The Gillette Games
What do you get when you mix teenagers, a giant tarp, and 100 cans of shaving cream? A crazy, fun filled night of memories for teens.
Gillette Games was an annual event at a church where I took a youth ministry position. It may have been a sacred cow but after experiencing it, it was a sacred cow that I wasn’t going to kill- I HAD TOO MUCH FUN! Back then, GG was something that we did just for fun and to let loose. At my current church, we use the Gillette Games to do multiple things. It’s a chance to connect with students who haven’t been in awhile. It’s a chance to connect with our students' friends. It’s also a chance to make memories and have some fun in the process (okay, A LOT of fun!)
Here’s how it works.
What you absolutely need:
- 1 tarp (we use a 20x100 painter's tarp that we cut in half and tape to make 40x50)
- 8 8-inch nails
- Shaving cream foam, NOT gel (30 cans or so to start your supply)
- Two separate areas for cleaning up/hosing down students at the end of the night
- Table for game set up
- Aluminum baking pans
What your students will absolutely need:
- change of clothes
- 2 cans of shaving cream (to beef up your supply)
The Set Up
1. Set up the tarp in a courtyard or other grassy area. Cut the 100’ x 20’ tarp in half and tape the two halves together with duct tape. Reinforce the corners and the center part of each side with a strip of duct tape. Nail the tarp to the ground through the reinforced areas of tape. If you are strapped for cash, this can be done in the grass without a tarp; beware that adding that dirt into the mix makes for a very different kind of messy.
2. Set up the table nearby. This is where each game will be prepped by the lucky volunteer who steers clear of the melee. On this table you’ll want to have the shaving cream as well as all other supplies that you need for the games.
3. Designate each corner of the tarp with a color or team name. This will help with organizing teams once the students have registered. It also helps with keeping the teams organized throughout the games.
4. In the weeks leading up to the Gillette Games, encourage students to bring 2 cans of shaving foam and a friend (Depending on your group size you might want to buy 30-40 cans in advance, just to be sure you gave enough).
Tip: Try to set up the day before, if possible. It makes for a long day to set up, run, then clean up afterwards.
- Get Registered- Have students register for the night at a table away from the tarp. Each student will receive their team name of color. This gives you the first point of contact with the students and guests. It also gives you a place to split up students into 4 teams. This is a great chance to meet and interact with students and to get any information from visitors that night.
- Team Meeting - Send each team to their assigned corner to meet their Team Leader. Team Leaders are your most dedicated volunteers because they are about to get really messy. They are also a second point of contact for students. Team Leaders are there not only to lead games, but also to get to know each student on his or her team.
- Start the games! I’ll include a list of games and descriptions at the end of the article. The amount of shaving cream and mess increases with each game. You can alter the games or make up new ones; just remember, the goal is to get messy and have fun! If you are able, have a volunteer to run the setup table. They can begin prepping each game in advance so that you can move quickly from one game to the next.
- Clean up- Divide up the guys and girls and send each group off to a predetermined spot to get hosed off. Have a volunteer waiting to rinse off the students. You should then help students get to a room where they can change clothes. It really helps to have your volunteers directing traffic here so that you don’t have to get angry emails about what “those kids” did to the parlor. Take the tarp and pull up the nails. Turn it over so that any excess shaving cream and water drains off. Fold the tarp up and convince some of your students to drag it off to the garbage. Have your set-up volunteer collaborate on the clean up of supplies. After everything is running smoothly, get yourself cleaned up. If you are feeling adventurous, you can have a student hose you down.
- Follow Up- Maximize contact with your students. Follow up with your first time guests with the info you got from them when they registered. Follow up with any students from your group who don’t usually come, but made the trek out to the Gillette Games. Upload photos to Facebook quickly and encourage students to go on a tagging spree. When students tag, like, and share, our ministry page skyrockets in total reach. This is one last chance to connect with students about the night.
Gillette Games is a huge night for our ministry. It fulfills our first ministry goal of "Connect." In this we are able to connect students to our ministry, to each other, and hopefully begin the process of connecting them to God. It’s a lot of work but it’s incredibly worth it. If you try it out, let me know how it goes. What other games can YOU think to play with hundreds of Gillette shaving cream? Feel free to add new game ideas in the comments section.
1. Overhead Relay( 4 aluminum pans)
~ Have teams sit in straight lines front to back
~ Leader has 2 cans of shaving cream
~ Leader gives first person a handful of shaving cream
~ Students pass shaving cream over their heads to next person
~ Last student in line adds shaving cream to aluminum pan
~Team wins when they fill the pan
2. Dodge Cream (aluminum pan from previous game)
~ Teams take shaving cream from bucket and fling it at other teams
~ Leader continuously refills aluminum pan during game
~ Team with the cleanest side wins.
3. Crazy hair
~Team lead picks 2 students to have their hair done
~Kids help create cool hair styles
4. Pull over
~ Team leaders coat the middle of the tarp with shaving cream
~ Students from each team line up on their side of the line
~ Students try to pull each other across the middle line.
~ Team leaders make sure no one gets hurt.
~ Make this game single gender!!!! (guys v guys) (girls v girls)
~Bring in Baby Pool of shaving cream
~Each Leader gets two cans
~Big countdown, Students verses Leaders
Prep Table Instructions.
- Overhead Relay - Each team needs an aluminum pan and two cans of shaving cream. Give to the Team Leader.
- Dodge Cream Have an extra can or two of shaving cream ready for each team leader
- Crazy Hair - Give each leader to cans of shaving cream.
- Pullover - nothing needed – keep filling up baby pool
- Melee - Fill up aluminum pans with shaving cream, have the baby pool full of shaving cream (you should start this well in advance.