Friday, March 28, 2008

I have a pin

that says "Youth Leader: Shirking Adult Responsibility"

That's what I do every week with 20-30 teenagers on Thursday nights. Some weeks, we do more such as last Friday night when we had a Lock-In. For those who aren't familiar with a Lock-In, some person who must've gone off his meds (that's the only explanation for it) long ago created the idea. The premise is that you show up for an event in the evening, the doors are locked and you can't leave until morning. It's kind of like prison. Only fun! Teenagers beg for them because a)it's a night away from parents, b)night with friends and c)absolutely no sleeping.

Perfect for the teens because they'll get to sleep the next day. The youth leaders kind of stumble through the next day in a haze feeling as though they've just been in a car accident because their body has been deprived of sleep.

Worth it? Every one of those teens will tell you yes and I'd have to agree. The teens will say it's because they didn't sleep, they sprayed the youth leader who did fall asleep with whipped cream, they played extreme hide & seek, found almost all of the 200 eggs we hid for them in impossible places and drank insane quantities of caffeine. What they'll realize later is what the adults already know; that night we saw these teens grow, build stronger relationships, experience fun in a safe, nurturing environment and answered some tough questions in a surprisingly articulate way.

I'm caught up on sleep just in time to go away for the entire weekend with this group for an event where they will be with thousands of other teens for 2 days of crazy. Crazy bands, speakers, classes, beach fun and yes, very possibly, no sleep again. I've got the whipped cream ready to go for the poor youth leader who forgets to sleep with one eye open though!


TJ said...

I have so many fond memories of lock-ins. Was sharing one last night at Mother's of Young Children Devo. We were walking out of the prayer room, into the dark hallway (the kids were all corralled by the sliding walls) and I pointed out the water fountain that had to be replaced when the building was just months old, because one of the guys ran into it during a game that was similar to tag in the dark.

Have fun you brave woman! I loved leading a teen group for Camp Fire. I felt young again, but not young enough to go without sleep.

Amy said...

Sounds like so much fun...I remember doing a few of these when I was a kid...and how brave are you to take that I know you'll have as much fun as they do!...hope you have a great time!!

Dianna said...

How fun...
See, you ARE the cool Mom*!*

Kelly said...

Sounds like fun. I remember lock-ins and weekend trips with our church youth group - great memories. They're lucky to have you, Casii.

jennifer said...

CASII! Howdy! You are a brave woman, to entrust yourself to those teenagers (cause they are smarter than we are so they have to be in charge, right?). It sounds like you have your kiddos involved in fun things that focus on the Lord. I think you must be just an awesome mom!

Be blessed.


Jennifer Stewart said...

What a blessing you are to those kids. I admire you a lot! :)

Looking forward to meeting you next week!


Sondra said...

I remember the lock ins we used to have when I was a teen. They were so much fun. And clean fun! Kids nowdays don't have much interest in that.

jennifer said...

Hey Girl! A quick Howdy Do to ya. I hope that all is well in you kneck of the woods.

Be blessed!