A lock-in! Once a year, a church relatively close to us hosts an all-nighter at the local YMCA. They provide excellent preaching and singing and games at the church, then we load back up and head over to the Y. Everyone was bouncing in the 15 passenger van we borrowed, ready to go. For many of them it was their first activity in the teen group. They will be promoting up to the junior/senior high class in June, but we have a comparatively small class so they came to this event anyway. So did I! I wanted to hear the sermon very much, and when my parents realized how many kids were coming I came as assistant chaperone/camera person/extra head counter/phone carrier.
I was so glad I went. The sermon was harsh but incredible, the kids had a wonderful time, and I found a cherry coke in the giant ice cooler. (Yes, I usually drink gatorade, but I love Coke, Sprite, and Lemonade -- Cherry Coke is especially special.) I ended up being a little bit of a help as well, as we forgot to fill something out/send it in at the right time so my dad had to rush inside, leaving half the kids following him for unknown reasons and the other half with my mother and I who ended up carrying everything. Then she had us all stop to ask the security guard who was there with the church what she could bring in and what had to go back to the van. He made sure to comment on her pillow. I ended up with my dad's bags and my bags that still had stuff from my day at work inside. The check-your-bags security people also there with the hosting church were not too amused by everything I was carrying but I finally told them and all the girls behind me waiting to get checked that I was the youth leaders daughter, and as such, I get stuck carrying other people's things. It is a true fact of said role.
Then my parents got stuck in a meeting and I ended up with almost all of the kids asking me what to do when I knew the same things they did. So off we went to find our leaders, find the pizza, and find the locker room to change out of skirts and into pants and comfortable shoes! After that it went crazy. The rock wall was a huge hit, and many from our group played basketball. It was fun cheering everyone on and taking the pictures until they pressured me into doing the rock wall and I was sore for two days.
By 3:00 A.M. I had been up for 22 hours and was kind of crashing. I put the camera down and played some games myself, at Skyler Ray's request. I was glad I did, and had fun, as opposed to falling asleep in one of the arm chairs (which was tempting...)
As you can see, the late [early] hours do get to some of us. ;) Some handle it differently than others...
Everyone had a marvelous time! They're looking forward to whatever comes next! [Our annual youth history trip currently has planning underway!]