Various Games

The Orthodox Olympics (13 +) (top)

Introduction: This game was developed by the college students of UC Berkeley for the first annual West Coast OCF College Conference held December 27 through 31, 2001 at St. Nicholas Ranch, Dunlap, California. For pictures of it in progress go to the 2001 Event Galleries on [url=][/url].

Note: As written, the game lasts about 20 minutes. To prolong the game create more stations.

Materials: Ribbons for each team (usually strips of different color fabric), Jump Rope, small weights, blind folds, sheet with all stations.

Preparation: Each team needs a distinguishing "ribbon" to use as ID when going to the different stations. People are assigned to organize and lead each station. Each team is assigned there 1st station, Teams gather at the "starting line" and are given the rules.

Objective: Teams must be the first to gather all 7 ribbons, by completing seven teamwork-emphasizing tasks. Each team starts at the designated activity for your team. The starting point and finishing point are (name a place). After completing this first activity, you can proceed in any order. The first team to complete all challenges, obtaining all seven of their ribbons, and to reach the finish line first wins.


1. Your team must complete the first station it is assigned BEFORE continuing. After this first challenge is completed, the team is free to skip around, but be aware that you may have to wait for another team to finish the activity if they arrived first, depending on how many groups can be accommodated at a time at a particular station
2. Everyone must be present at every station; the team cannot split up
3. There will be facilitators at each station to ensure the rules aren't broken
4. You must ONLY take your own ribbon (honor system)

Stations (You will want to alter these to fit your circumstances. Be sure to include the location on the Stations sheet.)
1. "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven" Luke 6:23
- Location: Second red bridge (patio near the lower dorms)

It's time to rejoice and be merry by literally leaping. Let's jump some rope! Everyone in the team, who is not turning, must jump simultaneously 5 jumps. Two people from your team must swing the rope while everyone else jumps, in order to earn their ribbon from this station.

2. "For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened" Matthew 7:8
- Location: Cafeteria (back entrance)

This one simple enough. Seek and you shall find. Follow the clues and find your ribbon.

Start at the X at the back door of the cafeteria. Walk approximately 22 steps forward to find the next clue, look behind you.

3. "Come follow me … and I will make you fishers of men" Mark 1:17
- Location: Swimming pool

Christ made fishers of men. Following in his image, we too will become fishers, but not quite the same way. The flags are at the bottom of the pool, attached to a weight. You must work together given the resources available, or any feasible means to get your flag. Better hurry, time is ticking!

4. "If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fail, for the Lord upholds him with his hand" Psalm 37:18
- Location: Room 10, Lower Dorms

God lifts us with his hands and does not let go. In this challenge, you can't let go either. Your team, under facilitation, is arranged in a human knot and must get free in order to take the flag. Players form a close circle. Then everybody reaches out and holds tow other people's hands. Now, try to untangle the "knot" without letting go. You may have to climb over arms or crawl under arms.

5. "For god is not a God of disorder" 1 Corinthians 14:3
- Location: St. Peter's meeting room

Even though God is organized, as imperfect humans it's often easy for us to confused in our lives. Even "dizzy" in the faith. Your team is lined up. Taking turns, a member goes to the baseball bat and spins around ten times, then must run the path indicated by the facilitator, and then straight back to tag the next team member. The flag is earned once each member has completed the course.

6. "But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple" Psalm 5:7
- Location: On the road to the Barn

Bow down to the Lord! Well, not exactly, more like bend back in praise. Each team member must get under the limbo stick (or rope). The catch (there is always a catch) is that as each of your team members passes, the stick is lowered. Once one team member hits the bar, you have to start all over again.

7. "Leave them; They are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit" Matthew 15:11
- Location: Covered picnic area next to parking lot

This time, you can be the eyes for your disadvantaged teammate. One team member is blindfolded and spun around by the facilitator. The team must guide the blinded member to the hidden flag. Only one person can speak at a time. You are only allowed to use the words "hot" and "cold". If it is taking too long, you can start over with a new blind folded person, but the flag will be re-hidden. You are not allowed to lead or guide your blind teammate through touch, only verbal help can be offered.

