Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copies of your congregation's member directory
- Leader Resource 1, Volunteer Treasure Hunt
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Optional: List(s) of congregational committees and their members
- Optional: Paper and pens/pencils
Preparation for Activity
- Review Leader Resource 1 and adapt, add, or delete questions to suit your congregation. If you do not already know, find out what work volunteers (as opposed to paid staff) do at your congregation. Be prepared to help the children answer the questions you will give them. You may need to dig to learn about some volunteers' behind-the-scenes roles.
- Decide whether participants will work as one large group or in groups of three or four. For a whole group discussion, write each question from Leader Resource 1 on an individual sheet of newsprint and post the sheets. For small group work, prepare a list of questions, blank paper, and a pen/pencil for each group.
Description of Activity
This activity provides a treasure hunt for valuable people, rather than valuable items.
If religious education time runs concurrently with a worship service or other, adult programming, lead participants in a "virtual" hunt for the names of people who volunteer, rather than tracking down the people themselves. However-if you have the opportunity to do so without disrupting worship or meetings-you might lead the children to ask actual people the questions and collect names of congregational volunteers that way.
Say, in your own words:
In the story about Grasshopper and the Ants, the insect community needed the efforts of all its members in order for all to eat. Similarly, our congregation needs the efforts of many different people to sustain everything we do with and for one another. Let's see how much we know about who these people are and what they do to help us all.
If you are forming small groups, distribute the questions from Leader Resource 1, the member directories and other information you have gathered, and pens/pencils. Invite the groups to compete to see which can complete the treasure hunt first.
If the group will work together, post the sheets of newsprint with the questions. Lead everyone to pool their knowledge of the congregation to fill in the volunteers' names on each sheet. Let the group drive the process, even if it means you do not share all you know about congregational volunteers.
When the treasure hunt seems complete, ask the children whether it was easy or difficult. How well do the children feel they know the adult members of the congregation? You may also wish to have the children guess how many different volunteer jobs there are in your congregation on any given year. See if they can think of more volunteer jobs that somehow get done but are not on the list of questions you prepared. Discuss:
- What do you suppose motivates people to do these various jobs?
- What do the volunteers get out of their service?
- What jobs might you want to take on in this congregation, when you are older? What jobs might you want to help with now?
Including All Participants
A child who is new to the congregation should work with others who are more likely to come up with answers to the questions. The child could look for names in a member directory or write down the names as other children identify volunteers.