During a week at Young Life camp we get the privilege of eating around 20 meals with our middle and high school friends. For most of those meals, we’re seated at a round table for the very purpose of promoting “family style” conversation.
We live in a busy world. Most families are spending less time eating and talking together. In a culture where we’re more used to facing screens then facing each other, it might seem uncomfortable for your adolescent friends to sit at a round table. Thirty minutes of food and conversation might feel like an eternity.
Below are some questions to help facilitate conversation during those meal times. Make sure not to make the meal feel like an interview, just let it be a natural conversation. Pick a couple questions from below and have them in your back pocket for when you need them. I typically just do one “meal question” at every meal. Kids come to expect it and some even look forward to it. Sometimes I let individual kids suggest a “meal question” as well. Breakfast is usually a more light-hearted question as folks are still waking up. Questions can get deeper as the week goes on.
Potential Camp Meal Questions
- Why did you come to YL for the first time?
- Tell us a nickname you’ve had and how you got it.
- What are one or two of your pet peeves?
- What’s been one of the most exciting moments in your life?
- What’s been one of the scariest moments in your life?
- If you could dispense any condiment out of your pinky finger on demand what would it be?
- Choose one of each to describe you:
- If you could pick the meal for tonight, what food would it be?
- What is your earliest memory?
- Who was your childhood hero and why?
- If you got a tattoo, what would it be and where?
- Tell us the names of your family members, and describe your relationship with them.
- What’s the best or worst vacation you’ve ever been on?
- What is your favorite place on the planet?
- What is the highlight of your week so far?
- Finish the sentence: “I wish God would….”
- What is your favorite summer movie you’ve seen so far and why did you love it so much?
- If you could be any movie character, who would you be and why?
- Say 3 things about yourself, one being false and have the group guess which of the three statements isn’t true.
- If you could have any question answered, what would it be?
- If you were given 2 million dollars and could buy any vehicle for everyone in our group, what type of vehicle would you buy for each person and why?
- What is one way your parents have sacrificed for you?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what’s one thing you would like to do in life?
- Who do you wish would have come with you to camp this week?
- With what famous person would you most like to share a meal? What would you ask them?
- What’s the hardest part of being a teenager?
- In what area of your life do you feel most satisfied right now? Why?
- In what area do you feel least satisfied?
- What do you think God has been revealing to you this week?
- We heard about the gift of God’s love for us displayed on the cross last night, what is another one of the greatest gifts you’ve ever been given?
- Who knows you best?
- Who has the greatest influence on you? What person(s)?
- What’s your favorite meal we’ve had this week?
- What’s the funniest thing you’ve witnessed this week?
- What are 3-5 words your parents would use to describe you?
- What are 3-5 words your friends would use to describe you?
- What are 3-5 words you would use to describe you?
- Encourage everyone at your table to go around and give each person a compliment.
- How would you describe your relationship with Christ right now?
- If you had to live this past week over again, would you change anything? If so, what would that be?
If you have other ideas for creative interaction around meal-times at camp, email us here.
Written by Drew Hill.
Drew is a pastor in Greensboro, NC and also on staff with Young Life in the Global Innovation and Training department. Drew started the Young Life Leader Blog in 2010 and has written an award-winning book for Young Life leaders called “Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel.“