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Future Freshman Spectacular

50 Foot Banana Split

Introduction

The Future Freshman Spectacular is a fun after-school event where eighth graders learn about high school life and enjoy a 50-foot banana split. The purpose of this event is to jumpstart your ministry for next year, exposing the upcoming freshman class to your campus ministry, and giving them the opportunity to be involved in your student ministry through a 4-6 week follow-up Bible study. A side benefit is that you build and train your current leadership students by having them help plan and carry out the event, and also help lead the follow-up study for the eighth graders.

Planning Procedure

  1. Pray, pray, pray.
  2. If possible, take your high school group over to the middle school one day to pray for the Future Freshman Spectacular.

  3. Obtain permission from the middle school to hold the event.
  4. Plan about an hour and 15 minutes for the event.

  5. Clarify details with a school administrator.
  6. Be sure to ask and determine the following:

    • Can you host the event in the cafeteria immediately after school?
    • Can you talk with the facilities person about having the room set up as you want it (theater style)?
    • Can you have three tables for the ice cream sundaes/banana splits in the back of the room or a place where it will not be a distraction to the program?
    • Are the janitors and/or janitorial supplies available for cleanup?
    • When will be the best day to get maximum participation?
    • Can you give fliers to students a day or two days before the event so they can take them home to their parents to get permission and arrange for rides?

Future Freshman Spectacular Outline

  1. Welcome
  2. Select a male and female high school student to serve as your two emcees. Have them explain the purpose of the event: To welcome the freshman students to high school, inform them about your ministry and meet high school students currently involved with your ministry. Give a brief explanation of your ministry's purpose and activities.

  3. Game
  4. Fun games include the banana pass and spoon on a string.

  5. Skit
  6. Create a skit centered around the first day of class as a freshman. (A "Captain Nemo's kit works well with high school students participating.)

  7. Student Testimonies
  8. Have one or two students give testimonies explaining life as a high school student and how your group has helped them.

  9. Disclaimer (Optional)
  10. While you are up front with the students who are about to share, give attendees the opportunity to leave for a few minutes if they choose to do so.

    Sample Disclaimer

    "For the next 10 minutes or so, we are going to talk about how God can make a difference in your life. If you or your parents would object to hearing this, we respect you as young adults and give you the freedom to step outside the room and return after (speaker's name) is finished speaking. We have found that what (speaker's name) is about to share has made a positive difference in many student's lives and could make a difference in yours as well."

  11. Gospel Presentation
  12. "The most important thing to help you through high school is having a relationship with God."

    Share a basic gospel message.

  13. Comment Cards
  14. Explain comment cards thoroughly, covering each of the options. Be sure to clearly explain the meaning of the box, "I received Christ at this meeting." Also explain that you will be meeting for the next 4-6 weeks to talk more about growing with God as well as having more fun activities like today.

    You may ask them to write the word "study" at the top of the comment card if they're interested in participating in the Bible study.

  15. Collect Comment Cards and Give Away a Door Prize
  16. Have student or adult volunteers collect the comment cards for the prize drawing. Place cards in a bowl or bucket and have a student select the winner. Remember, the comment cards are a way for you to know who came to the meeting and to find out more about their spiritual interest.

  17. Invite Students to Your Next Meeting
  18. This would be a good time to make an announcement about your next meeting. Pass out a flier promoting this or have several involved students pass out fliers at the exits.

  19. Announce an upcoming conference or special event
  20. Bring brochures to distribute. If time permits, show a promotional video or have a short skit about the conference.

  21. Eat Ice Cream Sundaes or Banana Splits
  22. Have most of the preparations done before the meeting. Have your adult volunteers put on the ice cream and toppings during the gospel message. Take pictures - you'll have some great shots here!

  23. Dismiss Students

Follow-Up Bible Study

Spend the first 30 minutes with some social time and creative games, and the last 30 minutes on the Bible study content. Break up the students into appropriate groups; you might consider having a guys group and a girls group. If your high school students are ready, this is a good opportunity to have them participate in leading a group. Offer snacks after the meeting. Enjoy, have fun and always be flexible!!

Flier and Parent's Letter

The front of your flier should be an advertisement of the Future Freshman Spectacular. On the back of your flier, you may want to include a letter to parents.

Here's sample copy for the parent's letter:

Dear Parents and (ABC Middle School) Students,

(Name of your ministry) invites all eighth-grade students at (ABC Middle School) to attend a Future Freshman Spectacular this Friday afternoon from 3:30 - 4:45 p.m. in the cafeteria. Our student leaders from (XYZ High School) are hosting this special event just for you. We hope you will plan now to join in on all the fun. The after-school program, including the 50-foot banana split, is free!

