2020 Summer YP Outdoor (Backyard) Gatherings


Santa Clara County revised the order effectively on June 5th to allow outdoor swimming, ceremonies, and religious services for up to 25 people with proper social distancing and protective measures. On the other hand, we are fully cognizant from brother Rick's fellowship that 
  • "The relaxation is ... not related to a decrease in risk of infection, but rather to socioeconomic pressures
  • ... urge us to continue to exercise protective measures as thoroughly as possible within the limits of the practicality of our situation.
  • ... the community is no safer, and probably less so now than when the mitigation measures were instituted."


Given the background above, we feel it would be profitable to occasionally arrange some outdoor gatherings for the young people, following the practical guidelines presented below, for the following purposes:
  • For the young people (and serving ones, too!) to enjoy fellowship in person beyond what meetings in Zoom may afford (e.g. singing and playing guitars together); especially affording a venue to shepherding those who have been particularly impacted by shelter in place.
  • For the young people (and serving ones, too!) to learn and practice proper new behaviors, as they/we come together, necessary to keep one another safe and healthy during the pandemic ("the new normal").
    • It is one thing to know what is proper. It is another to practice and learn not to be bothered by the restrictions and inconveniences of face covering and social distancing etc.
    • It is also important for them to learn and practice how to have the necessary outlets for their energy and sociopsychological needs, while keeping themselves and others safe
    • It is our expectation and hope that our young people in the Lord's recovery would thus be shining as "the luminaries in the world" (Phil.2:15), an anti-testimony to those of their generation who are either without restraints or withdrawn because of worries and anxiety.

Practical Guidelines

As Chrisitans, believers of God and His holy word, we should always
  • Obey government orders (Rom.13:1). The guidelines below should automatically be adjusted as needed so as not to violate the current goverment orders for shelter-in-place against the present pandemic. 
  • Exercise all due diligences, maybe even beyond what is required by the government orders, to stay safe and healthy for our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.6:19-20; cf. 1 Cor.3:16-17) and members of the Body of Christ (1 Cor.6:15-17).
Here are the guidelines:
  • No one who is specifically at risk of spreading the virus should be present in person (even if family!): one with any of the following
    • exhibiting repiratory symptoms, or any other known potential COVID-19 symptons.
    • known to be exposed in a situation with likely spread of COVID-19.
    • Specifically, we ask no one to come in person who have participated in any gathering in the past two weeks, indoors or outdoors, in which not ALL parties were observing the orders of CDC, of California Health Department, and of Santa Clara County w.r.t. the pandemic.
  • As we are learning "the new normal" together, serving ones, including parents, should exercise to be proper patterns, to proactively remind one another, and, if necessary, to adjust one another in a proper spirit with the admonition of the Lord. 
  • Follow (learn and exercise to follow) the health orders and guidelines, including but not limiting to:
    • Wear face covering, even during activities! Especially during singing. 
    • Maintain proper social distance, especially when necessary to take off the face covering e.g. to eat or drink.
    • Avoid phsyical contacts, especially in greetings and during activities.
    • Disinfect common touch areas.
    • Keep the number low and stay outdoors, except for use of bathroom.
  • Bathroom: 
    • The host should plan this out.
    • Minimize the indoor area one needs to go through to access the bathroom.
    • Minimize the common touch areas, e.g. keeping lights on (tape the switches), keeping doors not fully closed.
    • Disinfect the bathroom beforehand.
    • Provide disinfectants, e.g. Lysol spray, Clorox wipes etc., and post clear signs to ask whoever uses it to disinfect the common touch areas after use.
  • Food & Drinks
    • Safety first! Safety trumps taste and cost!
    • As practically doable,
      • Individually packed (e.g. bottle water vs. large gallon drink). Right! Potluck is NOT a good idea.
      • Disposable plates, utensils, etc.
    • Provide hand sanitizer.
    • Plan out how people can spread out with proper distance while eating/drinking. 
    • Remind people to keep distance, especially while eating/drinking as we won't have the face covering on and we incline to chat with one another during meals.
  • Singing
    • (Finally there is a way for us to sing together in person!)
    • But it is the most important to keep the face covering on (back on esp. after meal) and keep proper distance during singing, as we otherwise produce and spread droplets more! Please learn to accept the restriction and discomfort!
  • Activities
    • Plan out what activities could be carried out safely and how.
    • Note especially in the health orders against physical contact and sharing equipments
    • Constantly remind people to maintain safe behaviors even in their excitement.

Just FYI - Examples of Activities We May Do

(Feel free to skip this section and the rest.)

Pingpong in Patio Space

  • No indoor pingpong.
  • Keep distance. No doubles.
  • Keep face covering on.
  • No sharing of the balls or paddles. Or, alternatively, disinfect the balls frequently and the paddles and balls every time switch hands.

No Basketball But ... say Bring-Your-Own-Ball H-O-R-S-E 

  • It is especially important for young brothers to learn NOT to play basketball together with physical contact and shared equipment (the ball), which violates the health orders.
  • But, hey, here is how you can both have fun together and work on your fundamentals - skills, strength, and cardio - during the pandemic:
    • Each (living unit) brings your own ball, clearly marked and easily identiable. You can kick or elbow other's ball back to them but do not handle it with your hands.
    • Keep face covering on (cardio! Remember?)
    • Play H-O-R-S-E or the like.
    • Skills - Instead of useless trick shots, let's do real game moves: say, (self throw) catch and shoot, pump fake - step back 3 poniter, and on.
    • Strength & cardio - each time a person gets a letter he also does one of the strength or cardio exercises, e.g.
      • H: plank 30 seconds
      • O: floor spring 20x
      • R: wall sit 30 seconds
      • S: spring for some full court length
      • E: pushups 10x
(Let's see how many rounds of H-O-R-S-E this way you can go.)

Outdoor Board Games

  • Face covering on and hand sanitizers for everyone every round because of the common touch items like cards. That is, we disinfect the hands instead of cards etc., which approach would not be effective without face covering.
  • Keep distance (may need good eye sights ...)
  • Keep cards, for example, from flying away ...
  • Keep cool.