I have a fairly large youth group. The thing about my youth group is that not all of us know each other. We recognize each other's faces but we don't ever really get to know one another. Unfortunately this can tend to form cliques in the youth group. I am fairly certain that many youth groups have this same issue. However the van theory, is a way to disband these cliques.
I have seen many new people come into my youth group. A lot of times these new people are too shy to go talk to anyone and we are too comfortable to just talk to our own friends that we already have. This can lead to the new person feeling left out of the youth group. The van theory is also a way to solve this.
The van theory is basically this. If a youth group tends to go on a lot of trips, they usually need a way to get there. Typically a youth group will have a van or a bus for transportation. When a new comer or different people who are not common friends get into this van, a strange thing happens. Everyone tends to bond together. They bond over the music and the strange conversations that will undoubtedly happen on a trip in the van. The van theory after enough trips, has brought my youth group so much closer together than we used to be. It has also made new people feel as though they have been in our youth group for a long time. If you feel like you are left out I would strongly encourage you to go on a trip with your youth group and see if the van theory works for you.