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  #1  
Unread 1st September 2009, 01:05 PM
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AWANA Games, questionable

My wife and I just started volunteering with a local chapter of AWANA children's ministry as teachers within our church. All was going fairly well for us until this past week's games activity. The game volunteers had the children (Grades K-5,) playing a game that made us uncomfortable. The object of this game was for the children to pair off and then work together as a team to open the wrapper of a piece of bubble gum and then chew the piece of gum for 5 seconds. The challenge was that they had to accomplish this task without using their hands. As a result, many children were accidentally dropping their gum onto the floor and in order to complete the game were encouraged by the games volunteers (who are adults,) to pick the gum up from the floor and then chew it for the 5 allotted seconds. Many children were also encouraged by the games volunteers to use each other's mouths to help open the gum from the wrapper, with each child holding one end of the wrapper with their teeth and pulling. (No other method was really available or encouraged for opening the gum from the wrapper.) My wife and I were very uncomfortable with all of this, and we basically cringed and became as non-participatory as possible. At one point I asked one of the games volunteers somewhat sarcastically if this was a "sanctioned", legitimate AWANA game, which caught him off-guard, and he did not really respond with much other than a shrug and a mumble.

Anyone here, especially if your are familiar with AWANA or children's ministry, please supply your opinions regarding this event. Were myself and my wife just wrong for seeing anything questionable in this?
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  #2  
Unread 3rd October 2009, 10:17 PM
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I dont remember that one as a kid...
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  #3  
Unread 2nd November 2009, 11:07 PM
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me either......
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Unread 2nd November 2009, 11:10 PM
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Me either....
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Unread 9th November 2009, 10:27 PM
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"Were myself and my wife just wrong for seeing anything questionable in this?"

Call me old fashioned, but I certainly would have agreed with you and your wife. There are plenty of other good, clean (no pun intended) ways for Christian children to have fun other than this. This type of game not only spreads germs unnecessarily but seems to lack a spiritual point. It's fine to have fun, but one must know where to draw the line.
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  #6  
Unread 9th January 2010, 06:23 PM
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I appreciate your service

I am the Children's Pastor that is responsible for the game that is mentioned. I appreciate all the hard work that you and your wife did. To me, the games are just gravy. My focus is on kids and how we can get them there. The focus is not games and what they are. I will never put a child in DANGER, but I will have as much fun as possible. According to the kids...It was fun. I am sorry that you disagreed with the game. Again, I appreciate your service.
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Unread 4th March 2010, 10:51 PM
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Man, I remember AWANA games in the 90's and Dodgeball was the questionable one because the leaders were worried that someone might get hurt. The AWANA Olympics games were the best too!
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  #8  
Unread 16th April 2010, 11:31 PM
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Many children were also encouraged by the games volunteers to use each other's mouths to help open the gum from the wrapper, with each child holding one end of the wrapper with their teeth and pulling.
Working as a team to open it with their mouths is a problem. Saliva is a serious carrier for spreading disease, and the kids were put in a position where they were expected to go along with it.

There are some life-threatening diseases out there, and no guarantee that the people we go to church with don't have them. (Leviticus would not have allowed this.)

It was cute and fun, I'm sure, but there are safer ways to get rowdy and build teamwork.
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  #9  
Unread 19th April 2010, 03:55 PM
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I agree that there are better games that would meet the purpose.
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  #10  
Unread 18th May 2010, 01:55 PM
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I am an Awana leader. We have never done this game, thank the Lord. I would speak to the Awana commander. Not only is this highly unsanitary, but the idea of two children putting their mouths on each other crosses a boundary that seems almost sexual. This game should not be played again.
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