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Youth worker tips & notes concerning youth work

Here I would like to cover findings from the internet, books, film tips, advice – in a nutshell – thoughts and ideas to initiate discussions. This is not intended to be a daily blog, only a place where you can share your thoughts and experiences; issues I came across over the years.


  • suspended from schoolA six years old boy suspended from school for a hand kiss

    A 6-year-old boy, attending grade 1, gave his girlfriend a kiss and was subsequently suspended from school for one day. The teacher condemned his actions, classified them as sexual harassment and imposed this disciplinary measure of a one-day expulsion. As if that was not enough, he also received an entry of a “serious offence” (sexual harassment) into his school record. This labelling will follow him through his entire school life (and probably longer) – one can only wonder what that does to a young boy.


  • Lord of the FliesLord of the Flies

    The movie, Lord of the Flies, is ideal to watch with a youth group with the aim of a group discussion afterwards. This film is well presented, psychologically as well as metaphorically, and can be seen as the systemic cause of violence and the willingness to be violent.


  • Do children need porn competence?Children and porn competence

    Porn competence means to understand what is actually happening on the screen. Nowadays, there is often no prior information only a follow-up of the already seen. Most children have seen sexual intercourse way before talking with their parents first. Therefore, it is important, to make them understand what’s happening there.


  • Giving positive feedbackGiving positive feedback

    "If you want to change someone, change yourself!" For youth workers this means we need to learn giving kind and positive feedback. Many of us are conditioned to react in the same way we were brought up: with criticism and punishment. However, it is not easy to change our behaviour. If you succeed though, it will help the young person immensely to understand that he is taken seriously, that your intent is to help and ultimately, it also will help ourselves.


  • The (self) condemnation by "SHOULD"The (self) condemnation by "SHOULD"

    The word “should” comprises an accusation; against oneself or towards someone else. In any case, this leads to condemnation of others or self. It makes you feel guilty because you have committed an (assumed) error. This religious attitude of guilt and self-condemnation is symptomatic of us people. To condemn oneself or giving others the powers to condemn you only leads to a feeling of eternal guilt. The person cannot freely open up. Therefore, he will feel small and incapable.


  • Facebook and Co.: Children/Teens and the social networksFacebook and Co.: Children/Teens and the social networks

    Hardly any other achievement of modern technology has changed the lives of children and adolescents like the Internet. It is social networks such as Facebook which determine the lives of many young people almost entirely.


  • Dead Poets SocietyDead Poets Society

    The film "Dead Poets Society" provides an excellent source within the youth group for discussion on the issue “how do you want to live”?


  • Youth in the search of identityYouth in the search of identity

    During puberty, young people are looking for their own identity. This refers to a phase in life, where the child transitions into adulthood. The academic terminology “adolescence” covers the entire period from late childhood right through to young adults. Puberty by itself, however, is a transitional phase and commonly refers to the sexual development of the young person.


  • Development of cognitive abilities during adolescenceDevelopment of cognitive abilities during adolescence

    Unlike most animals, humans have so-called cognitive abilities. Those abilities refer to the thinking process, but also to other factors in this context. For example, the ability to learn from previous mistakes, avoid them in the future and eliminate existing ones. Not at last to aim attention to a desired outcome. The ability to remember/recall is crucial in the development of cognitive abilities. Although these cognitive abilities are innate, and its development begins in the early childhood, however, during the stage of adolescence they imprint - especially during puberty. From here they further evolve.


  • Moral: What is it? How do we develop morality?Moral: What is it? How do we develop morality?

    Morality and morals are defined within a community and do not apply to all people equally. In addition, in the formation of morality many different factors come to play within the community. These include personal factors such as self-imposed standards and motives, from the immediate and/or wider background. For example the family, church, employment, etc.


  • Young people and the right-wing extremismYoung people and the right-wing extremism

    More often than favourable the media is filled with images of young people who have joined right-wing extremist groups and adopted their dubious ideas. Ideas is more commonly used than ideals. The corresponding depiction is almost always the same: clothing, body language and slogans to create a threatening impression. Members of such groups deliberately set themselves apart from the social norm.


