Friday, August 13, 2010

Junior High and Whipped Cream

Junior Highers seem to have a fascinating enjoyment for getting wet and covering people with whipped cream.

I don't quite understand it, even though I went through the age myself. Okay, getting wet I can understand in certain ways, but I don't get the whipped cream thing.

Or maybe they don't really like it, they just follow what the youth leaders encourage them to do?

I've joined the Jr. High ministry at our church and I'm wrestling with the sorts of goofy silly games we play. Some seem perfectly harmless, but others (such as putting whipped cream on other people's faces - the losers faces) seem a little more problematic.

I'm curious to know... is this just me? What sort of games does/did your youth group do? What is okay and what is stupid, humiliating or dangerous?

And would Jesus ever whip-cream a losers face? Even in a fun game?

I'm really not sure.


Cor Mariae said...

yikes. I don't think I have a fascination with either one of those. :P And I am a junior. Our youth group plays games like Spoons, Bopper, Taboo, frisbee ect...there isn't really a focus on how bad it is to lose. (though of course there are ppl who think so. ;D ) I don't remember anything stupid, humiliating or dangerous and I have definitely not done anything like cool-whipping ppl's faces! ;D

Andrew Burden said...

we will do an occasional messy game or even a messy game special event. however, participation must be strictly voluntary or it can become a source of humiliation. many middle school kids do indeed enjoy getting wet or messy. the key is that the competitive aspect is downplayed, and whatever "skill" is required should not favor the more athletically inclined. kids get that enough at school.

Mary Bess said...

In our youth group we had a semi-annual "messy-fest," complete with shaving cram fights, waterballoons, and crazy relays that were guaranteed to cover you in mud, chocolate, jello, or any number of other disgusting substances. Looking back at that sentence I realize how inappropriate it sounds, but I never remember feeling uncomfortable about it at the time and I was the squeamish one in our group.

In answer to your question, it can be really fun if the youth group's dynamic is right. In ours the leaders/popular kids were willing to be publicly "humiliated" with pie-face first, especially if it gave the new kids, younger students, or shy ones a good laugh. We made great memories together, all equally messy, chasing the adult leaders offering muddy hugs, enjoying a good "clean" (in the spiritual sense of the word) chase/competition/riot. And our youth minister always managed to eventually find an amazing application from it for use in later lessons, and the whole group understood exactly what he was referring to.

Anyway, your concerns are valid, especially if your students use the mess in a cruel way, but try to remember that in Jr. High they're still in transition from kidhood to adulthood, and rare is the kid indeed who doesn't like a mess once in a while. I personally didn't particularly enjoy being sticky or dirty, but being the only one in a group who is still pristine and dry was no fun at all. Besides, at the end of the crazy, it did all wash away again with a good waterhose shower...and don't we all need to know that however nasty we get with sin, God can still wash it completely away?

Carmie said...

I guess it depends on if you like whip cream or not. If you don't like whip cream, then i Think it would be mean, however if you like whip cream wouldn't it be like a win-win? The 'winners' get the joy of being a winner, however the 'losers' get the tasty treat of whip cream which the winners do not get.