Friday, February 02, 2007

Detour: Amazing Race

The month of January was "Amazing Race" month for the children at Van Dyke. At Detour (our Wednesday night kid's service), one of our activity workshops was themed similar to the popular adventure race television show. For four weeks, each night kids raced from room to room, performing activities like:
  • Completely wrapping a team member in toilet paper
  • Assembling a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle
  • Using spoons held in their mouths to feed pudding to another team-mate
  • Drinking a baby bottle full of water (very time-consuming)
  • Solving word-scrambles, identifying bible names, etc.
  • Eating baby food
  • Drinking pickle juice
  • Finding a hard-boiled egg in a bowl full of unboiled eggs
It was crazy to watch but it was one of the most exciting pieces of children's ministry that I've ever seen. My daughter's team finished nearly last every week but still had a blast. I learned a lot of new things about various kids just watching them interact under pressure -- things I'd never see if they were sitting at a table listening to a bible story.

I think my proudest moment was the first night when one of our most difficult kids tried this activity. Every week she tries something different and by the end of the night, she tells me that she hates it and wants to do something different. This was the first time she finished the night and said she loved it. Another first: she came back to the same activity the next week.

Almost all of the credit for this goes to Sarah Morris, who jumped on this activity idea and ran with it. It was amazing to watch her juggle 8 rooms of activities and clues to send kids racing back and forth. This was so successful that we're working to pull together another activity similar to "Fear Factor" for March. We've already had kids asking about it.

["The Amazing Race" is a trademark or something of CBS or some production company. We asked and received clearance from them to use the term "Amazing Race" and our own logo, but we could not use the term "The Amazing Race".]

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