  • Cool guys – not really that coolCool guys – not really that cool

    If you could see inside those young men, you would recognize the inner despair many of those super-cool guys inhabit. With this exhibited, cool exterior those guys try to appear invulnerable, even unapproachable.


  • My image of menMy image of men and the equity: What does this mean?

    My image of men and the way I sense equity stands in the way to understand the child. It also prevents me from creating emotional and mental access to this person.


  • While playing you can learn more about a man in one hour, then talking to him for a year.“While playing you can learn more about a man in one hour, then talking to him for a year.”

    Plato's thought regarding play: Who ever watched a playing child, is able to make some interesting observations regarding behaviours and character traits. At a game night, you get to know your kids better than in any conversation.


  • Relationships create understanding - understanding creates relationships.Strange relationships and behaviours

    Relationships create understanding - understanding creates relationships. An idea that we should take to heart to understand strange behaviours and unusual relationships.


  • mental health problems"Crazy? So what! "- Help for students with mental health problems

    The project "Crazy? So what! "- Offers help for students with mental health problems. Their staff also visit schools with the purpose to educate and sensitize.


  • Teaching self-esteem and self-confidenceTeaching self-esteem and self-confidence

    During the early childhood, the self-esteem of a person has been decisively shaped and influenced by the closest caregivers - the parents. However, experiences during school, in youth groups, playing with peers, still play a significant role in the development of the young person. These experiences again affect the self-esteem positively as well as negatively.


  • Stress and its consequences for children and teensStress and its consequences for children and teens

    Youth - and group work offers the potential to counterweight stress. Preferable, in those groups, stress does not even become an issue but is replaced by fun and joy. If you engage in enjoyable activities, the existing stress will not impact the person as hard. How does that play together?


  • Mental and psychological violenceMental and psychological violence

    In this section, I will introduce different forms of shaming, ridiculing and humiliation. They are all indicators of mental and psychological violence. The long-term damage to the child is enormous and can reverberate far into adulthood.


  • Jealousy among staffJealousy among staff

    The backdrop for jealousy is often a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem. Excessive jealousy among employees only leads to neglect. Children, youth and recreational work become secondary while the importance of one’s ego takes over the show.


  • SextingSexting can make you famous - awareness campaign

    Sexting is defined as the sending of self-generated intimate photos or videos of oneself via smartphone or Internet. These images, however, are just intended for the "receiver". The mutual sending of nude pictures is initially seen as a proof of trust, loyalty and love, yet, after the relationship ends it can quickly become a nightmare when those once personal images become the property of a third party.


  • Sex-education lessonsSex-education lessons

    Sex education is still a very controversial issue in our society. Parents, teachers, churches and the media often have completely contradictory opinions about when and to what extent children are to be introduced to the subject of sexuality for the first time. Strangely: Children are much less concerned than adults and deal more natural with this issue.


  • In a Better WorldIn a Better World

    The Oscar-winning Danish film "In a Better World" by director Susanne Bier may be considered an absolutely exceptional drama. In these 113 minutes of the movie, she treats current issues such as bullying, violence, friendship, but also revenge, embedded in a realistically told story that actually could be happening.

Not a real blog, but similar...

some collected themes, thoughts and ideas for your program and work with childrens

  • Snow camp with fire tent

    It sounds a little odd, even worrying for parents when planning a snow camp with the youth group in freezing cold weather.

  • Crafting for Christmas

    The time leading up to Christmas might be well spent, crafting some appropriate decorations or Christmas presents for the parents.

  • Cyber bullying: When the network becomes a trap

    Principally, cyber bullying is the same like the “classic” bullying, only with a new dimension, given by the modern communication technology. It is this new technology, which makes this Cyber bullying so dangerous.

  • A game reveals the character - a figure of speech

    Everyone knows that playing is very important. It is here where we learn to deal with each other; learning skills that are useful later on in life. Skills, which give us a certain perspective on life. Your attitude, your character, both will be crucial as you go through your life. After all, what can be learned while playing, you learn for life. At the same time, while playing, the child displays what it has already learned. – In positive and the negative character traits.

