Name Duels

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This game is one of my favorite activities after confirmation or when there are a number of new people in the group. It’s one of the best name-games I know, and it’s silly and fun and my youth will play it forever if I let them.

This takes two volunteers, since I have yet to invent a one person blanket-hangy-wally-pully-droppy-machine. When I do, I will amend this post. In the meantime, the two volunteers hold a blanket up to create a barrier. On either side of the barrier, place half of the group. I like to have the teens partner up with the people they know the best, then split them up into groups.

The game works like this: Each group picks a member to sit directly in front of the blanket. On the count of three (or two if you’re short on time), the volunteers drop the blanket, and the member facing the blankets have to say the other person’s name first. Each first right name earns the team a point. The group will try all sorts of strategies, like staging conversations to be overheard by the other side, laying flat or sitting as tall as possible, putting on each other’s jackets of changing their hairdo…it’s fun to watch and a great way to get teams to connect and to learn and ingrain everyone’s name. Add different point values or rounds, however you can keep the game interesting. I try to end the game at a tie, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

It’s helpful to go around and introduce everyone before the game begins. I will even do a secondary introduction right before the game starts, so that they have a better chance for success. After all, I am looking to have teens learn each other’s names first and foremost. The chaos that will ensue is just an added bonus.

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