Mary-like figure staring at a balance, and the painting of the Last Judgement of Christ behind her on the wall – it all makes for tremendous art.

Here are some pics (and art) from the trip:

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How to Build a Portable Puppet Theater

Several years ago I built a portable puppet theater out of PVC and black fabric. We have used it since then for puppet shows at our church. Our church has different locations, so this is perfect for moving the theater back and forth to different spots where we have children’s worship services and summer activities. In a few months, a friend of mine will be borrowing it for a class she is teaching on puppetry at her elementary school.

It has been such a convenient and affordable way to get a big payoff in terms of doing puppets for and with kids that I thought it would be worth sharing with you how it was built. I hope this comes in handy to someone out there who wants to build their own.

Want more ideas on crafts and supplies you can use in performance settings? Sign up here for my free monthly newsletter. It is full of ideas about children’s ministry and performing, along with updates about my road travels.

Materials: The materials cost me around $150. And it helped that I have a mother who sews, so she volunteered the labor of making the black fabric pieces that hang on the PVC piping. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • Four king-sized flat bed sheets (black color)
  • Four 10-foot lengths of 2″ PVC piping (if you can only get 8-foot lengths, you’ll need to get seven pieces)
  • Four T-couplings of 2″ PVC
  • Four 90-degree elbow couplings of 2″ PVC
  • Four flat caps of 2″ PVC
  • Seven different colors of electrical tape (only about a foot of length needed for each color)
  • A saw fit for cutting PVC
  • Someone with basic sewing skills and a sewing machine (if you don’t have this, then you’ll need to find a way to attach the fabric to the stage on your own, which is very possible with some creativity)

Steps:

Step 1: Cut three of the 10-foot PVC lengths in half, leaving you with six 5-foot lengths.

Step 2: Cut the remaining 10-foot PVC length into the following: two 30-inch lengths, two 24-inch lengths, and two 2.5-inch lengths, and you should have some scrap remaining.

Step 3: Assemble the pieces into the design as seen in the pictures below. It is fairly simple, so study these pictures a bit and you’ll see how all the parts fit together. The caps are the feet of the four posts. The 5-foot lengths are the four posts and the two that go across from side to side. The 30-inch pieces are the front-back connectors. The 24-inch pieces are the height extensions on the back posts. The 2.5-inch pieces serve as a way to connect the T-couplings to the 90 elbow couplings on the front part of the stage. All of this makes the stage just over seven feet tall in the back and just under six feet tall in the front. It is about three feet deep.

Step 4: Take the four king sized black flat bed sheets and sew 2 sheets together and then the remaining 2 sheets together, so you are left with two pieces that are roughly 12-foot by 6-foot each. Then fold and sew a 5.5-inch” “tunnel” across the 12-foot length of the sheets. This tunnel will be large enough to slip over the 2-inch PVC.

Step 5: Color code all of your connections using the colored electrical tape. This helps for re-assembly when people unfamiliar with the stage are helping to set it up.

Step 6: Slip the sheets on using the tunnels as seen the pictures. Stand up the stage if you haven’t already. Get out your puppets and have fun!

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This is the stage laying on its back. The longer lengths on the sides will be a front extension, as you’ll see in the next pictures.
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Those two pieces sticking up are the 30-inch lengths. They go into the T-couplings.
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Use three of the 5-foot lengths to finish this off. Two are the front posts (hanging in the air) and one is the “across” piece at the top of this picture. The stage is still laying on its back at this point. You are now ready to stand it upright.

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This is that short 2.5-inch piece that connects your T-coupling to the 90 elbow coupling on the front side of the stage.
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Sew together 2 king-sized flat black bed sheets into a 12-foot by 6-foot large piece. Do this twice.
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This is the “tunnel” that you need to sew. Just fold over about 5.5-inches of fabric across the 12-foot length of the black sheets. Sew that part down.

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Want more ideas on crafts and supplies you can use in performance settings? Sign up here for my free monthly newsletter. It is full of ideas about children’s ministry and performing, along with updates about my road travels.

Need a speaker/entertainer for your next event? Get a free quote on my juggling show here. I travel full-time nationwide.

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Meet Fellow Christian Juggler Bob Cates

Here is a video introduction of a friend of mine who is also in the Christian Jugglers Association. I love his heart for God’s Word and his skill at quality entertainment.

Bob Cates on Faith Family & Show from Bob Cates on Vimeo.

