I have this system that I use with the youth at church. Only the person with "the ball" can talk. This helps to reduce the total number of conversations going on, at any given time. The ball is technically a racquetball. It is also great fun to zing at those who refuse or forget to follow the "ball gets to talk" rule.
We are working on a lesson where the students become the teachers. The plan is to use multi-media to create presentations on the subject of their choosing. Eventually, the presentations will be compiled into what we hope will be one cohesive DVD. They will learn and then teach what the "world" has to say about the subject, what they know or think they know about the subject, and what God's word has to say about the subject.
Naive as I am, I let them vote to pick their first subject. I can't believe that I forgot (or maybe blocked out) what is first and foremost on the minds of most youths ages 13 to 18. Alas, I asked for it and the subject is one that needs to be addressed. I also can't believe what I've learned about their views and opinions. I recall what would have been considered "acceptable" or common when I was in high school (early 90's for those keeping track) and it seems quite tame compared to the atmosphere in which these young people are living in.
For example, I asked all of them to complete a personal profile that asked questions like, "What is your favorite song?" The majority of them listed a song called "Smack That". I had never heard of "Smack That", so I "Googled" it. Wow! I would never have told anyone, especially at church, if that had been my favorite song. It is extremely lewd and extremely inappropriate. They are very desensitized to the most graphic of content. I tried to explain to them how, once that stuff gets into their heads, it does not come out. I don't think one could be a child of God and "drink in" that crap without being conflicted.
This Saturday is our youth Christmas party. We have prize(s) to award to whoever brings the most guests. I have 40+ rolls of toilet paper for making toilet paper mummies. We are planning to cook hot dogs and chilli. There will be a camp fire for roasting marshmallows. Dan & I plan to play a few songs. There will be various other games and entertainment at the party. The family and I will "fire up" the RV and drive to the church relatively early tomorrow to "set up" for the party.