Teen Program: Friday Night Madness – Nerf Gun War

The 4-1-1:

When: September 13th, 4:30 – 8:00pm
Resources: None
How many teens: 22 teens
Cost/Supplies: $0

  • Empty Boxes (collected from Library)
  • Nerf Guns (already had)

The run-down:

I put all the collected boxes into the middle of the room. After splitting the group into two, I let the team captains take turn picking which boxes we had. Since we had boxes of all sizes I felt like this would make the box division the most even. Once the teams and box had been divvied up, I gave them about 15 minutes to build their base.

After the bases were built, I went over all the rules. The rounds would last 10 minutes, if you were hit you were out (but I allowed them to go back in at the halfway point), and no headshots. I then allowed each team to pull out 10 chairs to use as cover and started the game.

I did change up the rules up a little as we played. For example, I set the timer for every 2 minutes, so they’re “dead” time was much shorter. We also switched up teams about halfway through and the teens started to get creative and created body armor out of boxes. I did have a couple of kids decide to go play board games with my co-worker towards the end (Dual program), but the majority stayed with the nerf guns the whole time.

Take-away/lessons learned:

  • Overall, this one was quite successful. All the teens I’ve talked to had a blast & are already excited about next month (zombies). I even had a couple of teens who expressed surprise at how much fun they had (slightly insulting, but kind of the best compliment, too)

  • The only real change I would make is to have them divide their teams into “roles”. I had one team who tried to camp the whole time behind their fort (I did outlaw this), but I could see keeping a “gunner” or a “weapon re-loader” back behind there while everyone else tackled the battlefield.

  • The other thing I’m not sure how to fix is the “I got so – and – so and they’re won’t go out!” I tried to watch as much as possible, but with 20 teens all shooting guns at the same time it’s near impossible. I did start saying that if someone says they got you, then you’re out. With the time limit being every 2 minutes, most teens didn’t have to wait too long. I know it wasn’t the best solution, but it was the most workable at that moment. If I decide to do nerf gun wars this style again, this will be something I think harder about and try to come up with a solution.

 

2 comments

  1. When playing tag with younger kids I’ve always asked them to play “rock, paper, scissors” to determine who is “out”. Not sure if it’d work with teens or not.

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