How Would You React?

man-36570_640My first job was as a waiter at a retirement home. I was 14 years old and waited on 90-100 year-olds for the dinner hour after my school day was over. I earned $4.25 an hour and no tips. There was no tipping since it was an all-inclusive retirement community. But I did gain a “tip” that has lasted me all these years later – the experience of being a waiter.

Later on, I worked as a legitimate waiter ($2.15/hr plus tips!) at a Chinese restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio (The Grand Oriental) as a night job after being an entertainer at the King’s Island theme park by day. I was saving up for seminary. And yes, lots of people asked me why I was a waiter at a Chinese restaurant (I was the only Caucasian on the floor). Hey, I love learning about different cultures!

What I learned in those two jobs was the experience of being a servant to others. And some people in this world are very picky, demanding, and rude – and a server has to respond with a smile.

So I have always tried to remember those experiences whenever Sarah and I go out to eat. I think there should be an ordinance that requires everyone to serve as a waiter at some point in their lives. If we all did, then people would probably tip better, treat servers with respect, and understand when the server forgets that extra straw or takes a minute too long processing your credit card.

So I hope this video brightens your day. It did for Sarah and I last night as we watched it. These guys decided to tip some servers $200 and catch it all on film. Enjoy!

Developing a 45-minute Show

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Use lots of volunteers and have fun!

For many variety performers out there, one of the challenges is filling a 45-minute window of time with engaging content for hundreds or thousands of people. Since I work mostly with audiences that include lots of kids, I have found 45 minutes tends to be a good length of time for family audiences to enjoy a show by a single performer.

But the performance has to be good in order to entertain a crowd for that long. And the younger the audience member, the shorter the attention span. As a stage performer, I can hold the focus of a group of 2-3 year olds for maybe 20 minutes if I’m doing well. But ages 4 and up can usually enjoy a full 45 minutes, and then they start to fade no matter how good you are.

I have spent the past 14 years putting together performance sets using a variety of performing arts. So here are ten things I’ve learned over the years about how to put together quality content for a 45-minute stage show:

  1. Strong Opening and Strong Closing – make the first and last tricks some of your strongest. You have about 3 seconds to make a good first impression to your audience when you appear, so bring out one of your best tricks at the beginning. Then close the act with something just as strong, if not, stronger. Thanks to Bob Cates who told me this tip.
  2. Short Sets – I have about 10 different tricks/stunts/routines that I perform in a 45-minute set. That’s an average of 4-5 minutes per routine. Some of my tricks take only 2 minutes, some take 8, but most are in the 3-6 minute range. Keep each bit short and exciting and then quickly move on to the next routine.
  3. Smooth Transitions – speaking of quickly moving from trick to trick, try to have a smooth transition from one to the other. Know exactly what order your tricks are in and have a set list written out on a piece of paper on the floor or in your prop box. You can lose the momentum of your show if you spend too much time looking around for what’s next. If the transition takes a few extra seconds, call up a volunteer (to do anything) and make your transition moves while they’re coming up on stage.
  4. Volunteers – speaking of volunteers, use LOTS of them. This is one of the secrets of good performing that I learned early on. The audience feels more connected to you if you involve them somehow. One of the best ways to involve them is to invite normal people from the crowd to help you and assist you. Not everyone has to come on stage. Just having a volunteer up there makes someone else in the audience think,”that could be me,” and that includes everyone in your show in a special way. In another blog post, I have written ten commandments about how to use and treat volunteers in your show.
  5. Stage Presence – this goes for any kind of performing, acting, dancing, public speaking, etc. Be awake, alive, energetic, and SMILE. Because you are so small on a big stage, the audience cannot read normal one-on-one mannerisms. So everything you do has to be bigger, from your smile to your movements to your facial expressions.
  6. Patter – speaking of stage presence, a major part of your show is what you say. Unless you are Anthony Gatto (or a really good mime), your juggling/magic/variety skills will only entertain without words for a short period of time. If you want to fill 45 minutes with quality content, then you should have some good “patter” lines, which are things you say during and in between tricks. This is where the audience connects with you. They see you as a real person, and the things you say will make them laugh. And quite honestly, most of your audience wants to laugh more than they want to see you do a spectacular trick. The more shows you do, the more lines you will develop as your own. I have said many things that make the crowd laugh and many things that fall totally flat. I never knew which lines would lead to which response until I tried them (or accidentally said them). I simply keep the lines that lead to a positive response and ditch the lines that fall flat. The best way to develop this is to just go out and do tons of shows for whoever will watch for any amount of money (as low as nothing). I did hundreds of volunteer shows for the first 4 years of performing (it was a side gig). And then that eventually turned into a full-time career because I had lots of practice and I enjoyed it so much.
  7. Tricks and Routines – write out on a notepad ALL your tricks and routines. Then find about 10-15 of your favorite ones and put them in an order for a 45-minute show. Write out the details of each trick (such as props needed, music needed, volunteers needed, patter lines, etc.) and then perform the show with that piece of paper near you on stage for quick reference. I always have a set list on stage with me. I rarely look at it. Sometimes I do the whole show without looking at it at all. But I still go through the process of writing out a set list for every single show I do. That helps me mentally prepare for the order and the special nuances of that particular crowd and venue.
  8. Music – speaking of music, it really helps to have good background music for your routines. Make sure the volume is loud when you want it loud and soft enough when you want to talk over it. I have an iPod with with my song list on stage with me. That way, I can control the volume of the music from the stage. You need a direct box on stage plugged into a sound channel and then a cord to go from the direct box to your iPod or MP3 player (usually 1/4-inch male to 1/8-inch male).
  9. Feedback – your 45-minute show can really improve when you get honest feedback from people who see your show – including yourself. If you get a video of your show, watch it and scrutinize yourself. Have peers watch the show with the intention of getting honest feedback from them (thanks for that tip, David Cain). Get your hosts to fill out an evaluation sheet after your show. That way you can improve on the things they saw as needing improvement and you can use their positive feedback as quotes and references for future gig opportunities. Don’t be afraid of feedback. Most people will love your show. And take the constructive criticism as an opportunity to grow.
  10. Just Do It – just go out and do as many shows as you can. The best way to develop a good 45-minute show is by lots and lots of practice – both by yourself and in front of audiences.

