We’ve had the same dilemma as everyone else over the past year: how do you adapt to life online? Since moving our youth group sessions online, we’ve had to get creative about what activities we can offer our young people. Using Discord, a platform that lets us talk and hang out virtually as a group, Connect Alloa has been able to offer regular digital youth nights throughout lockdown. Over the past year, we’ve adapted different activities to make them online-friendly and found some new games to play as a group.
Online Scavenger Hunts
Basically, how this works is someone reads out a list of items for our young people and volunteers to find. These items can be simple – a book, a bowl, a hat – or a bit more personal – something related to a hobby or a picture.
During a group call, everyone gets told the list of objects at the same time. The person who collects all their items first and gets back to their screen fastest wins.
This is a great warm up activity and it also gets the young people away from their screens for part of the session. It’s also usually a good discussion starter if someone brings an unusual item and it really lets the young people share some of their hobbies/interests with the group too!
Among Us is an online multiplayer game that’s free to download to your phone. You’re on a spaceship with your crewmates, trying to complete a bunch of tasks to keep everything running properly (why these small blob people have such terrible, constantly malfunctioning spacecrafts is never really addressed). However, at least one player will secretly be an ‘imposter.’ Their job is to try and kill everyone else on the spaceship, one by one, without anyone realising its them.
When a player discovers a body, they can hit the report button and start a group vote on who everyone things the killer is. If the majority of players vote for the same person, that player gets chucked off the spaceship. Pick correctly and the crewmates win. Pick the wrong person and the killer gets another chance.
We also have a Jackbox Games account, which gives us access to a whole bunch of online multiplayer games. All a young person needs to do to take part is go the Jackbox website and type in the game code given during group.
Jackbox Games often encourage problem solving skills and creativity. A lot the games involve coming up with funny answers or responses, with points being awarded by other players for good answers.
Dungeons and Dragons
Another activity we’ve been able to host online has been Dungeons and Dragons. Since Discord allows everyone to participate in group voice and/or video calls, we’ve been able to adapt D&D to suit our digital sessions.
D&D also encourages creativity, team work and problem solving, as pointed out by Ethan Gilsdorf in this Ted article: ‘How playing Dungeons & Dragons has helped me be more connected, creative and compassionate.’
At Connect Alloa we are constantly looking for feedback and suggestions from our young people and volunteers. If there’s a new or different activity you want to try at one of our sessions, let us know!
Hopefully, we’ll be able to host some in-person youth group sessions when Covid-19 guidelines allow. We are looking into running some more outdoor activities in the summer months, so make sure to follow us on social media for updates!
Interested in joining Connect Alloa? Find our registration form here!
Stay safe everyone!