Following the energetic ice-breaker, the young leaders were split into their four teams: Peace, Truth, Justice and Mercy, with each team in their own breakout room for another team building activity. Before jumping into that game, participants “went around the room” introducing themselves and their favorite foods. From South Africa, on team Truth, Brayden shared that his favorite food is Bunnie Chow; from Cyprus, on team Justice, Metehan says, “Blue angel?” “I don’t know what’s in it, but I like it”; and from Chicago, on team Peace, the “never before heard of ice cream flavor” Jamaican turtle is Saribel’s favorite! Later on, staff would reflect how this simple premise of sharing favorite foods was a great way for the youth to learn more about each other and build stronger bonds, which is what the Friendship Games is all about!
After introductions, several coaches, coordinators and directors from across PeacePlayers’ sites led youth in a game called Mystery Box, which included a trivia competition. Do you know what is the shortest distance between the coast of Northern Ireland and the coast of Scotland? Or, how much time does it take to drive from the North of Israel (Metula) to south (Eilat)? This game offered youth a chance to begin building connections among their integrated international teams. Trivia questions tested the kids’ knowledge of each other’s sites and cultures, and allowed them to share more about what goes on in their city or country.
Lastly, PeacePlayers goal was to build suspense and create a fast-paced environment where the score was always changing and kids had to use strategy and work together to win.
At the end of the hour long event, nearly 100 smiles from participants beamed across the screen as everyone waved goodbye until next time! Youth will gather again in mid-March for another Twinning hosted by Northern Ireland. We can’t wait for the craic they have in store!