  • Be Confident

    What does it mean to be assertive? How can a person gain self-assurance, how can we convey assertiveness to children and adolescents?

  • Fear of humiliation, making a mistake and failing

    Fear of humiliation: of being judged because I have a different opinion because I'm doing something different, because I would like to make a different decision.

  • Today's youth

    Today's youth loves luxury, has bad manners and no respect for authority. They contradict their parents, cross legs and tyrannize their teachers.

  • Gaming program for January: Board games

    In the cold, rainy season, a gaming night at the youth group makes for a great group evening, or as a recreational program (school camp, summer camps, or holiday program). There are some board games, which are ideal for a youth group.

  • Youth football: A hotbed of violence?

    Violence is not only involved in football, but other sports as well. Even outside the sporting event, triggered by overambitious parents who "fight" for their kids. The problem and the bad role model is sitting on the bench....

  • Tournaments (TT tournament, pool tournament, table football) - group program for January

    Many youth groups have Ping pong tables, a table football or maybe a pool table available from their centre. Corresponding tournaments can be organized 1-2x a year.

  • Laser Tag: a controversial pastime activity

    Slowly but surely, the leisure Laser Tag game, which initially was developed for the US Armed Forces enjoys growing popularity. For educators and youth advocates, however, this leisure activity is highly controversial.

  • Karting

    Go-Karting is thrilling, has a high fun factor and promotes, as mentioned above self-confidence, consideration and fair play.

  • Group program for February: Games with cotton

    For February, I planned a game night in the group room with cotton. All you need to get are 1-3 cotton bags, which are available in every supermarket in the drugstore department.

  • Group program in February: indoor pool visit

    In the summer we go to the outdoor pool, the nearby lake or river, in winter, however, we visit the (spa) indoor swimming pool or water park.

  • Albert Einstein - Humiliation and the disastrous consequences

    If you need to humiliate a child to satisfy your own needs, youth work is not for you. Walk away before you do any (more) damage.

  • Racetracks - Carrera race

    A Carrera race is an excellent social event for the colder season.

  • Sledding - what to consider?

    Sledding is considered a harmless, recreational fun, which can be done by almost everyone during winter. After all, all that is needed is a sled, warm clothing and, of course, a hill to fully enjoy this snowy fun.

  • Tipp-Kick - the all-time classic of all table soccer games

    The Tipp-Kick tournament provides fun and you can implement it spontaneously to substitute for another group program. The Tipp-Kick requires calm and concentration, good judgment, skill and dexterity, as well as a little feeling in your technique.

  • Indoor Hockey

    With a set of hockey sticks for the hall or the small play field, a suitable group room can easily serve for an indoor hockey game.

  • Quiz night - exciting and varied

    Usually, knowledge questions are not so popular with the kids because they remind too much of school. Nevertheless, quizzes can be designed fascinatingly and funny.

  • Tinkering in the group meeting - Shadow Heads

    A beautiful craft idea for kids is Shadows Heads. The preparation is quite simple and can be achieved during a children's or youth group meeting.

  • Making carnival and plaster masks

    Tinkering ideas for Carnival, or group meetings Making plaster masks is simple and easy to do in one group meeting or as part of a program at the holiday camp.

  • Rabomberless and Shuffleboard

    What do Rabomberless and Shuffleboard have in common? Both games can be played with playing pieces. Rabomberless goes without much effort. You need only one or two long tables, and some playing pieces.

  • There are five Gospels

    “There are five Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the life of Christians. Many people never read the first four.”

  • Education is the organized defence of adults against youth.

    Education may also mean: to watch and rejoice. Permanent intervention, regulations and disapproving of the child creates only fear and prevents the development of independence. The ideal environment for the young person would be an advisory position and only then to intervene, if the situation has the potential to harm the child or someone in the community. Our own experiences are the best experiences.

