I have an acronym for scripture memory that I use at camps: MVOTW. It stands for “Memory Verse of the Week.” You pronounce it, “muh-vah-twuh.” Kids love saying it and we put motions to the words to help us remember whatever verse we are working on. Most camps and vacation Bible schools have a theme verse or main verse for the week. So I review that verse multiple times a day with the kids. I have found it to be a very effective way to teach kids how to memorize Scripture. One year, some girls recited a MVOTW to me that they had learned two or three years prior. They still remembered the words and the motions.
So if you lead your kids in a MVOTW, put some motions to each word or phrase (try to put in some or all American Sign Language if you can). Then quote the scripture reference, and finish it off with a hearty, “muh-vah-twuh!” It works. Trust me.
Here is a video of a group doing the MVOTW at Highland Lakes Camp in Texas last summer:
Are you looking for some ideas for the bring me game? You’ve come to the right place! I’ve got both free and for-purchase options. Read on….
Maligayang pagdating sa lahat ng aking mga kaibigan sa Pilipinas!
(a message to my friends in the Philippines)
The Bring Me! Slideshow
I created a slideshow of the Bring Me! game so that you can project the game on a screen for your party. There are 20 unique objects or commands (some not in the list above) with lots of pop and color to make your event as fun as possible! Only $5!
Here are some preview slides…
Purchase the full game slideshow below. You get 20 colorful rounds of the game plus instructions so you can have a great party! The slides are JPEGS, so they are easy to use on just about any computer or application (such as Keynote, Power Point, ProPresenter, etc).
NOTE: After you pay and check out on PayPal, you must click the RETURN TO MERCHANT button in order to get instant access to the digital files. Please reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
What do you do when you have a room full of children causing havoc (or could potentially do so) and need to engage them in a way that is both fun and simple to execute? Well, education is a good idea. But perhaps you’ve taught and they’ve learned all day and it’s time to kick back and play a good old-fashioned group game.
Play the “Bring Me” Game!
The Bring Me Game concept is simple and the variations are endless. You, the game leader, should stand up front with a microphone (or not if your group is small enough) and ask for random objects/items. I’ve got a list to get you going below.
The first person or group or team to produce the requested item and bring it to you gets a point for their team. WARNING: Kids tend to RUN a lot in this game. So make sure you remind them to not trample one another or trip over anything in their effort to bring the items up to you. You can decide how long to play the bring me game (such as “first team to ten points wins”).
One major thing to keep in mind when playing the game and coming up with ideas is the fact that nearly everyone has a device these days (even youth). If you’re at an event where most everyone has a device on them or at least some representatives of each team (such as adults in mostly-kid events) have devices, then make the most of technology in your requests. The internet is an endless supply of “scavenger-hunt” challenges. Just ask for a picture of BB-8 from Star Wars or a map of the country of Malaysia or any other fun idea they can search for.
The types of things you call up in the bring me game will vary depending on the size and the average age of your group. For example, not many kids will have a credit card on them if you ask for one. So be creative with ideas that fit what you think is out there in everyone’s pockets, purses, and accessories.
A Starter List
Here is a FREE list of ideas to get you going. You can come up with your own ideas by thinking of other things similar to or related to items on this list.
two different shoelaces tied together
five different socks bundled up in a ball
a selfie on a device
a photograph of exactly ten people on a device
something that has a picture of a rainbow on it
a double-A battery and a triple-A battery
something that is completely blue
two people wearing glasses doing jumping jacks next to one another
two unrelated people with red hair
a human hair
a non-human living thing (this will usually be a bug or insect found on the floor)
six people forming a human pyramid
a red pen or marker
something with a Disney symbol or character on it
two unrelated people with braces
a nail file
a one dollar bill, a five dollar bill, and a ten dollar bill (exactly)
a penny, a nickel, a dime, and a quarter (exactly)
something that feels cold
something that feels warm
something that lights up (that is not a phone or tablet device)
ten people in a line that goes from tallest person to shortest person
a crumpled up piece of paper
a person wearing two different kinds of shoes
a visible piece of dust/dustball
something sharp (and if it is a dangerous/forbidden object, you can confiscate it 🙂
something in the shape of a cube
a ball of some sort
five breath mints
three different kinds of breath mints
a picture on a device of the White House in Washington D.C.
a picture on a device of a mother and a son
someone who can say the alphabet backwards (for real, not someone saying, “alphabet backwards”)
a device playing the United States’ National Anthem
Millions of kids across the country are participating in some sort of summer camp experience this summer. Camp is such a meaningful time for kids because of the memories they make, the friends they meet, and the fun they have. Since I travel to many camps each summer, I get to see a lot of great camp ideas and a sampling of what works and what doesn’t work. I have also developed some of my own games and activities and have learned which ones work through trial and error.
