Activity time: 10 minutes
Preparation for Activity
Find a suitable space to play, preferably outdoors.
For this game, you will need a secretive way to identify who is a Good or a Bad Impulse, but should be easily switched between players (e.g. something small to hold).
Description of Activity
This physical game actively demonstrates the relationship between temptation, impulse, action, and conscience.
This is a variation of freeze tag, in which one person who is "It" chases and tries to tag others inside the boundaries of a defined space. Anyone tagged must stop and stand in a frozen position. "It" wins if everybody has been tagged and frozen. The last person tagged acts as "it" for the next round (or you may switch up who is “it” regularly throughout play). Most versions of freeze tag include a way to unfreeze people.
In this Amazing Grace version, the player acting as "it" is called "Action." All other players are "Impulses.” Choose who will be Action first and ask this person to close their eyes.
Divide the rest of the group in two - Good Impulses and Bad Impulses, and assign an identifier to one group, which they must keep hidden from “Action” while they are running around. Tell “Action” which group has the identifier.
During play, “Action” is trying to freeze the Impulses (to determine if they should be acted on, or not). When “Action” tags an Impulse, both stop and the Impulse reveals if they are a Good or Bad Impulse. Bad Impulses stay frozen, while Good Impulses may run around again. “Action” wins when all the Bad Impulses are frozen.
Choose another participant to be “Action”, and reassign who is a Bad and Good Impulse between rounds. You may also change roles every few minutes instead of waiting for “Action” to win.
Lower-energy approach: Limit youth movement to walking. Set a rule that all must have at least one foot on the ground at all times.
When participants have run (or walked) enough, ask them to talk about other ways they might vary the game of tag to make it appropriate for Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong. If you have extra time available, or in a retreat setting, ask small groups to create new Amazing Grace rules for old games, then give the full group a chance to try these new variations.
Including All Participants
If any participants have mobility limitations that will make this game unfair, you should skip it.