For each NCYC, or National Catholic Youth Conference, groups are encouraged to take "Trading Items" to help break-the-ice when meeting others teens from all around the U.S.
(This idea holds true also for World Youth Day and other large-scale events wherein you may want to help teens mingle and make new friends.)
They can also help to promote our little part of the world and serve as a keepsake for the recipient.
Often, it can be difficult to come up with ideas for items. For this NCYC, the office will be providing clothespins (to be decorated to serve the Clipped For Christ game), as well as keychains, buttons, stickers, string backpacks and maybe a couple more. Each group is encouraged to consider a few more to represent your section of our diocese.
What should you consider for your parish/group trading items?
First of all, no frisbees, beach balls, or items that could be considered dangerous or as weapons. The point is fun, not potential harm!
Secondly, here are a few considerations from the Girl Scouts USA: SWAPS Basics
(We call them Trading Items, they call them SWAPS):
Popular Trading Items have included:
> Prayer Cards
> Small crayon packets
> Individually wrapped candy with group sticker added
> Popsicle stick crosses
> Religious medals of the parish Saint's namesake
Think about something that represents your area.
Examples from other areas include:
Heinz Pickle Pins (Diocese of Pittsburgh),
mini bottles of Tabasco sauce (Archdiocese of New Orleans);
Statue of Liberty buttons (Archdiocese of New York);
cowboy hats (Texas)
What other ideas do you have?
Cindee Case, MAPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.