For youth leaders, cell phones pose an ongoing issue, and on a youth group ski trip this issue can be magnified. Just Google “youth group cell phones” and you will see that youth leaders everywhere are trying to figure out how to keep cell phones from interrupting the time the group spends together. Kids are texting friends who aren’t there and posting to their favorite social media.
On a ski trip these issues get kicked up a notch. First of all, these kids are most likely away from some of their good friends and family. Secondly, they are doing some really exciting things on the slopes that they want to share with folks back home.
So how does a youth leader keep kids in the moment, building relationships with one another during the limited time a ski trip provides them?
- Schedule “phone-free” time for the group. When you are planning for your trip, look at your schedule and think about the times phones would be most disruptive. For example, if you are planning a Bible study after dinner each evening or a morning devotional before hitting the slopes, you will want to mark those times “phone-free” in your schedule.
- Publicize the “phone-free” time. Let everyone going on the trip, as well as friends and family staying home, know that during a specific times each day cell phones will be turned off and put away for a group activity. Help them understand that the group will be together and safe during these times so no one need worry about not being able to reach their child. If everyone knows this ahead of time, you won’t have to deal with kids who are waiting for a call from Mom or a girlfriend.
- Enforce the cell phone free time. Set up a designated bowl or basket for powered off phones to be placed in during the “phone-free” times. This will remove the temptation to take a quick peek to see if there are any new texts.
- Encourage fun use of phones at other times. Set up an album on a free photo site like Photobucket for everyone to upload photos from the trip for friends and family back home to see. Use the phones for a scavenger hunt. Set up texting buddies to send encouraging texts to one another throughout the trip.
With just a little planning, phones can enhance the relationship building and overall experience for your youth group on your ski trip. The key is to take charge of the phones before they take charge of the trip.
Do you have any great tips on how to use cell phones on your youth group ski trip?
If you haven’t booked your group ski trip for this season yet, Ski Daddy would love to help. Give us a shout and we will take care of the details.