And while many camps have plenty of planned activities throughout the day (pool time, zipline, lake time, climing wall, organized field games, etc.), it is important for leaders and volunteers to have an arsenal of back-up games in the event of rain-outs or other unforseen schedule changes (which happen more often than we think). For example, I was at a large camp in Texas a few weeks ago with about a thousand kids in attendance. Tropical Storm Bill came right through the camp on Wednesday and the kids were couped up in the cabins for much of the day. I traveled from cabin to cabin (not all of them) and led the kids in some fun activities that helped pass the time and make the day fun for them. There are also times where the kids may be waiting in line or in a room for the next activity and you as a leader want to do something fun with them until the next scheduled event. Here are some ideas for those “rain-outs” or in-between times….
I have called this “The Easiest Large Group Game Ever” and still stick to that title. All you need is a coin. And then the fun begins. You flip the coin and tell the kids to pick heads or tails before you flip it. If they’re right, they stay and play the next round. If they’re wrong, they’re out. Keep flipping until you’re down to one winner. You know who picked what by telling them all to stand up and put two hands on their head for heads and two hands on their behind for tails. If they are ever wrong, they have to sit down. Last person standing wins. A fun variation is to give each player two lives. The first time they are wrong, they have to stand on one foot. The second time they are wrong, they “lose” the other foot and therefore are forced to sit down. I don’t know why or how, but kids LOVE this game.
2. Flag Tag
This can be played indoors or outdoors. You need bandanas or flag-football flags (one per player). You wear the flags (tuck the bandanas partially into the belt area) and play tag. Create a boundary of some sort (a large circle or square) in which the players must play during the game (or else they are out). Instead of touch-tagging, the players have to pull out flags. When your flag is pulled, you must sit down in place. When you’re down, you can still pull flags from players who are still running around; you just have to stay seated and in place when you do so. I found a youtube clip that has some footage of this game, starting at 1:41 in the video and going until 1:55. There are a lot of variations on this game – such as….
every man for himself
red team vs blue team (or whatever colors you have)
All you need is a fun song on your music player and speakers loud enough for all the kids to hear the music. Play the music, the kids have to dance. When you stop the music, the kids have to freeze. Repeat those two steps (dance, then freeze, then dance, then freeze….). I like to have a little fun with it and give the kids instructions to follow for the freeze times or the dance times. Here are some ideas….
play dead (for the freeze)
touch a friend (for the freeze)
touch an adult (for the freeze)
make a large conga line (for the dance)
do the shopping cart/lawnmower/sprinkler/[whatever your favorite dance] (for the dance)
stand on one foot (for the freeze)
pretend that you are your favorite animal (for the dance or the freeze)
Many people have heard of Four Square, but Nine Square (aka Nine Square in the Air) is relatively new on the camp scene. You need a pipe apparatus that creates a three by three grid above the head height of the players. Each square is protected by a player and play starts in the middle with the “king” or “queen” and basic volleyball rules apply (one hit per person per square at a time). Instead of telling you all the rules, allow me to direct you to the 9SquareInTheAir website to read all about it. In my opinion, it is a close second to Gaga Ball in ranking the kid-favorite (and leader-favorite) games of camp these days.
5. Speaking of GaGa Ball
If you haven’t heard of this game, then either you have not been to a summer camp in over a decade or the one you go to is seriously missing out on the world’s best camp game. The set-up is the most elaborate of this list (you need to build an octagonal-walled ring) but the payoff is the greatest you will find these days in terms of how much the kids love this game. It is a form of dogeball played in a walled pit and the ball must be hit (not thrown) towards other players using an open palm and only below-the-waist hits count (which makes it much safer than traditional dogeball). Trust me….invest in a GaGa pit and watch the kids play the day away. I found some helpful links that explain the rules of the game as well as provide building materials for the pits….