  • Outdoor games (3-Sticks / Capture the Flag)

    In April, when the season is getting warmer again, it’s a good time to start with some outdoor games. The classic games are 3-Sticks and Capture the Flag.

  • Scavenger hunt - what do you need to consider

    The scavenger hunt is always a favorite activity for children on camps. You can use it not only as a group activity but just as well for a great birthday game idea. When I was recently asked for a concept I gave this some thought.

  • Biking tours and rallies with the youth group

    Outdoor activities in form of biking tours are and important aspect in experiential education. Biking tours are on top of the popularity scale, because basically everyone can participate. It does not matter whether the group is planning a trip for the weekend or just plans a rally for a few hours in the afternoon.

  • YouNow: A harmless hype or dangerous trend

    YouNow is a streaming service which enables users with only 2-3 clicks to show (expose) themselves on the internet. All you need is basically a computer, the internet, a webcam and a microphone and the respective app.

  • High Ropes Course

    Abseiling, climbing on a rope, hand over hand on a rope, or balancing on a (low) cable-stayed bridge has always been a program point, which thrilled children and teenagers alike.

  • Program Tip May: On the subject of bottles

    An evening about games with bottles. Let's do a little brainstorming. What strikes you when you hear the word bottle?

  • Craft idea: 3 play games for cooperation games

    In the collection of craft ideas 3 games are included that are suitable for super competitive-, or station games. You can prepare all those ideas with little effort and cost.

  • Beer crate games

    Depending on which beer crate game you want to play, how many teams or participants you have in mind, you should be fine with about 20 crates.

  • Plastic sheets for a water slide

    During the hot months, June and July (depending on which side of the planet you live) the water slide is one of the most popular activities on each camp. All you need is a suitable hill and enough water to keep the slide wet at all times.

  • Addictive online consumption and social exclusion

    A study looked at the aforementioned statistical results, but also followed up with the consequences of excessive online use, in particular in young people. Through interviews, it was found that young people who excessively use online games, film portals, erotic offers, etc., are increasingly losing their connection with their friends, respectively, show a poor connection to people in general.

  • Volunteering – Developing Personality & Skills!

    Volunteering: In particular, children and young people can take a lot away from their volunteer work - for their own lives and their future development.

  • Swimming with the youth group

    While swimming, basically there are risk lurking in many places. Both, through the water and by the exuberance of children and young people in general.

  • Beach games

    There are various beach games for those who spend their summer holidays with their youth group at the seaside. For team tournaments you have options such as beach volleyball, beach football, knee handball, beach tennis. For individual events think of games such as beach Olympics in high jump, long jump, race, throwing, as well as some funny games such as the Penguin Race, Tennis Ball pushing or Seal races.

  • Water Fight with Kids

    A great program idea for hot days is always a water fight. On the program list for youth groups you always find: water fight - please bring: water gun, towel and spare clothes.

  • Mud fight

    A mud fight is an appropriate program for a holiday camp. Ideally you can run around in your bathers and when you get dirty you just jump in the water or rinse it off quickly with the garden hose.

  • Skateboard Contest & Games

    The prerequisite for this group program are several available skaters, however, at least 2 and of course, ideally each kid has his own skateboard as well.

  • Violence Prevention

    "Violence is not a solution". Most likely, all of us had heard this sentence several times before. Nevertheless, violence is increasingly an issue, especially among young people. Both in school settings as well as in youth work, youth groups and in the parental home. Violence prevention is, therefore, a critical issue.

  • Dispute Resolution

    Basically: A dispute resolution is not to find the "winner" of the conflict. On the contrary: The primary objective is to achieve a mutually satisfactory solution to the conflict, where none of the partners loses face.

  • A culture of trust within the youth group

    Under a culture of trust, we understand a climate of trust. Whether in a company, at school or in the youth group. The difficulty of building trust has much to do with the loss of control. People who trust in others, let go a part of control they have on their lives.

  • Youth and Politics

    Volunteer work is an excellent entry into political commitment, which gives young people many skills that are of extraordinary importance for his entire future life.

