Last Saturday, our youth group held our annual Youth Rally. An event where churches from all over western NY come and 'rally' you might say. We spend lots of time playing games, bouncing to music, and hearing a great devotional from Pastor Dan.
We started with a self-initiated game of Ninja, which consisted of about 14 people! Can you imagine 14 people in a huge circle all trying smack each other? It got rough at times but definitely fun all around!
Dan then announced us all to the center circle, and he explained we how were going to play Man-Overboard. It's basically a mind game, comprehending confusing terms of a ship (such as starboard, port, bow, poop deck, etc...) and beating the dozens of other teens rushing like a heard of cattle for it. Dan calls a term, such as starboard, and the last person to cross the Starboard line was out. But when he calls "Man overboard!", the last person to hit the floor was out. Teens started going pretty quickly. I was among the final 7 when I forgot to look behind me to make sure there was a teen behind me so I wouldn't lose, and that's exactly what happened. I was a bit saddened at first, I was hoping that when it came down to a few people I can't outrun and myself, Dan would call man overboard and I'd be the first one to hit the floor and that would help eliminate some of the better sprinters. Oh well.
Following that game was a very peculiar relay race, straws were handed out to everybody, and we had to pick up skittles in a plate across the gym with our straws, and bring them back to our home cup. Our Youth Group didn't win, but we weren't annihilated either. I was pretty proud of the work we did.
The next game, I was chosen to go help a less populated youth group. Mostly consisting of females I had never met in my life, but I tried not to show the awkwardness. There was a bucket full of bubble gum in the center of the gym, and one at a time, we had to grab one piece of gum and bring it back and set it on our home plate. The option of stealing from other youth group's home plates was open as well. We didn't win either round of that game, other teams kept stealing from our home plate. We were not allowed to physically protect our home plate in any way, but verbal defense was a valid option. When this girl came to steal from our home plate, I screamed as loud as I could in my drill sergeant voice, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING???", it was very entertaining watching them caught off guard when I yelled that. I guess they got frustrated at me for doing that, because when I went back to steal some of our precious gummy cargo back, I believe every girl standing in that line squealed in my ear as loud as they could. I laughed at that, I responded in my same voice as before "WHAT'S UP???", I'm pretty sure they were taken back by that remark. I wanted to go and steal from my youth group's plate but they were too far for it to be worth it.
The final game before our snacks of soda and cookies were served, was another relay race. One person at a time had to run to the bucket, grab a piece of gum and unwrap it, and blow a bubble for our youth pastor. Several of my friends sat out for this one, we couldn't blow bubbles if we had to! Frankly, I hate bubble gum and the only gum I do like is never big enough to make bubbles with. Once again, our youth group did not place first, but we didn't do as bad as other youth groups did.
Then, we were dismissed to the cookie tables, where at least 4 different bakers for each of the 6 different kinds of cookies offered an impressive arsenal of sweets. I grabbed 3 promising cookies and a Mountain Dew, and went to go sit down with my friends from another youth group. We talked about silly stuff until we were ordered upstairs to the auditorium for more competitions and worship.
The first competition after we were all settled in our seats, four volunteers from each youth group had to stick an oreo to their forehead by licking it, and then without using their hands, navigating it down their face into their mouth, without dropping it on the floor.
I wasn't a part of that one, thank goodness! But I was part of the next one, we were given little beanies you would give babies before a meal so they don't spill on their shirt, which I thought was silly but I loved to wear it anyway. Then we were given exactly 8 ounces of apple juice in a baby bottle that we had to drink as fast as we could. I found the perfect spot on the nipple of the bottle, and rested my head against a step on the stage so not to hurt my neck. I squeezed on the bottle to encourage faster flow, which I noticed no one else was doing, so I thought for sure I was going to win! But then the nipple of the bottle bounced backwards into the bottle, I started to panic as I tried to squeeze the bottle harder to make up for the loss in flow. It actually paid off, I wasn't the first but I finished in third place 3 seconds behind the first place winner. I was awarded a pack of 5 gum for my victory.
We sang some nice upbeat songs that we got to bounce to, clap to, throw out our voices singing to, and some slower ones to get more personal to. Then Pastor Dan came up and shared his devotional, which was very interesting and led to 2 salvations and 18 dedications for Christ. Praise God!
A very good youth rally, we look forward to it every year, and I can't wait to see how next year's will turn out!