Team Building Activities for Youth Groups

Phil True
August 14, 2015

The middle school and teen years can be…well, challenging at best. Realistically, when we think back to our own adolescence, there’s likely a cringe-worthy moment or two. Perhaps the worst part about being a teen is that they don’t quite realize that “this, too, shall pass”. Ultimately, it’s up to the adults in a teen’s life to come through with love, support, advice and understanding when the going gets tough. Although every teen is different, positive experiences can help pull them through these crazy years.

Team Building Activities

Team building activities are a fantastic solution for keeping teens entertained, challenged and learning. A well designed and organized activity can build trust among peers and adults, encourage creativity, problem-solving and… can improve self-confidence. What could be better? Plan several team building activities before your retreat to ensure you have the necessary material and equipment. Consider these as a starting point:

Working On Partnership

Life is always better when you share it with a friend. Adolescent relationships, however, are often complicated with jealousy, bullying, selfishness and an intense desire to be accepted by peers. Help foster positive relationships among adolescents with fun team building activities. Look at these:

  • Blind Shapes: Communication is key as teams must work together while blindfolded to create various shapes with a rope.
  • Photo Finish: What seems like a simple task of walking from Point A to Point B becomes a challenge when teams must cross at exactly the same moment.

Working On Decision Making

Teens can be faced with tough decisions every day: what sports to pursue, what trends to follow, who to hang out with, what classes to take, and how to respond in situations where others are exerting peer pressure or making wrong choices. While some of those choices are not life-altering, others can set them on a path leading to less than great results. We appreciate that team building activities foster decision making ability in a fun, non-threatening environment. Here is a couple:

  • All Adrift: Your flame-enveloped boat is quickly burning into the sea. You have only minutes to decide which items to take from a list of essentials. Teams must form a list together, ranking items in order of importance.
  • Bus Stop: Teens are asked to pick a side, literally, as they are given several word pairs and must explain why they chose that particular side.

Finally, be certain to factor in your available space and specific location. While many team building activities require a large, open space, there are also those that can be completed in smaller areas. Ideally, an outdoor field or indoor gym space allows enough space for any activity. While planning your activities, think about a back-up location in mind in case of poor weather!

Organizing your own team building activities can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Utilizing an outsider facilitator or holding your event at an offsite facility can make a big difference in the success of your team building event.  If your youth group meets or is traveling near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, consider holding a youth group team building activity at Refreshing Mountain.  We offer a range of outdoor activities for any thrill or skill level with packages and discounts for groups.  We also feature overnight accommodations if you want to make it an overnight retreat, with lots of options for youth groups.