The Impossible Paper Cut

I asked a group of elementary schoolers if they thought I could cut a hole in a regular 8.5″x11″ piece of computer paper large enough to fit 6 kids through it at the same time. We were able to do it with no problem!

Are you also skeptical?

Here’s how you do it……

Step 1: You need some scissors, something to write with (marker or pen) and a plain piece of 8.5″x11″ paper.

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Step 2: Fold the paper in half, like this…

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Step 3: Draw lines on the paper like this. These will be your cutting lines. Make sure you do not draw all the way across the paper for any of the lines. Stop short of the edge by half an inch.

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Step 4: Now cut the paper where you drew the lines. This is a little tedious.

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Step 5: When you’re done cutting over those lines, your paper should now be “accordion-like”.

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Step 6: Now you want to cut only some of the sides of these accordion slats. This is the side of the paper that is folded in half, not the ends of the folded paper. You’ll cut all of them except the top and bottom, as shown in the picture below…

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Step 7: This is how you cut the ends of these slats.

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Step 8: Here is another look at cutting the slats sideways. Do not cut the top and bottom slats.

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Step 9: Make sure all the slats are cut except the top and bottom ones!

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Step 10: Now lift up the paper gently from the top. It will start to separate open as you lift it.

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Step 11: Open the paper up fully and then have your group of 6 or 8 or 10 kids bunch up together. Pass them through the hole in the paper and amaze that audience of yours!

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If You’re Happy and You Know It: Extreme Version

Photo Ben Stapley, 2012

I call it “HAYKI.”  I have used this song for years on kids and they can’t get enough of it.  I have written 400 lines to the song and here they are for your use with kids groups.  I just ask that you don’t sell this in any way, shape, or form.  You can freely use this for free purposes.

Basically, you say the lines below in place of “if you’re happy and you know it.”  The kids then clap or don’t clap depending on if the line applies to them or not.  It’s only fun if you actually SING the words.

My lines are written for summer camp time, so some of the lines are particular to summer camp.

