Humans vs. Zombies Night & Charity Fundraiser

we got the idea for this event and most of the artwork from

Humans vs. Zombies has the potential to be your biggest charity fundraising night of the year - it was ours. We had in game perks based on how much $ students raised. We had 20 students come out to our event, 3 of those students were new and had the time of their lives - and together we raised $830 and brought in a ton of canned food.

Why canned food?
Every zombie apocalypse survival scenario needs canned food! - we donated it to a local food shelter afterwards.

Where'd the money go?
It went towards fighting an actual life threatening virus - We sent our $ to World Hope who will use it to care for those with Ebola and prevent further outbreak.

Quick Overview:

Humans vs. Zombies is played around the world, mostly at colleges. The general idea is that humans are trying to survive while zombies are trying to "turn" everyone. Humans use nerf guns or socks to "stun" the zombies. I believe the normal game is one of survival: If the humans last the weekend, they win. If everyone is a zombie by the end of the weekend, the zombies win. Youth Groups with limited time should have a mission to complete. Like "Find the Cure."

Youth Group Version:

Here are the rules adapted for a 2 hour youth group event. You're more than welcome to change what we did.



Decide where the game will played. We played in our church building, and our school's building. We would've used the fields & playgrounds but there was snow on the ground. Make sure your students know what is in bounds and what is out of bounds. They'll tend to go everywhere when being chased by zombies.

The game ends when everyone is a zombie or when the humans find the two cures. We made cures out of glitter containers (they were the only thing at walmart that looked like vials) and neon green paint. We instagrammed it and tweeted it so students would know what to look for - and to get students to follow us.

We used the photo editing app Pic Lab to make most of our images.

Establish safe zones. Obviously, bathrooms should be safe zones but they should only be used for their intended purpose. Students should not strategically use bathrooms during game play. Make it clear that students can only go in bathrooms that are according to their own gender.

Make the starting place a safe zone. For us, this was our youth room. The humans could stay in there and form teams, devise plans, etc. Usually during this time someone rises up as a "leader" and it's really cool to watch everything unfold.

We let zombies come in to the youth room/safe zone but didn't let them attack whilst inside. We also told them that if a human walked out of the safe zone they had to wait 60 seconds before leaving themselves and they couldn't run out of the youth room/safe zone in order to attack a human coming in. This sounds confusing (although it worked out just fine) and you might opt not to do it.... just make sure you have a place where zombies can refuel and get drinks.

We made our stage look like a makeshift headquarters of sorts and we boarded up our windows (just by loosely laying wood boards in the window frames). We wrote some rules on the dry erase board and debreifed the humans before the game on what they were up against and how to survive.

If you are tagged by a zombie, you must wait 30 seconds (count out loud) before you become a zombie. To signify that you've become a zombie, take the bandana off your arm and put it around your head. You must also put your socks (if you're using socks as weapons) on the ground or put your nerf guns on the ground. Zombies cannot carry weapons).

This is how you distinguish who is a human and who is a zombie. Humans have bandanas on their arms and zombies have bandanas on their heads.

When you hit a zombie with a nerf dart or sock the zombie must stand still for 30 seconds (they must count out loud) and zombies cannot tag you while they are standing still.

If a player has two bandanas as a result of a perk or finding a health kit, they must take one off after being tagged. They have 30 seconds of immunity until they can be tagged again.

If you are hit by a sock or nerf dart you must stay still for 30 seconds. You cannot attack people or interfere with gameplay in any way. In order to "bite" someone you must tag them firmly with both hands. Zombies cannot carry socks or nerf guns. You can only tag one player at a time.

If a player has two bandanas as a result of a perk or finding a health kit, they must take one off after being tagged. They have 30 seconds until they can be tagged again.

Students are not allowed to open closed doors or close open doors. This keeps students from going into rooms that you don't want them in and helps them narrow down where they need to go. Most importantly, it keeps the church happy.

Students also aren't allowed to go in rooms occupied by other groups. Don't run in the children's ministry room, blast the little ones with nerf guns and then act like you thought all the children were zombies.


If you bring nothing
- you start as a zombies

If you bring 1 Can of food
- 1 sock (maximum of three socks, don't let that stop you from bringing extra cans).

If you bring 2 guns
-you can donate one to the game (you'll get it back after) and you can use the other gun yourself.

If you bring $25
-You can BYOGun and use it

If you bring $50
- you will be supplied with a nerf gun (while supplies last).

If you bring $100
- you can have the option of having two bandanas (essentially two lives) or 2 nerf guns. Because dual wielding makes you look awesome... even if you can't cock your weapons.

If you bring $300
-You can choose to turn a starting zombie into a human and you will get 2 bandanas and 2 nerf guns. You can share your supplies or keep it all yourself

Don't Forget

Everyone plays Humans vs. Zombies to have fun, and the rules of HvZ only exist because we agree they do. That's why the most important rule of Humans vs. Zombies is to treat your fellow players with respect, and gracefully accept when you have been tagged or stunned.

Fun Game-play Options:

Leave Ammo Drops and Med Kits hidden throughout your game. Med kits can only be used by humans. Zombies cannot use med kits to turn back into humans.

We still had one ammo drop by the end of the night that wasn't found.

We used blue painters tape all throughout our church and our school. We'd put an Z mark near a closet and hide a zombie in it. We'd also make arrows and question marks and wrote "Look Up" on a wall. Most of it was meaningless but it added a fun dynamic to the game.

We told our students that Command Center was going to be updating their twitter and instagram accounts with information about possible cure locations and ammo/health drops. Most of our students were too panicked to even check their phones but it was a fun element and when students went to the safe room to regroup they'd crowd around whoever had their phone out.

Here's some graphics we used. Some are blank, so you can edit them, some have our info, so you can see what we did with it.

HvZ widscreen left.png


  • We confiscated ammo at the beginning of the game because we didn't want some kid with 60 darts to be overpowered. It turns out, this wasn't necessary. Our students were terrible at surviving. If we did it again, I'd say... let them come fully loaded.
  • If you can manage it, have a couple leaders walking around as game moderators. People who can help settle disputes and make sure things run smoothly and fairly.
  • Tell your leaders who are zombies to encourage camaraderie. It was an awesome feeling to have humans surrounded by zombies... trying their best to fight them off... get turned into zombies... and then all of the sudden they're on the other side. You pretty much say, "Hey welcome to the club, it's good to have you... let's go get humans!"
  • Don't make the mistake of forcing zombies to stay in character. They don't have to walk slow. They're allowed to speak english. They're allowed to help one another. They're allowed to use strategy. It's fun! And although we can speculate about what zombies would be like.... there's no reason we couldn't have been wrong.
  • Be prepared to play multiple rounds. Some will go quickly, some will go slowly. We ended up playing 3 rounds. Zombies won the first and last game and humans won the second.
  • Get zip ties and poke holes in slips of paper to make makeshift tags. Add tags to the nerf guns so that when a person is "turned" they don't have to worry about losing their nerf gun.