Can preteens have fun AND be safe?

(This is part 2 of a 3-part series on risk, adventure, and preteens. Check out part one of this 3-part series: You mean to tell me I’m mortal?)

Preteens and early adolescents have a strong desire for adventure. Including a safe level of risky fun into your ministry will gather and keep these great kids! But is it possible to have that much fun and still keep kids safe?

Yes. But it requires that we, as adult leaders, recognize the reality of risk and plan accordingly to avoid it. It’s not about either/or, it’s a both/and – offer fun adventure within the secure boundaries of mature, well-outlined limits and precautions.

Offer your students controlled, safe, risk-taking opportunities in your ministries. These will attract preteens and advance their faith in the Lord, while still keeping them safe. Controlled risk adventures make up one of the most quickly growing segments of the recreation industry in America, especially for adolescents, so the opportunities abound.

For preteens, the activity doesn’t have to be brand new, just new to them. In fact, they’ve been hearing about exciting things that older kids have done in the past and they’re ready to give them a try! Established activities also tend to be safer, because local businesses have had more experience administering them to the public.

Try these familiar standby activities with your preteens:

  • Laser Tag: Larger communities have local businesses that offer this fun, energetic version of “tag.” Large groups can rent out the whole building; smaller groups can pay per person in open sessions. Kids run through an indoor maze in the dark wearing a vest and helmet each containing laser receptors. Others attempt to hit them with laser beams, thus scoring points.
  • River Rafting: Depending on your location, rafting can be either a lazy afternoon or a white-knuckled thriller. One provides time to talk, the other a memorable bonding experience. Either way, preteens love the water, fun and relationships built!
  • Indoor Rock Climbing: Trained safety experts at licensed gyms help your kids hook into safety harnesses and helmets before attempting to scale a manmade cliff complete with artificial rocks for finger and toe holds.

Have fun, but keep the kids safe, too!

Check out part one of this 3-part series: You mean to tell me I’m mortal?


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