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!