A youth group game using Google Voice

Google Voice youth group gameSince I’m on a roll with the whole “technology in ministry thing” after this week’s post on how new technology develops into a ministry tool and how we used Google Wave at youth group, I figured I might as well continue the trend with a game we did at our jr. high youth meeting tonight using Google Voice.

It’s actually based on the game, Sound Effects, from that calls for a blank tape and tape recorder for every team. You give them 15 minutes to record all the sound effects on a list and then come back together and have judges determine a winner for each effect category.

Since I don’t think I know anyone that still has a tape recorder, nor did I want to go out and buy recorders for each team, here’s what I did:

I split our jr. high large group into teams based on their existing small groups. They sat in a circle and placed one of their cell phones in the middle of the group. Then I had each team punch in my Google Voice phone number and call my voicemail, which was set with a pre-recorded message of me saying, “Hey guys, record your sound effect after the beep. Have fun!” (Set your Google Voice account to “Do Not Disturb” so all calls are sent straight to voicemail.) Teams then recorded their sound effects on my Google Voice voicemail, which allowed me to immediately and easily play back their recordings from my laptop (logged in to Google Voice) through our sound system almost as soon as they hung up. I simply identified teams by the phone number that left the voicemail and we played back each team’s effect for everyone to hear (and laugh at!).

Here’s a list of some of the sound effects I asked for:

  • Herd of mooing cows
  • Cat in a dog kennel
  • TV Show theme song
  • Lovesick Coyotes on a moonlit night
  • Sing a Christmas carol
  • Room full of babies
  • Traffic

We had a high school student leader act as the judge who awarded points to the jr. high teams with the best sound effect for each category. The team with the most points won a bag of candy for their small group that night.

Two quick tips: Require that teams record sound effects that are shorter than 10 seconds but no longer than 15, especially if you have a lot of teams you have to listen to; and require that every person on the team must contribute to the sound effect.

Since Google Voice allows me to embed my voicemail messages into websites, here’s a couple of my favorite sound effects from tonight.

[ NOTE: If you’re reading this in an RSS reader or email, you may have to visit the original post to hear the following recordings. ]

Posted on December 16, 2009

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