  • Frisbee Olympics - Games with a frisbee

    Program proposal for Frisbee games on the beach or the lawn The beach or a large lawn (football field) are ideal places to play games with a Frisbee.

  • Let childhood mature within the child!

    It's nice when children can experience their childhood as long as possible and are allowed to create their own "Childhood experiences.

  • Club excursions: on the way in a dinghy (inflatable boat)

    You can plan a trip on several dinghies. If you don’t own them yourself, you can maybe borrow them from the local fire brigade or the technical relief organisation. An excellent way to explore local rivers.

  • Summer holiday program: canoeing trip with children and adolescents

    Whether you have your own paddle boats or hire them from a boat rental, canoeing is an ideal summer holiday program for nearby rivers.

  • The Bowl Rally

    Program Tip "Bowl Rally": The participants sit in a bowl of approx. 40cm in diameter. Now, without losing the bowl from your butt, you have to cover a distance of 10 – 20 meters.

  • No Smartphones for Kids?

    Since the offers of many media are aimed at a younger and younger audience, media literacy for kids is becoming increasingly important.

  • Drawing skills - or Pictionary hard-core

    The game is similar to Pictionary - just a little bit more creative. Although, through its three levels it is much more demanding as the simple detection of painted terms.

  • Indulgence - the worst form of child negligence

    The worst form of neglect of a child is his indulgence. By indulging the child, its development is neglected, it is unable to acquire essential skills on its own.

  • Every wish fulfilled – children made unhappy

    "Do you know the surest way to make your child unhappy? Make sure it gets everything it wants" Undoubtedly, his desires will grow unstoppably with the ease of their fulfilment. " Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in "Emile."

  • Torchlight walks with homemade torches

    Particularly during the cold season, when the days get shorter and the nights are longer, torchlight hikes or small celebrations around a campfire lighted with torches are popular activities.

  • Children and young people still read books

    Reading skills are one of the most important key qualifications for a successful education. However, after the access of new media has grown massively in recent years, educators and parents feared that children and young people will take advantage of these offers and reading will fall behind.

  • Strengthening Confidence

    Nothing can strengthen people more than the trust that he is given. Tipp’s, thoughts and ideas for trust games.

  • Measuring strength - show perseverance and toughness

    Guys like to test their strength. It is not about wrestling the other one to the ground but to measure endurance and strength.

  • Puff games, because I am not out of breath

    All those various puffing games will challenge the lungs quite a bit. So what do we learn from this? Properly “puffing” can be quite useful.

  • Daimler ProCent

    How cents can turn into a million! That you can achieve big things with small donations proves the donation initiative Daimler ProCent. This initiative of small contribution with significant effect could make school.

  • Making a knife block

    To find Christmas gifts for family members is often not easy, particularly not for children and adolescents. After all, they want to surprise the recipient with an original gift, which preferably does not cost too much either. Therefore, a self-made knife block for the kitchen is indeed an unusual gift. There are two different ways to make such a knife block, which at the same time are not that expensive either.

  • Craft ideas for Christmas

    Handmade objects are always a good gift idea for Christmas. Simply because the recipient appreciates the effort and time the hobbyist hast invested to come up with a personalised present.

  • Youth Sexuality 2015

    A study was undertaken by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) in Germany into "Youth Sexuality 2015." Compared to previous research (1980 to 2010), for the present study for the first-time young people, aged 18 – 25 years old, were interviewed in this context. The emphasis, this time, was on the theme "First sexual experiences", “Contraception, behaviour and sexual health products" as well as "Sex education both in the parental home and at school."

  • The manipulation development

    Regarding education, the biggest problems are not the children, but the educator.

  • Relationship skills

    Basically, it's always the connections with people that give life its value. Man is a social animal! Without social relationships, a person is lost, feels sick and will get sick. Fear, loneliness, discouragement and depression will creep in.

  • Presents for the wall

    Here I would like to present 2 craft ideas (sand image, mirror-mosaic) that can be used as a mural or wall decoration.

