Drive-Thru CAR-nival Club

Robb Schreiber October 2, 2021

This was originally posted in the fall of 2020, but could be adapted to be used anytime!

Like many of you, we sadly missed getting to do the summer camp carnival this past summer, so we wanted to bring it to our area! We tried to get creative and allow kids the opportunity to participate safely from their cars. We set up 6 carnival games in a parking lot that wrapped around a building so that we could use 3 sides of the parking lot.  This way kids could not see around the corner of what was happening next and we could keep the element of surprise!

We did this for our 2 high school clubs, 3 WyldLife clubs, and our Capernaum club on 2 consecutive nights.  We spread out the schools and the kids to prevent the lines from getting backed up, and allowing kids to spend more time playing instead of waiting in line. We divided it alphabetically by last name for our Capernaum friends.

WYLDLIFE OCT 6th                                         HS & CAPERNAUM   OCT 5th

6:30     BHMS Boys       6:45 Girls                    6:30 CPRNM A-M 6:45 CPRNM N-Z

7:00      MBMS Boys      7:15 Girls                      7:30- HS Girls    8:00 HS Girls

7:30      TPMS Boys        8:00 Girls

When one middle school was coming through, the leaders from the other school were the work crew/summer staff/carnies to help with all the behind scene work, so the leaders could spend all their time interacting with kids from their club.  We did the same with high school and Capernaum leaders.  

We did this at night and the parking lot was not well lit enough so we used one of these construction lights for each station.

We plan on doing another CARnival for Halloween and for Christmas, so it helps knowing that we are doing this for ALL of our area clubs multiple times to spread the cost over so many clubs.

Station 1: Welcome & Ticket Booth

  • We wanted a “WOW effect” so we built a Carnival Ticket booth.
    • It was a lot of work to build and paint.
      • With 2 sheets of plywood, hinges, wood, and paint and letter… we probably spent $150
    • You can also buy one here and here and here.
  • We invited the kids to come out of their vehicle for a quick photo and explained how the night was going to work with games and raffle tickets.
  • If new/first time to Young Life/WyldLife, we gave parents a clipboard and club card and some welcome info.  They could fill it out while driving through the club.
  • Raffle tickets can be earned at every station. Raffle winning ticket numbers emailed to parent database and posted on social media.
    • Winning kids get lunch delivered to their house (our school district is 100% zoom now)  We want leaders delivering lunch and not an Uber eats driver.  It was great, we had new kids win the raffle and we got to visit their home and deliver lunch.  Big win!

Station 2: Squirt Gun or Popper Gun

  • They key to this station is having good quality squirt guns.
  • Popper Gun options: Popper gun on Amazon, Popper gun with target
  • We did both the squirt guns and the popper guns.  The popper guns were a lot of work chasing down all of the balls.  We had 4 guns so we always had a gun ready for the next car.
  • Table set up with bunch of targets (red Solo cups).
  • Kids have X amount of time or X amount of water in gun to clear the table.
  • # of raffle tickets given based on how fast they clear the table.

Station 3: Wiffle Ball Toss

  • You can see the “Wiffle Ball Toss” game in action here and here.
  • We built ours and hot glued cups and then put a screw through the cups because the hot glue was not strong enough.  The hot glue was very helpful to hold the cups in place when pre-drilling holes and then screwing in the screws.  We used 5oz cups from Walmart because they were cheap and the right size for Wiffle balls.
  • 266 cups with different colors
  • 2 Gold cups – 100 raffle tickets if the white ball lands in gold cup
  • Gold ball in gold cup $100 dollars off future YL camp trip
  • 5 Purple cups – 50 raffle tickets
  • 10 Blue cups – 25 raffle tickets
  • 20 Green cups – 10 raffle tickets
  • 50 Orange cups – 5 raffle tickets
  • 100 Red cups – 1 raffle ticket
  • They 6 get balls:  5 white and 1 golden (spray painted)
  • After each round, balls are placed in a bucket of bleach water and then into a bucket of soapy water and then into a bucket of plain water to be cleaned for each kid.
  • We had 20 balls so that balls can be a cleaned, and a set of 10 ready for each car.

Station 4: Basketball

  • Kids get 6 shots, and earn raffle tickets based on the number of shots made.
  • They roll a 6-sided die and whatever the number is determines their bonus shot. That one shot is worth 25 raffle tickets. “PRESSURE SHOT”
    • 6 shots made 60 raffle tickets
    • 5 shots made 50 raffle tickets
    • 4 shots made 40 raffle tickets
    • 3 shots made 30 raffle tickets
    • 2 shots made 20 raffle tickets
    • 1 shot made 10 raffle tickets
    • 0 shots made 1 raffle ticket per time they hit the rim
  • After each round balls are placed in a bucket of bleach water and then into a bucket of soapy water and then into a bucket of plain water to be cleaned for each kid.

Station 5: Smoke Ring Cannon

  • We made some of these cannons in the past for a weekend camp and have used them in the past for club games. For this game, have kids either shoot targets off of a table or off the leader’s head.

SIXTH STATION- Toilet Dunk Tank

  • You can see our Toilet Dunk Tank in action here.
  • Kids were able to pull the ripcord from the car to flush the toilet.
  • We mounted the toilet on a ¾ inch piece of plywood and lifted the hatch on the side of the scaffolding so we didn’t have cut a hole in the scaffolding board.
  • You can see to the left of the chair we had a 2×4 going from the board with the toilet to the ground with 2 of these wenches.  We also cut a hole in the plywood so a string could be duct-taped to the toilet handle, go through the hole through both these wenches, and then to the kid to pull.
  • We had to tell kids not to pull hard.  They were VERY excited to flush their leader and thought the harder they pulled the string the more water would come out.
  • To fill the tank, we used a couple of hoses.  We left the water on and inserted one of these in between the hoses so we could turn the water on and off for refilling the tank.  We used zip ties to secure the hose to the back of the scaffolding and to the toilet tank so the hose could not fall out of the tank.
  • We bought this scaffolding from Home Depot. We didn’t trust ourselves in what we could build and that would be easy to transport.  This is built to hold 1100 pounds, so an 80-pound toilet would be safe.
  • We bought a new toilet from Home Depot.  For some reason, our leaders weren’t too excited to have a used toilet flush on their head.  They weren’t convinced that we could clean it well enough.  We don’t blame them.

Station 6: Goodbye

  • Give packet of info about YL to parents. Include:
    • YL Calendar
    • Parent Letter with all of YL Area contact info
    • Info on WyldLife permission slips
    • Info on raffle and when it would happen later that night on YouTube and Instagram Live 
    • Any area info you want them to have.


  • If traffic gets backed up leaders can go to cars waiting in line with the following:

Leader Costumes Ideas

If you host your own version of a CAR-nival, let us know. We’d love for you to do an Instagram takeover on the @YoungLifeLeader account!

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