Road TripWell summer is closing in, and for most student ministries, that means lots of events, camps and missions trips. That also means that you and your group will be sharing a fair amount of time together in a car, van or bus.

I’ve found that these times can go one of three ways:

1. Everyone pops their headphones in and no one talks to each other for the next 4 hours.

2. People are get tired and grouchy (especially on the way back), and the amazing experience you just had takes a downhill turn.

3. Everyone bonds and gets to know each other. You laugh, sing loud (and horribly) to the only station that will come in and create memories in a time that they thought was insignificant.

Obviously, the goal is the latter. I can’t tell you that I’ve achieved it every single time, but I have a pretty good track record. In fact, I would venture to say that I have never laughed harder than some of those times we had in our church van throughout the years.

Before I share the ABC Game, which isn’t new to most of you, let me remind you to pray for the time you ride together. Most of us pray for the event or for traveling mercies, but never even give a second thought to asking God to bless our ride time together. In addition, have a plan. I’m not talking about having a clipboard of activities for the entire ride, but have some ideas of things that you can do when you see eyes glazing over in boredom.

Well, without further ado, let me present to you the ABC Game:

PREP TIME– None

ITEMS NEEDED– Just The Open Road (I just wanted to say that so badly!)

GAME TIME– 15-30 Minutes

PARTICIPANTS– Everyone in the Vehicle (if it’s a bus, you can play with a smaller group)

INSTRUCTIONS

This game is about as easy as it comes. Your only goal is to work together as a team to find each letter of the alphabet as you travel to your destination. I recommend playing in areas where there are plenty of signs and businesses on the roadside. It’s not that you can’t play in super rural areas, it’s just that the game can drag on.

As for the rules, we generally play that you can only use one letter off of each sign. So a “Dairy Queen” sign can’t be used for “d” & “e”. You don’t have to use this rule, but it makes it a bit more challenging. We also allow our group to use license plates as well (some groups use only license plates- that’s hard!).

Other than that, the only other rule is that nothing they use for a letter can come from inside the vehicle. It’s really a pretty simple and fun game to help pass some of the time as you drive along.

BONUS TIP

1. While many of the games we share are competitive in nature, this one is more team oriented. That said, you can compete with yourself. Time how long it takes your group to come up with all 26 letters, then repeat the game, trying to best your previous time.

2. If you really want to involve everyone, have each person in the vehicle take turns finding letters. I don’t normally use this method, but if you do, allow the other students to help them find their letter.

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