Trust (For all ages) (top)

This game usually works well after your participants and staff have been together long enough to get to know each other’s names, and to develop some sense of belonging to the camp. This is especially true of the youngest participants. Make sure at least one of their supervisors is on each team with the youngest ones.

The set up: 4 poles or sticks, or anything that allows you to tie a rope higher than the waist of the tallest person participating.

The goal of the game is to have each team have to work together and form a plan to get their whole team over the rope or the poles in anyway without touching them. If they touch the rope/poles the entire team must start over. This will require them to trust one another since they will have to carry, haul, and push each other over the rope/poles. The participants will notice that it is pretty easy at the beginning of the game, but gets harder as the older kids have to get over. This is where the excitement begins.

*A few notes:

  • Play on soft grass, or have mats on both sides of the rope.
  • Instruct older participants that they cannot drop younger players over the rope.
  • It is okay to use some participants as stepping stones, but they can’t be on the other side of the rope.
  • Try not to offer suggestions. Let the participants figure it out. That’s half the fun!
  • Have adults stand on both sides of each rope to make sure the rope is not being touched.

Pass (This is a good rainy day game for younger kids.) (top)

Sit participants in a circle with one ball. The goal of the game is to not have the ball when the leader stops saying “pass.” For each time the leader says, “pass”, the participant who is holding the ball passes it tot the person next to them. Instruct participants that they cannot throw the ball but must pass it gently using two hands into the hands of the person next to them. Whoever has the ball when the leader stops saying ‘pass” is out.

Play the game until there is only one winner left.

This game is good indoors or outdoors.

Hill Dill (For all ages.) (top)

Two parallel lines are established 50 ft. apart. One player is chosen to be it and stands in the center between the two lines. The other children stand on one of the parallel lines. The center player calls, “Hill Dill! Come over the hill, or else I’ll catch you standing still!”

The children run across the open space to the other line, while the one in the center tries to tag them. Anyone caught helps the "tag-er" in the center. The first child caught is it for the next game. Once children cross over to the other line, they must await the next call.

Pass the Person (Good inside or outside. For teens or preteens) (top)

Purpose: To help members of a group come to trust one another and to feel comfortable together. It loosens them up and makes them more talkative.

Gather in groups of at least 6. Form a circle about 5 feet in diameter. Have one person move into the middle of the circle, close their eyes, and cross their arms. Have the members of the circle put out their arms in front of them with their elbows bent. When the person in the center is ready, they fall backward. They should keep their feet planted. The members in the circle will catch them, using their arms to direct them around the circle. The circle should not be too large to keep the person in the middle from falling too far and making it more difficult to catch the person in the middle. Repeat with other members of the group. Do not force anyone to participate. The key to making this work is having a small, tight circle and a person in the middle who is a willing participant.

Crows and Cranes (For all ages.) (top)

Two goal lines are drawn about 50 ft. apart. Children are divided into two groups – the crows and the cranes. The groups face each other at the center of the area, about 5 ft apart. The leader calls out either “crows” or “cranes,” using a cr-r-r-r-r-r sound at the start of either word to mask the result. If “crows” is the call, the crows chase the cranes to the goal line. If “cranes” is the call, the cranes chase. Any child caught goes over to the other side. The team that has the most players when the game ends is the winner.

Bus (Teens) (top)

Have members sit in a circle. Tell a couple of members how the game works. One of them starts by telling this story: 'This morning I went to get on the bus, but I had forgotten my money. So I said to the conductor, won't you let me ride anyway? I have these brand-new sneakers on they will get all dirty if I run back home. Did the conductor let me ride?' You (the conductor) decide if the member gets to ride or not. The reason is only acceptable if it describes the person sitting to the speaker's left. (In this example, the person sitting to the speaker's left has on new sneakers.) Have members take turns telling the same general story, but giving different reasons why they can't go home for their money. Continue playing until most everyone has caught on.

Olympic (preteen and teen) (top)

This is a good rainy day inside game.

