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AWANA Games, questionable

Discussion in 'Children and Youth Ministry' started by cinger, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. cinger

    cinger Newbie

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    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?
     
  2. Alaskan_Frontier

    Alaskan_Frontier Junior Member

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    I dont remember that one as a kid...
     
  3. demetriceedwards

    demetriceedwards New Member

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  4. demetriceedwards

    demetriceedwards New Member

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  5. MLEN

    MLEN Junior Member

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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.
     
  6. tsullins

    tsullins New Member

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    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.
     
  7. matt.white9

    matt.white9 Striving to be like Christ.

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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!
     
  8. heron

    heron Legend

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    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.
     
  9. Clark H.

    Clark H. Newbie

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    I agree that there are better games that would meet the purpose.
     
  10. Ms. McE

    Ms. McE Newbie

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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.
     
  11. zachthedj

    zachthedj Newbie

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    my name is zach and i'm eighteen i recently started leading games because my friend that was the game leader went to childrens ministry institute so im in charge of games now...i wouyld totally agree with you and your wife..in my opinion thats totally unacceptable. i would not be ok with that. Besides the fact that our awana commander would not even let me. but yeah thats no good
     
  12. Wanda Lee

    Wanda Lee Newbie

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    I have been a Children's Pastor and worked with children for many many years - honestly, in the old days this wouldn't have even been questionable.

    Today I would hesitate to play such a game.
     
  13. heron

    heron Legend

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    Yes... true.
     
  14. gkyle

    gkyle Newbie

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    I have been an Awana Games Director for many years and have never heard of the bubble gum game. I stick to the games in the book and have had great success with the Sparks both in the weekly club and in the SparksArama multichurch competition. Please see Awanamidatlantic.com under events for an official rule book on line.
     
  15. Jaws13

    Jaws13 Urban Nomad. Literally.

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    Okay, great, so there's a game that made you uncomfortable. What was the point of the game? What was the lesson that week? What was the floor composed of? Were the children having a good time?
    Seems like you're missing a few crucial details for anyone to make a reliable assessment regarding the legitimacy of the game...
     
  16. Jaws13

    Jaws13 Urban Nomad. Literally.

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    What the heck? The game has nothing to do with sex, the kids are K-5. Most of them don't even know what sex is and aren't even interested in starting a relationship yet. How in the world is it 'almost sexual'? Unsanitary, perhaps, but how on EARTH do you get the idea that mouths touching is sexual? Is a parent kissing their child sexual?
     
  17. dysert

    dysert Member

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    I'd have been uncomfortable too
     
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