Summer Idea: Capture The Flag

Middle school students LOVE playing Capture The Flag. I don’t know why they like it so much; they just do, whether it’s 4-on-4 at someone’s house or 20-on-20 at their church. In case you forgot how to play, click here for a quick refresher. Summer is a perfect time for this game. We’re playing Capture The Flag with my students this summer and I’d recommend you organize a game for your middle schoolers sometime soon, too.

Summer Idea: The Swimming Pool Dunk Chair

Summer is just around the corner. Middle school boys love swimming! I discovered a fun swimming pool game that you can play with middle school boys that doesn’t require you to get wet. Get a plastic lawn or patio chair and set it on the edge of the pool at the deep end. Have a kid sit in the chair and ask him any random trivia question. If he gets the question right, he gets out of the chair and is safe. If he gets the question wrong you tip the chair into the water and he falls in! It’s simple, but middle school boys love it.

How To Throw a Successful Summer Get-Together With Middle School Boys

You’re a small group leader or a parent and you’re hosting a group of middle school boys at your house. What should you do?!? First, calm down and don’t panic. Hosting middle school boys for a get-together is simpler than you might think.

One of my small group get-togethers!

Every few months I have organized a small group get-together for my 12 small group guys at someone’s house. The goal of the get-togethers was to help our group bond. Here are instructions about what I did to throw an effective party for middle school boys. You can use these to throw a party of your own:

How My Small Group Blessed Other Small Groups With Pizza

At my church all of our middle school small groups meet in the church building at the same time on Wednesday nights. I decided to take advantage of that arrangement on a special Wednesday night last year.

On that particular Wednesday afternoon I called Little Caesar’s (you can’t beat their price of $5 per pizza) and asked them to deliver 12 pizzas (2 for each of our ministry’s 6 small groups) during the time when small groups were meeting. It was time for a special surprise!

One Way to Help Boys Focus During A Small Group Meeting

Parkour (par-koo-er; also known as “free running”) is an activity that has gained popularity in the US over the past 5-10 years. It’s difficult to describe without seeing it. Parkour is like gymnastics except people are running outside and they use random buildings or physical structures to do tricks instead of relying on gymnastics equipment.

Photo courtesy of Dollar Photo Club/Innovated Captures

Parkour is basically strong, coordinated, athletic guys doing dangerous things that look really cool to observers. So middle school boys (and most other guys) think parkour is cool. We all secretly wish we could do the parkour stunts that we see in movies and on YouTube but know there’s no chance we can pull it off like the pros. However, that doesn’t keep us from testing our own skills.

Foam Noodle Swords

Here’s a creative way to turn a foam swimming noodle into a fun toy that middle school boys love: All you need to do is purchase a regular-sized foam noodle and cut it in half with a sharp kitchen knife. Bam! You’ve got yourself something that I call a noodle sword.

The newly minted noodle sword can be wielded in one hand and serve as a harmless weapon. Two or more boys can chase each other around and have sword fights. Sword fights with foam noodles are awesome with middle school boys because:

The Time We Ate Cheese Balls Like Chickens

Being a middle school pastor affords me some unique opportunities. For example, every once in a while I get invited to a student’s birthday party. I always make an effort to accept those invitations because it communicates to students that I care about them. Plus, I consider it an honor to be invited to anyone’s birthday party no matter how old they are!

This past summer I went to a 14 year-old guy’s birthday party. It was at his house and he had also invited three of his friends from our ministry. Here are some of the things we did at the party:

The Easiest Fun You’ll Ever Have

No one else on the planet is capable of having so much fun so easily as middle school boys. It’s one of the characteristics that I appreciate most about them. It doesn’t take much to create a memorable experience for a middle school boy. Here’s an example:

Photo courtesy of Dollar Photo Club/eakdarkforce

When I was in college I had one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I was an assistant middle school track coach at a local middle school for three years. It was an awesome job because I got to be outside almost every afternoon in the spring, I got to be active, I got to be around middle schoolers, and I got paid!

What One Mom Did To Help Her 14-Year-Old Son Celebrate His Birthday

I heard this cool story from the mom of a middle school boy in my ministry. I’ll call the mom Katie.

The World Famous Adam Emmenecker

When I heard about what Katie planned for her son’s 14th birthday party I immediately asked if I could share it on my blog. Fortunately, she agreed. Here’s what happened at the party:

Repost: The Best Sports Season Ever

Since it’s the Christmas season and we’re all busy, I decided to take some time off from posting new content. Over Christmas and New Year’s I’ll repost my 4 most popular articles from 2014. I’ll return with new posts on January 6. Happy New Year!

I spent a lot of time playing hockey and baseball as a kid. My favorite season in any sport ever was my 9th grade hockey season.

My 9th grade hockey team touring a hockey stick factory during a tournament in northern Minnesota. I’m standing in the middle row underneath the “E” in “HOCKEY.” Coach Thad is on the far left. Coach Adam is on the far right and Coach Josh is right next to him.

It was a great season for a few reasons. I got to play with a lot of close friends and we were a pretty good team. Plus we went on some memorable out-of-town weekend tournaments. But the big difference-maker was the coaching staff.