Ahead of time using masking tape, divide the room in half.

Have half the group stand on one side of the line and the other half on the other side. Give one member a ball. That person tosses the ball to the other side. Someone there must catch it and throw it back. The object of the game is to not let the ball hit the floor on your side of the line. If it hits the floor, the other team scores a point.

Tap the Line (all ages) (top)

Designate a “home base.” Select a “tapper.” The tapper chases the others and tries to tap them. When someone is tapped, that person becomes the “bogey.” The bogey and the tapper race to the base. If the bogey gets there first, the bogey is fee. If the tapper is first, the bogey becomes a prisoner and stays at the base with one hand touching the base at all times.

The tapper continues to get bogeys. Subsequent bogeys start forming a line after the first one by holding hands. The tapper’s goal is to catch everyone, but any bogey who is touched by a free person may leave the line and become a player again

Color Catch (all ages – separately) (top)

For this game you will need to select a color and have a bag for each team.

Divide into teams. Tell teams to find as many things as possible that are the color you selected, and put them in their bag. Set a time limit.

Note: If you do this with a variety of ages, make sure the teams have equal numbers of different age groups.

Touchy Scavenger Hunt (children) (top)

Ahead of time make a list of textures (soft, smooth, feathery, wet squishy, etc.) For each team, make a copy of the list and bring a bag.

Divide into equal teams. Explain that each team is to bring back items that feel like the description on the list. Set a time limit and send the teams out. Give extra points for creativity.

Zoo-mania (top)

Materials: willing camp counselors or youth staff, Campers, and Animal Costumes

  • Split campers into groups of between 5 to 10 campers (at least 4 groups).

  • Have camp counselors choose what type of animal they would like to be (frog, pig, bird, lion, etc.…)

  • Give a point value for each animal. (Frogs can equal 10 points, pigs can be 30, etc.…)
  • Hide the camp counselors or staff
  • Make the groups go out and find the hidden animals
  • Make the groups go out and find the hidden animals
  • Tally up the points as each group brings back a counselor or staff member

FUN-day (top)

If you have more than just a few hours to kill during a youth retreat, this event is sure to pass the time with some fun and excitement. This activity requires many participants (at least 25). The retreat leader must set up activity stations. Each station will have a different event and is worth different amount of points. These event stations should be spread out around the camp facility, so that the teams will have to travel from station to station.

Set up activity stations (balloon or egg tosses, relay races, obstacle courses, trivia games, etc.…) each with a certain amount of points depending upon the event’s difficulty.

  • Break the youth up into teams.
  • Each team must come up with a name for itself, a team song, and a banner which they must carry around with them from station to station.
  • Once each team has chosen their team songs and made their banners, they must go from station to station holding hands and constantly chanting the song that they made.
  • If the staff should at any time catch the teams not singing or not holding hands, one point is to be deducted from their team’s score.
  • Set a time limit and when time is up, call all the teams back and tally up the scores.
  • The team with the most points wins.

For extra fun: Hide an object of your choice in a difficult to find location. If a team should find this object, give this team extra points. The obstacle is to make the activity stations bizarre and creative so that FUN-day is extra fun.

--Katie and Arin Milosovich, Rocky Mountain Orthodox Youth Camp

Crafty Games: (top)

These games are fun and exciting to watch. Don’t forget to take pictures of the youth having messy fun.

Masterpiece-in-a-minute (top)


Finger paints (nontoxic), aprons (these could be made out of newspaper or butcher block paper), paper, and prizes of some kind

  • Separate into groups of 3 members in each group
  • Give each group member 3 different colors of finger paint, an apron, and a sheet of paper
  • Have each group pick an artist
  • Then have each “artist” create a “masterpiece” in one minute using their noses to apply paint
  • Do not tell them beforehand that they will be using their noses (You may not get any “artists”.)
  • Appoint a team to judge the paintings and award prizes.

Extra fun tips: Blindfold the artists and have an art gallery where the paintings are hung on the wall and a panel is appointed to judge the paintings.

--Camp Life and Light, Florida