Set #1 – First Day of Camp

  1. hungry
  2. sleepy
  3. love Camp ___________
  4. have a best friend
  5. took a shower today
  6. did not take a shower today
  7. wearing deodorant
  8. not wearing deodorant
  9. have a boyfriend/girlfriend
  10. born in the 90’s
  11. still watch Dora the Explorer
  12. farted at least once today
  13. eat your boogers
  14. have a little sister
  15. are an only child
  16. have more than five siblings
  17. ever failed a test
  18. have a Facebook account
  19. have a Twitter account
  20. love your counselors
  21. fold your toilet paper
  22. crumple your toilet paper
  23. ever plugged a toilet
  24. read War and Peace
  25. from….. (name any city, state, or country)
  26. speak another language
  27. like the…. (name any college or professional sports team)
  28. wet your bed
  29. still wear diapers
  30. climbed the rock wall
  31. your shoe is untied
  32. have a broken bone
  33. never broke a bone
  34. birthday is in July
  35. birthday is in December
  36. old enough to vote
  37. old enough to drive
  38. driven a car
  39. short enough for the playplace at McDonalds
  40. have head lice
  41. have strep throat
  42. have pink eye
  43. like M&M’s
  44. hate M&M’s
  45. want me to stop singing this song
  46. want me to keep singing this song
  47. love Jesus Christ
  48. really like this game
  49. on the _________ team (colors, groups, churches, etc.)
  50. never been skiing

Set #2

  1. made your bed today
  2. didn’t make your bed today
  3. have lots of freckles
  4. have red hair
  5. have blonde hair
  6. don’t know what color hair you have
  7. allergic to nuts
  8. allergic to bee stings
  9. allergic to dairy
  10. allergic to boys
  11. allergic to girls
  12. drink lots of coffee
  13. think coffee is gross
  14. do your own laundry
  15. never clean your clothes
  16. have a birthmark
  17. know all 50 U.S capitols
  18. been to the state fair
  19. you’re a vegetarian
  20. never rode a ferris wheel
  21. can solve a rubix cube
  22. have blue eyes
  23. can juggle 3 balls
  24. have diarrhea
  25. have constipation
  26. want to keep singing this song
  27. born in another country
  28. have a sunburn
  29. know my last name
  30. know my wife’s name
  31. know my daughter’s name
  32. can say the “abc’s” backwards
  33. still sleep with a stuffed animal
  34. still sleep with a blankie
  35. like to eat asparagus
  36. get your clothes at Walmart
  37. can’t wait until Christmas
  38. know who’s on a $20 bill (Andrew Jackson)
  39. you are a twin
  40. you are a triplet
  41. still use a sippy cup
  42. still get happy meals
  43. earn your own money
  44. believe in the Bible
  45. think Satan is a dweeb
  46. do your own stunts
  47. have a Roth IRA
  48. played in the rain (if it rained)
  49. out of clean clothes

Set #3

  1. wearing green (or any other color)
  2. have your own computer
  3. you are chewing gum
  4. thrown up at camp
  5. made a new friend at camp
  6. no longer have your appendix
  7. you deliver newspapers
  8. Dad is a trucker
  9. Dad is a farmer
  10. ever pet a snake
  11. you can cross your eyes
  12. know who Judy Garland is
  13. your church has a steeple
  14. your Mom is a teacher
  15. your Mom is a lawyer
  16. been to the principle’s office
  17. squished a caterpillar
  18. wish you were a bird
  19. eaten raw cookie dough
  20. eaten a whole stick of butter
  21. crashed your scooter
  22. crashed your bike
  23. have a piggy bank
  24. remember Reading Rainbow
  25. have an Elmo doll
  26. play with transformers
  27. your car has hairballs
  28. wash your parents’ car
  29. know the capital of Kentucky
  30. ever changed a diaper
  31. you are engaged
  32. you are pregnant
  33. you really like this song
  34. have a unibrow
  35. still can’t tie a shoe
  36. know 17 x 3
  37. can change a flat tire
  38. have a secret candy stash
  39. broken something expensive
  40. love Jesus Christ
  41. you are tired
  42. you have spent all your money
  43. still have all your money
  44. you owe your friend money
  45. your friend owes you money
  46. someone stole your money
  47. you stole someone’s money
  48. know what today is
  49. know the price of gas right now
  50. know the price of a gallon of milk

