Archive for May, 2011

Incentive Nights: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Incentive themed nights are a great way to add fun to Awana clubs.  The goal is to encourage clubbers to work in their handbooks: memorize verses and have sections signed off.

We try to include one incentive per month, and try to tie the theme into a counsel time for the night.

When choosing which clubbers get to participate, we usually use the “Name in the Hat” method: for each section recited their name will be put into a hat and then randomly drawn out.  (Excel is great at this, as well, you can randomize the numbers and then pick the top five kids.)  We tried  using the “Top Section Say-er’s” method but found that often the same kids were chosen to participate each month.

Some ideas have been good, some bad, and some have been dropped off the list altogether.

On the Good ListPudding Feast Night, clubbers ate a pudding cup or two (spooned out onto a plate) just like a pie eating contest.  This eating contest was fun and not hazardous, a definite keeper.

Freckles Night–clubbers get to place a “freckle”, a red dot (large or small) on their leaders face for each section signed off. This is a low cost incentive which the clubbers really enjoy

Popcorn Night–each clubber who gets three sections in a row signed off receives a bag of popcorn.  The clubbers like this night, preparation of popcorn ahead of time is helpful.

Wrap Up A Leader Night–clubbers get to wrap up a leader in wrapping paper, the whole club votes on the most creative wrapping job.

Pie In the Face Night and Silly String Your Leader Night–both big hits!

T&T Section Count Chart–for each section signed off, T&T clubbers were given a small sticker to add to their name on the chart.  At 7 sections, they could win a small candy bar/treat; if they said 12 sections they could win the medium size candy bar/treat; if they said 20 sections, they got the big candy bar/treat. The charts were an encouragement for both the clubbers and the parents.

On the Bad List Chew-Chew Night, included a bubble blowing contest, which was fun for T&T.  Sparks were given gum to chew at the end of game time; we let them try to blow bubbles but the skill level wasn’t there for everyone.  And for Cubbies, a choking hazard.  So I think we’ll strike this from the list.

Ring the Bell Night–clubbers get to ring a bell for each seciton completed.  Kids really liked making some noise, on the other hand the secretaries and leaders weren’t as excited about it.  But it is a low cost incentive, and it’s fun to make noise in celebration of an accomplishment.

On the Ugly List:  Both Cupcake Eating Contest and Donut Eating Contest were quickly added.  Kids love the eating contest idea but these presented choking hazards.  Cups of water on the table would be helpful, but still not the best idea we’ve had.

Incentive nights really work for most kids–providing that necessary incentive to work a little harder. 
If you have any incentive nights to add to my list of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, please leave a comment.


Flag Salute Etiquette

Awana’s procedure for the flag salute:

  1. Order Arms (everyone is on their color line, standing with arms at their sides, getting ready for the presentation of the flag)
  2. Hats are to be removed for the flag salute and for the prayer
  3. Present the Colors (clubbers presenting flags need to be in uniform; they are to hold out the flag with the right hand and are not required to salute the flag)
  4. Right hand salute
  5. Pledge to the American Flag first (our club starts with “Ready? Begin” to keep everyone together)
  6. Pledge to the Awana flag (Ready? Begin.)
  7. Post the Colors (flags are returned to their stands)
  8. Prayer