(Name of your ministry) helps students develop positive values and leadership skills while developing a personal faith that makes a difference in their everyday lives.

The action begins immediately following school when students from (XYZ High School) will host the Future Freshman Spectacular for you. The fun will include relays, skits, prizes, a 50-foot banana split (yes, it's really that long!), as well as the chance to mix with the high school students and find out how (Name of your ministry) has impacted their lives.

Be sure to make arrangements for a ride home; the event ends at approximately 4:45 p.m.

If you have any questions please call me at (phone number). Looking forward to seeing you Friday!

Sincerely,

(Your name or name of your ministry leader)

Ice Cream Sundaes

Here's what you will need to prepare for if you choose to serve Ice Cream Sundaes at the close of the Future Freshman Spectacular.

Supplies

  • Several coolers with ice to keep ice cream from melting
  • 5-7 gallons of ice cream (any flavors)
  • 8-12 ice cream scoops
  • 6 bottles of toppings
  • Other toppings such as nuts, M&M's, etc.
  • 6 cans of whipped cream
  • 4 jars of cherries (optional)
  • Spoons, bowls (or cups) and napkins
  • At least three long tables (provided by the school)
  • Supplies for clean-up

Instructions

After the gospel message begins near the end of the talk, ask your volunteers to prepare the Ice Cream

Sundaes:

  1. Have volunteers line up ice cream and supplies on tables
  2. Adult helpers should open tubs and begin scooping out initial bowls of ice cream to get them started; let the students put on their own toppings.
  3. Hand out spoons! Ready, get set, EAT!
  4. Stand back and watch the fun. This is a great opportunity to take photos!

50-Foot Banana Split

Supplies

Simply add the following to the supplies listed for the Ice Cream Sundaes:

  • 5 -10 ft. plastic gutters
  • Half a case of bananas
  • Duct tape
  • Aluminum foil (50-ft. roll)
  • Masking tape
  • Clear tape

Instructions

In addition to those listed for the Ice Cream Sundaes, follow these guidelines:

  1. Buy or borrow several plastic gutters totaling 50 feet. (Better yet, ask Wal-Mart or a local hardware store to donate them!) Place them on at least three long tables.
  2. Connect the gutters at the ends using duct tape underneath and on top.
  3. Line the connected gutters with aluminum foil wide enough to fold over the edges. Make sure you press the aluminum foil all the way down to the bottom inside of the gutters before folding the edges over and wrapping the foil along the outside. Tape the foil underneath.
  4. Peel and cut bananas lengthwise and then in half. Line as many as possible along the base of the foil-covered gutter. When you are ready to go, top with scoops of ice cream, fudge sauce and toppings
  5. Be sure to bring your camera!

Obtaining Donations and Supplies

Usually most grocery stores will donate almost all the ingredients if you explain to them what you are doing. Below is a sample letter to request donations for the Future Freshman Spectacular.

Dear Business Owner/Manager:

Your participation in our youth outreach here in (your city) is greatly needed and is critical in helping us extend a positive influence to the young people of the (your city) area.

(Briefly describe your ministry.) Our purpose is to help students achieve their full potential in all areas of life. To do this, we use various activities such as meetings, discussion groups and conferences.

On (date) the students at (XYZ High School) are hosting a Future Freshman Spectacular for the eighth graders at (ABC Middle School). The purpose of this event is to introduce the incoming freshman to (name of your ministry) and help them prepare for high school. This event will also help the high school students develop their leadership skills.

First Type of Request

Add the following to the above letter:

We need your help! In order to have this event, we need the following items:

  • 7 gallons of ice cream
  • 2 packages of plastic spoons
  • Several packages of plastic bowls or cups
  • 1 package of napkins
  • 6 bottles of toppings
  • 6 cans of whipped cream
  • 4 jars of cherries (optional)

Would your business consider donating these items?

Second Type of Request

Add the following to the above letter:

We need your help! To make our event extra-special, we need (quantity) door prizes. Would your business consider a prize donation?

In exchange for your donations, we would be glad to advertise your sponsorship of this event. You will not only be doing a good work but will be promoted before a significant portion of the community!

Our partnership will help make a positive difference in students' lives here in (your city).

Thank you again for your help and consideration. We would be grateful for any donation, no matter how big or small. I will call you in a few days to see what you have decided.

Sincerely,

(Your name or name of your ministry leader)

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