  • The youth worker card – Working with Children Check

    In Germany, there is the so-called youth leader card. In Australia, it is called the Working with Children Check -and that divides into professional work or volunteer work. Each category has its own Working with Children Check, the training, however, seems to be very similar. The primary purpose of the Working with Children Card is to establish standard quality for everyone working with young people.

  • The Peas Railway

    The peas railway is built quickly and can repeatedly be used as a game station at a school festival, street festival or at a cross-country game.

  • Game Station Rope ladder

    For our station games, we always set up, depending on the terrain, at least, one station where a rope ladder was used. The rope ladder was set up as part of an obstacle course.

  • Cloth Caterpillar Race

    One team gets underneath this cloth panel and on command embarks on the race or hurdle trail. The challenge is that the team always stays underneath the cloth, which needs skilful coordination of their movements. The aim is to move forward just like a caterpillar. This team coordination game is not all that easy.

  • Program proposal: Toilet paper gaming night

    In this game section, you will find some ideas for toilet roll games. Some of the games you can only play outside, but most games are ideal for indoors or the gym.

  • Candle Games

    Program Tips for Advent or your Christmas party: Candle Games. Games with candles are great for the holiday and Christmas season.

  • Lifekinetik® - interesting for the students, sports and youth work

    In relation to child, student and youth work: Lifekinetik helps to improve learning, concentration, creativity, intelligence and even stress can be reduced, using Lifekinetik. It also helps by building team awareness.

  • Cloth pin game night

    During January and February, a game night with cloth pins is easy to prepare. Easy to prepare and with a high fun factor, it promises a successful game night.

  • Table Tennis Ball - Game Night

    With table tennis balls you can’t just play table tennis, there many other games you could play. The ideas in the game collecting should be enough to fill an entire evening with games all around the table tennis ball.

  • Parents in tutoring craze? Children should also learn to fail

    Even the student receives numerous additional lessons after school the experts argue that this benefits the student only somewhat. Besides vocabulary and formulas, they learn primarily one thing: It is not enough to be good.

  • Games with blankets

    Games with blankets are good for the season where you actually cannot go outside.

  • Program Suggestion: Spring Festival – Fair

    Taking the youth group to the Spring Festival and subsequently taking them on rides is always a great event.

  • The influence of YouTube stars to children and adolescents

    According to a survey in the youth magazine "Bravo" (Germany), television hardly matters anymore in the age group of 12- to 19-year-olds. 9 out of 10 young people, however, are on YouTube at least once a week, more than half of them are at least on YouTube once daily.

  • Lawn Relay Racing Games

    Once the lawn is dry enough after the winter, once again, kids can romp around, there are some nice games which can be played on the lawn.

  • Ball Games: Catching - Running - Dodging – Passing on to - Playing along

    Here are just a few keywords which commonly are mentioned with ball games: Speed, skill, agility, responsiveness, ball technique, ball control, team spirit, working together (cooperation and communication), tactics, gross- and fine-motor skills.

  • Antidepressants: In children and adolescents, they show little effect

    One could assume that antidepressants should also help children and young people to overcome their depression. But now a study shows the opposite is true: Those antidepressants available have no effect on children; and if, they are sometimes harmful.

  • Training under you belt – 10 tips to get you started

    When you enter your career path, there are 10 rules to follow. The challenge now is to uphold the good impression from the interview and if possible improve on it.

  • Dangerous games with knifes, axes and archery

    Archery, Javelin, axe throwing are not less dangerous and should be performed only under the supervision of and compliance with safety precautions.

  • Stand-Up Paddling (SUP)

    As the name already implies, with Stand-up Paddling, you do not sit but stand while rowing. This is one of those sports you can do in almost any weather. After all, it does not require wave or strong winds. Also, Stand-Up Paddling is learned faster than surfing and sailing, and even the beginner can get right into it.

  • Rope Jumping - not always a breeze

    The rope jumping is an ancient game that everyone started to play in kindergarten already. Therefore, rope jumping games are also starting, whenever possible, at the kindergarten age. However, if you are tempted to think, rope jumping is only for kids, then you are mistaken.

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