Q: What are some good youth group names? I’m starting up a new youth work project and want to give it a cool name. Can you help?
A: Ah, the timeless question. Forget dealing with issues like sex, drugs and alcohol – coming up with good youth group names is one of the hardest parts of being a youth worker. Just do what all good (and/or lazy) managers do: delegate.
Except in this case, delegation is actually youth participation. Yep – have your young people pick the youth group’s name for themselves. There are a couple of ways you can approach this:
1) Free choice
The first option is to give the young people free reign over what name the youth group will be given. They come up with different names, make their own shortlist and then come to a final decision as to what it’ll be called.
If you go down this route, you have to be committed to seeing the process through. If the young people come up with a bunch of different names that you don’t like and aren’t any good, it’s going to be hard to override their choices as this makes it look like you don’t value their opinions, making the activity counterproductive.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t give them this freedom – just remember that young people can be extremely random, so they may well pick a name you’d prefer not to go with. An alternative method of having young people choose a youth group name is……
2) Provide a Shortlist
Come up with some names you’d be happy with, then present the shortlist for the youth to make the final decision. This way, you can ensure that you’ll be happy whatever the final decision, while the youth still get to participate in the process of naming the youth group.
It’s not always going to be feasible to have young people choosing a name though. For example, if you’re starting up a new youth work project, you may well need a name in place before any young people join the project in the first place. Other times, a youth work project may only last for a few sessions, so spending time coming up with a name for the youth group is a waste of valuable session time.
So here are 5 tips for coming up with good youth group names:
1) Short – Keeping the name short helps make it easy to remember and by being short, is more likely to be snappy too. A short youth group name also makes it easier to fit on flyers, quicker to say when discussing the youth group or project, etc.
2) Not cheesy – It can be easy for adults to think something sounds cool, but to young people it just sounds lame. That’s why having young people pick the name is a better option – they’re unlikely to choose something cheesy.
3) Timeless – Unless you’re planning on changing the name every couple of years, try to ensure the name isn’t going to date easily.
4) Relevant – If possible, try to pick a name that actually relates to your youth group. This then helps people know what they can expect – whether that’s youth, adults, donors, etc.
5) Domain name – OK, so this might not be a major consideration for many youth workers. However, if you’re planning on building a website for your youth group or project, you’ll want to make sure the domain name (or a derivative of it) is available.
For example, Shae used a run a youth work project called Ngage. This fulfills all of the above suggestions as:
- It’s short
- It’s not cheesy
- It’s timeless
- It’s relevant (the project was designed to keep students engaged in high school)
- A domain name would have been available – although ngage.com wouldn’t have been available, something like ngageproject.co.uk could have been used if they needed a website
Now that you know how to choose a cool name, check out our tips on how to avoid a lame youth group name.
Question: What tips do you have for choosing good youth group names? Let us and other youth workers know in the comments below.
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