My youth group recently held a ‘Survivor Night’ and it was a huge success. Just like the popular reality TV show, we were broken up into tribes and competed in a series of challenges to determine the winner. Before the night began, us leaders got to church around two hours beforehand to set up and prepare for the night ahead.
My task was to assemble a sort of ‘spiders tunnel’ to be a part of the obstacle course and using metal stakes, fabric mesh, string line, and a handful of cable ties I had managed to create a 1 metre x 1 metre square tunnel that was about 15 metres long. It reminded me of the one of the ‘Great Escape’ tunnels from the popular book/film about a WWII breakout of a POW Camp, only it was above ground and between each pair of posts hung string line like a web that made crawling through difficult – perhaps too difficult as I myself got caught when my tribe had to crawl through!
The other challenges we had were battleship, sock wrestling and the obstacle course. But before we could start we had to have our ‘Tribal Ceremony’ to split off into our four tribes. Just like the show we had bandanas of four colours (blue, red, yellow, green) and one by one each person would randomly pick from a bowl to get sent to a team.
Bring out the war paint
Once everyone had been sorted into tribes we had to put on our war paint. I went for a ‘Uruk-Hai’ hand across the side of my face and others had the simple stripes on the cheeks. There was a few ‘William Wallace’ stripes and one or two Tonto eye paint – we were now ready to go.
With battleship, it was just like the board game, two teams lopping water bombs to the other side while we sat like ships as a single, two or three groups and once we had been hit according to our ship size we were sunk.
After this it was sock wrestling; only it was held on a tarp that was covered in soapy water. The contests were quite intense as people wrestled to take off the other persons sock, one of our leaders who is quite tall lost to one of the younger guys. It was like a David v Goliath battle, if ever I saw one, and history did end up repeating itself.
The obstacle course
Our final challenge was the obstacle course and it pushed us to the limits; we had to go through the play equipment, under some tarps, through a tunnel, over and under some ‘saw horses’ then crawl through my spider tunnel to end on a tarp covered in soapy water. Lucky I bought a change of clothes for the ride home.
All in all it was a great night and a nice break to do something very different that we hadn’t done before, now on to planning for the next Survivor Night!
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is a Youth Leader at New Life Christian Church in Blacktown. A voracious reader, he ploughs through many books in a calendar year, with a bookcase that is constantly being rearranged to accommodate new additions.
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