The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, April 23, 2002

In This Issue

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LOST: An All Day Event They?ll Never Forget

Ever looking for another event besides the proverbial mini-golf?? Well maybe your group would like ?LOST.?? Imagine dropping off your students at a far off unknown location in teams of eight, equipped with only a $100 bill per team, an envelope of crazy instructions, and a video cameraman recording the whole thing!

It all started when my dad recently spoke at his old church in Los Gatos, CA where he was a youth pastor back in the early 70's.? (Let me put some perspective on this. . . Fuller Seminary?s Chap Clark was a kid in his youth group!).? My dad came back telling me great stories and insisting that I call their youth pastor Dale.? Dale had just completed this event and the students were still talking about it.

The first minute I talked with Dale, I knew I had to share his idea with all of you.? Many of you have seen shows like ?LOST? where they drop someone off in the middle of nowhere and make them find where they are and find their way home.? This is the same idea as ?Lost? and ?The Great Race,? but with your youth group, and for only $12 bucks a kid.? Interested?? Keep reading.

This is an event you can do for pretty cheap.? But it does take a lot of work.? It takes a good staff ratio to ensure safety, and it takes a lot of pre-planning.? WARNING: Do not cut corners on the planning of this event. You are entirely responsible for the safety of your youth group.? You will want to note Dale?s safety precautions and evaluate your own.? Use wisdom while planning this event- use these ideas at your own risk.

Here?s what Dale did:

He divided his group into teams of eight.? Each team of eight students had two staff members, each with cell phones.? He divided teams by picking names out of two hats: a hat full of the guys names, and a hat full of the girls names.? This mixed students up with other students they hadn?t met of different ages and genders.

The entire group took their church bus towards an unrecognizable destination, 30 minutes out, placing blindfolds on all the students.? They dropped them all off in a town called Walnut Creek, CA. Each team got out and received a packet.? The packet had several numbered envelopes in it and one $100 bill.

The teams would score points by the following:
1.? Who got to their final destination first
2.? Who had the most money left
3.? Who guessed the closest to the final destination

Dale?s group started in Walnut Creek, riding BART (the subway) into San Francisco to Ghiradelli Square.?? On their journey they had to go through Chinatown and order a specific item in their packet that was written in Chinese, they had to ride a taxi, ride a cable car, buy chocolate in Ghiradelli, and a cookie in the San Francisco Shopping Center.? Each team had a staff person video taping the entire day.

Dale said, ?I couldn?t have planned the discussions that happened after this day.? Students couldn?t stop talking about it.? They got a glimpse of what it was like to feel lost!? They had to call a cab, ride the subway, order Chinese food and try to break a $100 bill!? We asked them questions like: What would you have done if you were dropped off alone?? One student said, ?I have to be honest.? I would have opened up all the envelopes at the beginning and cheated!??

I asked Dale how he kept this event safe.

?Each team had two staff people who each had cell phones.? We kept a 1 in 4 staff ratio.? When they booked the cab- they had to get a cab that fit six people, including the driver, because I wouldn?t let them split up from their staff person.? Then each team had to call three designated times throughout the day.?

There you have it.? ?LOST.?? An event that can kick off discussion after discussion about how we?re ?lost? or searching for the right path.?

Here are the instructions that Dale included in each packet.? These included original instructions and individual assignments in each envelope.? (Note: These are just to give you an idea.? I don?t know all the specifics so please don?t email me and ask me how he did assignment # 4 and what the clue was.? You?re on your own on that one!)

LOST 2002
Where are you? Where are you going? How are you going to get there? These are all questions you need to answer today.? One of your leaders has an envelope with all the necessary information for your journey.? You must complete each assignment before opening the next.? You have been given enough money for the day, but you need to spend wisely.? You must record all of your expenses.

But first, do you know whom you are making this journey with?
Your first assignment is to write down everyone's name?

What city are you in?

Where do you think the finish line is? Be specific.
(The team that is closest gets a fantastic prize.? You cannot change your answer once it?s written.)

Once this page has been completed you may open envelope # 1.

LOST 2002

Your first assignment is to get to the Walnut Creek Bart Station. It is too far to walk, but how you get there is up to you. Your team must travel together. The map below might be a good way?

?(925) 555-3950 (This was an actual number- I just changed all numbers for this article.) _ Info. Line

When you get to the Walnut Creek Bart Station, open envelope #2

LOST 2002

Congratulations, you made it to the Walnut Creek Bart Station.? Your first assignment is to call Dale @ 408_555_3572 to check in.? Secondly, buy tickets, board the Bart and get off at Powell Street in San Francisco!

11:17a? 11:54a
11:37a? 12:14p
11:57a 12:34p
12:17p? 12:54p
12:37p?? 1:14p
When you have arrived at the Powell Station, head towards the SAN FRANCISCO SHOPPING CENTER? Once your team is off the train you may open envelope #3.
LOST 2002

Go to the San Francisco Shopping Centre.? Find a place that sells cookies.? Purchase a cookie, have everyone on your team take a bite.

LOST 2002

Go ride the Cable Car to Chinatown.

LOST 2002

Get to Ghiradelli Square.? You can get there any way you want? options include Cable Car, walking or a Taxi!? (Try the latter, it should be the quickest!)

Buy a piece of candy from any store in Ghiradelli Square.? Have someone eat it and then open envelope # 6.

LOST 2002

The final leg of your journey!!!!? The church bus is near pier 17.? Get there any way that you can! Muni (the trolley) is a good option but it's up to you!!!! Call Dale (408) 555_3572 so he knows you are in the home stretch.??

Your entire team must touch the bus to finish.? Congratulations!? You made it!


TOUGH CHOICES: Equipping students to be making good choices about sex, drugs and music

I don?t usually pump local events, but if you?re within driving distance of Sacramento, CA, you don?t want to miss TOUGH CHOICES at the end of this week.? Myself, Jim Burns, Al Menconi and Phil Chalmers are tackling the 3 biggies: SEX, DRUGS, and MUSIC!

For those of you out of the area- I?ll be taking the sex seminar on tour soon.? We?ll keep you posted.

For information about the event
Click on the TOUGH CHOICES web site:


If you have any other youth ministry ideas you want to share, please email me at

God Bless!

Jonathan R. McKee
for Youth Ministry

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