4 things to do with young people this summer

Published: July 1, 2021

Tips for the summer by Barrie Voyce, Senior Youth Connector

For most of us in youth ministry, the summer holidays normally involve the immense highs and lows of a youth camp like Soul Survivor or New Wine. Spending a week in a field with a bunch of teenagers, no sleep and terrible food doesn’t sound like fun – but seeing them engage with God in worship, prayer and ministry really makes up for it.
With COVID-19 putting pay to festivals again this summer, here’s some suggestions of what you can do instead.

Party in the Park

Recreate the festival vibe with a mini-version in your own community. Play some music through a bluetooth speaker, order in a pizza (or have a BBQ if the council say its ok), sit around and chat.
Why not invite the whole community? – bring together young people from church and school, with parents and younger siblings too. The main thing is not to over-plan it, you don’t need a hundred activities, get people to bring a chair and their own snacks. Provide a football.

Chip Shop Crawl

Its an annual event for the young people in Stonehouse! An evening stroll around the local chippies, a bag of chips from each. Everyone gets their own fork. Dive in, give it a rating (out of 5 to make it simple, or create a mark scheme with columns for “freshness” “fluffy centre” “grease” “quantity of vinegar”). At the end of the evening, total up and annouce the winner. Why not get the young people to design a certificate and give it to the winning chippy to proudly display?

A local trip

Whilst the Government Guidance is that residentials should be avoided, day trips are still ok.
(Always check out the NYA guidelines at the time of planning and going).
The main advice is to keep it local, maintain social distancing and obviously follow the venues guidelines. Because they’re local, you can always arrange for the young people to meet you there.
There are some brilliant locations around the Diocese for a day trip – here’s a few suggestions

  • Outdoor activities at Viney Hill
  • Go Karting at JDR
  • Dry Skiing in Matson
  • Laser Tag at Battle Hill
  • Sandford Parks Lido
Please check with venues before organising a day trip.

Hang out in your churchyard

One of the biggest delights for me over the past few months has been the way in which my youth group have come to see the churchyard at St Matthew’s as part of their space. What started as a way to de-mask and let off steam for half an hour during youth club has rapidly turned into a whole new experience. We’re hardly in the building now.

We’ve explored the grave yards – learning about the saints of the past who lived in our parish, played football, helped pick up litter, built an insect hotel and found enough space under a yew tree to shelter from the rain together.
Its always been there, but we never saw it before.

Do you have a summer activity you know your young people love?

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