Imagine students running all around the church property, searching for 7 full-size hidden frozen turkeys.

That’s the game, that’s it.

And it was absolutely hilarious!

The only way it could be better would be if we had students chasing around a LIVE turkey, which here in Southen California would have unleashed a whole flock of PETA friends descending on our church, too. The process was super simple: Tammy (she helps lead the junior high ministry w/me) and I carted up our medium-sized frozen turkeys – which as a bonus, were on sale locally around the holidays anyhow and then we headed out. We found some creative spots to hide the turkeys, including in the sand of the volleyball court, at the farthest end of the parking lot, on top of a Port-A-Potty™ and I tossed one in the middle of the small lake on the property even. Definitely more than half of the fun for us was just in the hiding!

We’ve been promoting this for a while – at our outside worship gatherings and on social media. Super fun, simple, socially-distant so everyone was happy. When we made it back at the church, I simply made a quick presentation with some clues to help our Life Groups discover the turkeys more quickly.

The rules were simple:

  • Stay together as a small group
  • Stay inside the boundaries (anywhere on church property, no crossing the streets)
  • When you find a turkey, bring it back to the station so we can record it
  • You can get as many as you can find
  • Each group selects which mom would LOVE a turkey provided by the church so they “win it” when the game is done
  • We’ll sound a horn when all of the turkeys have been found

We went over the rules (they were so excited they weren’t listening one single bit) and the kids saw the first clue and BOLTED out the door. They were frantically searching for the 1 and left the 99 behind in our COVID-friendly junior high tent meeting area. The game was on! It was a total blast – it lasted only 11 minutes and 42 seconds because our junior highers were INSANE and loved it so much. The 1st Annual Great American Turkey Hunt was completed. A horn sounded in the distance.

Then, groups broke off to their normal routines, and we had a GREAT last night for the fall. The event was silly fun, faster than I expected and the kids loved it. I think I loved it even more than them, but I was thankful they were also into it. Next year, I’m going to make it WAY more difficult and the clues less helpful. But … I’m saving the tweaks for the 2nd annual Great American Turkey Hunt!

If this is helpful or inspiring to you, grab the social media assets, title slide & more RIGHT HERE FOR FREE: https://bit.ly/FREE-Game

As one of the co-founders of DYM I’m also a junior high pastor in the thick of things, so if it’s helpful for me grab it on the house & enjoy a hunt of your own!