Set #4

  1. know the year of US independence
  2. know how old that makes the US? (236 on July 4th, 2012)
  3. ever been to Rushmore
  4. ever been to Yellowstone
  5. want me to stop singing this song
  6. like Blue Bell ice cream
  7. had to see the camp nurse
  8. have never seen the camp nurse
  9. know the camp nurse’s name
  10. can name all the adult leaders
  11. drool on your pillow
  12. your friend snores in their sleep
  13. your counselor/adult leader snores in their sleep
  14. like ping pong
  15. you’ll miss your new friends when camp is over
  16. you’ve started a “relationship” at camp (not recommended)
  17. still have some baby teeth
  18. lost all your baby teeth
  19. are currently missing a tooth
  20. have a pet ferret
  21. have a secret crush
  22. like to shop at Walmart
  23. have a hunting license
  24. never fired a gun
  25. can’t wait for school
  26. family is moving this summer
  27. love ________ (camp name)
  28. love Jesus Christ
  29. been bit by a snake
  30. been stung by a bee
  31. have living great-grandparents
  32. been to the rodeo
  33. been to the circus
  34. want to run away with the circus
  35. think your friend belongs in the circus
  36. think clowns are funny
  37. think clowns are scary
  38. galloped on a horse
  39. lassoed a calf
  40. think Bigfoot is alive and well
  41. don’t have a TV
  42. have a TV in your room
  43. share your bedroom
  44. been to Disney World
  45. been to Washington DC
  46. been to Alaska
  47. like the dinner last night
  48. wanna be like Jesus
  49. brought your Bible with you
  50. smell really bad

Set #5

  1. got in trouble this week
  2. got closer to Jesus this week
  3. learned about the Bible
  4. don’t want to go home
  5. didn’t sleep last night
  6. forgot what your parents look like
  7. want to come back next year
  8. swam in the pool
  9. drank lots of water
  10. have not drank any water yet
  11. counselor smells bad
  12. have a brother or sister at camp
  13. know the Bible verse
  14. chewing gum right now
  15. like Justin Beiber
  16. hate Justin Beiber
  17. can name all 3 stooges
  18. have an innie
  19. have an outie
  20. can text really fast
  21. your Dad could beat me up
  22. I could beat up your Dad
  23. think that I’m a good juggler
  24. you are engaged
  25. you are married
  26. have more than 5 siblings
  27. wearing orange
  28. thanked the cooks
  29. having fun at camp
  30. think this is all a dream
  31. shoe’s untied
  32. ever slept in church
  33. been bit by a snake
  34. you’re tired of this game
  35. your Dad has a truck
  36. your Mom has a truck
  37. been to Europe
  38. know where I’m from
  39. have to go to the bathroom – now
  40. are currently going to the bathroom
  41. can do the splits
  42. can do the moonwalk
  43. first year at camp
  44. you live at this camp
  45. had fun today
  46. love Jesus Christ
  47. got in trouble today
  48. feel closer to Jesus this week
  49. learned about the Bible this week
  50. don’t want to go home

Set #6

  1. ever gotten detention
  2. wearing blinkie shoes
  3. ever kissed a frog……did a prince appear?
  4. been to NYC
  5. ever had braces
  6. have a rat tail
  7. can name 3 commandments
  8. can name all 4 Gospels
  9. can play the piano
  10. ever been on TV
  11. ever been in the newspaper
  12. been skiing before
  13. never been skiing
  14. have a pet hamster
  15. have a pet dog
  16. have a pet cat
  17. have a pet bird
  18. have a pet fish
  19. have a pet bear
  20. want a pet bear
  21. have a baby brother
  22. floss your teeth
  23. last name starts with “Z”
  24. birthday is today
  25. birthday is Christmas
  26. allergic to your neighbor
  27. want to be an astronaut
  28. missing two front teeth
  29. love Jesus Christ
  30. like bird watching
  31. still haven’t taken a shower all week
  32. had a lemonade stand
  33. you’re bonkers for Jesus
  34. know who shot Lincoln (John Wilkes Booth)
  35. know who shot Kennedy (Lee Harvey Oswald)
  36. know who shot the man who shot Kennedy (Jack Ruby)
  37. been to Mexico
  38. fluent in Spanish
  39. have a sunburn
  40. ever started a fire
  41. you’re read the whole Bible
  42. have had perfect attendance in school
  43. seen the Grand Canyon
  44. ever been in an earthquake
  45. ever survived a tornado
  46. want to go to college
  47. know how old I am
  48. ever gotten lost at Walmart
  49. know the capital of Albania
  50. ever flown in a plane

