last hurrah (or hurl) of gross youth ministry games

after the post about the greatest camp picture ever, i’ve gotten several hundred hits on that one story. it’s spurred numerous conversations about games designed to make kids puke at youth group and most discussions include note-taking on good ideas for future gross games.

but i’ll never forget the last time i played a gross food game during youth group.

travis and i had been out earlier that week having lunch together when we realized we’d never been to the huge asian supermarket over by sharonville. after a tasty meal, we hit the store and were blown away by gross possibilities presented in the form of snacks and prepared foods comprised of creatures we thought to be inedible.

the most intriguing of these items?

jellyfish-2.jpgprepared, shredded jellyfish with a spice packet. it looked exactly like cooked ramen noodles and the spice packet looked like capsicum pepper oil.

highly pleased with my find, that week at youth group i set out to find someone willing to give this sea-creature nastiness a try.

teenagers are easy and most can be bought for a very low price. in this case, cherry cordial offered to eat the jellyfish in exchange for a CD of some sort.

80 high schoolers gathered around to watch me tear the package open, take a whiff (whew! NASTY!), dump it into a bowl and offer him the spice packet (he declined, and wisely so, i think).

and we all held our collective breath as he took the first bite and chewed. and chewed. and chewed.

now, one rule of youth ministry “games” is that they must be quick. 80 kids who DON’T get to play MUST be entertained SOMEHOW. either all the jellyfish needed to be eaten, he needed to puke, or he needed to spit it out, and refuse to eat another bite. if one of these things doesn’t happen early, the chewing chewing chewing gets… old. boring. unentertaining.

and he chewed. and his face was scrunched and it was obviously nasty tasting. but he kept trying, and interest started to wane.

i began to pick on him and made my first mistake of the night: “c’mon, cordial! how bad could that stuff actually be? get going, fool!”

and he chewed, still on the first bite.

and i went over, teased him a bit more and then made my second mistake: i took one strand of the jellyfish and made a production out of putting it into my mouth.

and i chewed. and chewed. and wanted to puke. and quickly spit the salty, rubbery, foul-tasting treat out to much laughter and gagging noises from the crowd.

i handed cherry the CD, apologized to him for the jellyfish, and never played another gross food game during youth group again.

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