The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In This Issue

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Something You Can Use: Top 10 Swimming Pool Ideas

Over here in the U.S., the weather is turning warm, school is out and summer is here. What better time to head to the pool! (New Zealanders... file this idea away for a few months!)

Here's our top 10 Swimming Pool Ideas: some entire events, some games and activities. Some of these require bigger pools like those at camps or community centers. Others could be done in the pools in people's backyards.
  • Dive In Movie Night: This is one of my favorite summer activity ideas. In high school ministry I try to rotate this one in at least every four years so kids get to experience it once. Basically, watch a "water" themed movie while floating in the pool (personally, I always select "Jaws"). Have everyone bring something to float on (we never charged admission, a tube or a raft was their ticket in). Click here for more aabout this event idea.

  • Water Joust: This activity is always a hit (no pun intended). Two people stand on a large raft and battle each other with noodles or blow up toys like the traditional joust game. (This requires a pretty large inflatable raft that at least two students can stand on and battle each other- I've done this on the traditional "queen size" inflatable mattress made for the water. This can ONLY be done in a large pool where kids can stand on a raft with no danger of falling and hitting their heads on the pool edge.) Rotate different kids through battling each other. Have a championship at the end for those with the most wins. For large groups only a few can participate; but it's a great spectator sport.

  • Change Dive: Simple but loved by all. Get anywhere from $10 to $100 in change: quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Throw it all in and spread throughout the pool. Gather everyone around the edge of the pool. Offer a prize for the person who collects the most money and yell "Go!"

  • Watermelon Polo: Get a small to medium sized watermelon and smear it in some sort of petroleum jelly like Vaseline. Float a hula hoop on each end of the pool and divide into teams. Play water polo with the greased melon and the floating hoops as goals. Great fun!

  • Summer Luau: Don't underestimate the popularity of the age ol' Hawaiian themed pool party with grass skirts, coconuts and tiki torches. Play Hawaiian music, serve tropical fruit drinks and cook Pumba! (Hakuna Matata!)

  • Raft Creation: This competition takes a little more time. Give each group or team a certain number of the largest trash can bags you can find and some tape/rope etc. You can inflate them, cut them, tape them... anything. See who can build the strongest raft and then, at a specified time, race across the width of the pool.

  • Belly Flop Contest: Yes, the ol' belly flop contest is always a hit. Give each person an opportunity to get themselves ready, get into a quick costume (cape, mask, draw a target on their belly with a sharpie...), then announce them one at a time. Have a panel of judges hold up numbers, rating them 1-10.

  • Pool Waterskiing: Yes, you can water ski in a pool! (Only do at a camp or some place with an Olympic sized pool!) The trick is in the pulling. I use to see it done at a camp where they had a pickup truck ready to pull just outside the pool fence. The key is that you DON'T tie the rope to the truck... you have a strong staff guy bracing himself and holding a water ski rope in the back of a truck just outside the pool area. When the skier yells, "Hit it!" the truck takes off and skis the person 3/4 the way across the pool before the person in the truck lets go of the pull rope (for safety). (Try it several times in advance with some staff people to get the timing down and to know when to let go of the rope. Also have spotters with flotation devices at the edge of the pool for an extra safety stop).

  • Poolside Steal the Bacon: Just like Steal the Bacon with its many variations, but in the pool. Two teams can either be in the water or standing on the opposite sides of the pool (if you have a deep enough deep end that allows for safe diving in). The "Bacon" can be anything (ball, rag, raft, a penny, be creative here) and can be floating on the water, sunk to the bottom, or even in the process of sinking.

  • Water Ballet: Give each team (works best with teams of less than 10 people) a certain amount of time to perform a synchronized swimming/water ballet routine that involves EVERY team member. Play classical music through a sound system or boom box, if possible.

For even more pool game ideas, jump on our
GAMES & ICEBREAKERS page and click on

Podcast Summer Giveaway: Episode #2 is here! Listen and get a chance to win a ton of great prizes including a Video iPod, a Gospel Journey DVD collection from Dare 2 Share, and Jonathan's new book and DVD.

WE MADE A MISTAKE: Sorry, we're "newbies" at this whole podcast thing. If by chance you opened your iTunes in the last day or so before 10:00 p.m. Tuesday night (California time), then Episode #2 didn't download correctly on your iTunes. Instead, Episode #1 crept in as an imposter. We have remedied the mistake and had the perpetrator shot. HOW TO REMEDY: go into your iTunes and delete our Episode #2 from your podcast library... then do a search for JONATHAN MCKEE, bringing up our podcast page, and click to GET EPISODE #2. Enjoy!

Episode #2 of our podcast is up on iTunes... and some of the prizes from our Podcast Summer Giveaway were just announced in that episode. If you haven't subscribed to our free podcast, now is the time. If you don't have an iPod, don't worry... you can win one! (and you don't need an iPod to listen to iTunes)

Episode #2 of our free The Source for Youth Ministry Podcast, features:

  • INFORMATION ABOUT THE PODCAST SUMMER GIVEAWAY PRIZES: We are giving away some fantastic prizes this summer exclusively to podcast listeners. You can register to win each time you listen to an episode. Prizes include:

    A brand new Apple 30GB Black VIDEO iPod ($249 Value)

    Gospel Journey Adventure Kit
    The Gospel Journey Adventure Kit from ($199 Value)

    Getting Students to Show Up

    Final Countdown

    Event Resource DVD
    (Click Here for More Info
    About this new book & DVD)

  • YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW- The Porn Effect: In this episode we talk about "The Porn Effect" on young girls, looking at how young girls are getting a little too comfortable with the influence of porn. We see it everywhere from reality shows where young contestants perform softcore porn routines in hopes of becoming the next Pussycat Doll, to the pictures on girls' Myspace pages. Porn has changed sexiness from subtle to raunchy.

  • THE SEVEN SINS- Church Outreach Events: This time we talk about the Seven Sins of Church Outreach Events

  • RESOURCE HIGHLIGHT- Logistical Help: Here we take a peek at some great resources on our Logistical Crud page that help you look at your youth ministry as a whole, evaluating key elements like outreach, spiritual growth and leadership development.

  • HELP ME! This is the part of the podcast where we address some of the questions that people send to us at ASK THE SOURCE on This time we answer a question about students that only show up for "the fun stuff" as well as questions about students that need to grow in their faith.


Or, if you don't have iTunes already... it's free. So jump on Apple's web page and download it now, then click on our podcast page.

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