Set #7

  1. never flown in a plane
  2. ever driven a tractor
  3. own a cowboy hat
  4. love Jesus Christ
  5. wanna be a juggler when you grow up
  6. have ever had your picture in the newspaper
  7. can count to 10 in French
  8. like to build forts
  9. like to camp outside
  10. have your own credit card
  11. like to climb mountains
  12. like to dig tunnels
  13. like to bury yourself in sand
  14. still don’t know my name
  15. know my middle name
  16. ever been struck by lightning
  17. know all 7 dwarves
  18. can name all the reindeer
  19. been to a NASCAR race
  20. ever saw Mr. Rogers
  21. ever shot a deer
  22. ever shot a bunny
  23. know the price of gas
  24. Mom has gotten a speeding ticket
  25. Dad has gotten a speeding ticket
  26. you have gotten a speeding ticket
  27. sold stuff door-to-door
  28. sleep with a blankie
  29. like the worship songs
  30. wearing yellow
  31. seen a lizard at camp
  32. like coming to chapel
  33. hate Satan
  34. love Jesus Christ
  35. wearing glasses
  36. can cross your eyes
  37. know someone in the military
  38. in boy scouts
  39. in girl scouts
  40. love girl scout cookies
  41. know how to change a baby’s diaper
  42. can wiggle your ears
  43. know that Jesus loves you
  44. remember Hurricane Katrina
  45. do your own laundry
  46. really good at the limbo
  47. like cheeseburgers
  48. get the crown hat at Burger King
  49. get Happy Meals at McDonalds
  50. had to go to the emergency room
  51. make your own chocolate chip cookies

Set #8 – Last Day of Camp

  1. going home today
  2. staying here forever
  3. church bus is taking you home
  4. your Mom is picking you up
  5. your Dad is picking you up
  6. your grandparents are picking you up
  7. Captain America is picking you up
  8. going to sleep on the way home
  9. spent all your money
  10. still have all your money
  11. haven’t taken a shower all week
  12. never made your bed at camp
  13. coming back next summer
  14. feel closer to Jesus
  15. made a new friend at camp
  16. started a “relationship” at camp
  17. going to be a fan of “Jesse the Juggler” on facebook (if you’re 13 or older)
  18. going to play this game with your friends at home
  19. miss your dog
  20. miss your cat
  21. miss your pet bear
  22. have the longest ride home today
  23. have the shortest ride home today
  24. been scuba diving
  25. didn’t sleep last night
  26. wanna be a counselor when you grow up
  27. wanna be a teacher when you grow up
  28. wanna be a mailman when you grow up
  29. wanna be a doctor when you grow up
  30. wanna be a guy who sings Happy & You Know It to kids when u grow up
  31. your counselor/leader needs a date
  32. you’ve ever had chicken pox
  33. think the sound guy is cute
  34. you’re going to sleep in tomorrow
  35. your favorite time of year is summer
  36. your Mom makes your clothes
  37. you make your own clothes
  38. you are left-handed
  39. you are right-handed
  40. you are both-handed (ambidextrous)
  41. like to look at the stars
  42. like to watch fireworks
  43. really like this game
  44. going to miss me
  45. not going to miss me
  46. remember my daughter’s name
  47. love the Bible
  48. love Jesus Christ

Some lines for the Adults and Leaders

  1. gotten a speeding ticket
  2. snooped in your kid’s room (if you have kids)
  3. wish you could have PDA at camp
  4. know all your kids’ names
  5. love country music
  6. hate country music
  7. once were a hippie
  8. ever had a mullet
  9. thought Tom Selleck was hot
  10. have never sent a text
  11. don’t know what Twitter is
  12. homeschool your kids
  13. teacher
  14. doctor
  15. laywer
  16. nurse
  17. pastor
  18. stay-at-home Mom or Dad
  19. retired
  20. still don’t know what you wanna be when you grow up
  21. gotten a ticket or busted for worse than speeding (we won’t ask)
  22. punished the wrong kid
  23. have a secret candy stash
  24. forgot someone’s birthday
  25. forgot your own Anniversary
  26. still suck your thumb
  27. sleep with a Teddy Bear
  28. watched the first moonwalk live on TV
  29. read the whole Bible
  30. ever put your pants on backwards
  31. can do the moonwalk
  32. were a Whitney Houston fan
  33. like your kids at camp
  34. have “that one kid” here at camp
  35. if “that one kid” is your own child
  36. can text faster than you can talk
  37. can solve a rubix cube
  38. ever been skydiving
  39. miss playing the original Nintendo
  40. were alive when JFK was shot
  41. ever had an 80’s perm
  42. played college sports
  43. sponsor a Compassion or World Vision child
  44. think you pay too many taxes
  45. your garden is dying at home while you’re here at camp
  46. you mow the lawn
  47. you’ve never mowed the lawn
  48. have exercised to a Richard Simmons video
  49. remember a day when there was no internet
  50. still have a land line phone
  51. still write cards and letters by hand
  52. love Jesus Christ