We played group games on the mission trip every night, in the sitting room of the retreat center where we were staying, as the first part of our daily devotion and reflection. Nothing complicated: Four on A Couch, Telestrations, things like that; nothing requiring more than paper and pens. I’m so glad we did.
Group games grease the wheels of conversation and introspection, and so I think anybody who works with groups of people–particularly young people–should have a stash of them in their back pocket. Two sources I’ve found really valuable for building that stash are Playmeo (the subscription is worth it) and Youth Ministry Great Games. Also, the book Moving Beyond Icebreakers demonstrates a useful way to structure a meeting or youth group so that the games are part of the work, and not just a time-filler.
Two years ago I started planning two dedicated blocks of group games in all my weekend retreats. Now I’m going to be sure to plan for them on every mission trip.