Summer is here and there’s nothing like telling stories around the campfire. “Wait…I was there!” is a fun way to get everyone into the act of storytelling, spinning a yarn that is fun, vivid and outrageous.
While you can have fun with mutual storytelling in a lot of different settings…including the classroom…the activity is especially fun around a fire. If you’re not close to a beach with fire rings or planning on heading out to a campsite any time soon, set up a portable fire pit (taking outdoor fire pit safety precautions of course) and roast marshmallows.
Start the game by spinning a tall tale. For instance, if the evening is a little chilly you can say “You think this is cold? I remember the summer of ’65. It was so cold that our words froze and fell to the ground before anyone could hear what we said. You had to pick up a person’s words and thaw them out over the fire to hear what anyone said.”
At this point someone might jump in and say “wait! I was there! It was so cold that we had to knit sweaters to keep the polar bears warm.”
If you have younger kids or quiet kids in your youth group you might have to “stir the coals” to get some participation going. In that case make sure your youth leaders are prepared to involve everyone in the story. For instance you might say “And were those polar bears grateful? You bet. They gave us all big hugs and went Mmmmm! Mmmmm! Mmmmm! Can you do that? Hug your neighbor and go Mmmmm! Mmmmm! Mmmmm!”
Once this game gets going it can be hard to stop. Make sure everyone knows that the story is complete when “they all lived happily ever after.” If you’re ready to wind things down you can throw out the prompt – “are they going to live happily ever after?” – and let one of your youth leaders wrap it up.