Talking Stick

You have probably come across the idea of ‘talking sticks‘ or the equivalent before (an item that is held by the speaker, identifying them as the person to be speaking at that time, and calling on everyone else to really listen; which is then passed to the next person who wishes to speak and be heard).
talking stick.jpg
I was at a families fun-day drumming workshop last week and we made talking sticks, based on a native american tradition, in a way that I think would work brilliantly for a small youth group (and especially on a residential)
There was a pile of wool of various colours and textures. Each family had a stick and members of the family were encouraged to pick out bits of wool that they (for whatever reason) linked to something important about their family … or an important memory or event. They then told the story whilst wrapping the wool around the stick. Eventually there was a vibrantly coloured stick to be used in future as the family ‘talking stick’ whereby everyone could be assured of being listened to.
For a small youth group this could be a great activity; making the stick and telling stories about the group and its key memories and values. It could then serve really well in discussions and debates, creating greater listening and participation.