When we brainstorm ideas for YL Club themes we come up with some interesting things. Even with my low tolerance for animals, I've always thought it would be awesome to have a 'Bring Your Pet to Club' Club. But because of allergies and all the potential poop on the gym floor we've decided not to do that. But then I thought, what if we had a Siblings Club and everyone brought their brothers and sisters?
We've been posting pictures of YL siblings for the past few days, encouraging our HS kids to bring younger siblings and telling our Wyld Life kids to make sure their older sibling bring them to club. And then tonight at 7:32 the Barn was stormed by almost every YL kid we know and it was incredible.
Sarah and Kaylee Papp and Isaiah, Olivia and Sophia Kegley.
Eli and Hannah Self and Lauren and Hannah Morenkamp.
Adrienne and Haley Gengenbach and Abby and Hannah Schank.
Sophie, 3-year-old Audrey and Alli Sams.
Abby and Mia Becker and Gavin and Genna Thomas.
Silvana and Tristan Gold-- your favorite South African siblings.
Blaire and Brock Trusty and the Texans Brannt and Brigitte Faris.
Madison and Mallory Cavanaugh and Jacob and Allison Everidge.
Jake and Liz Huston and Cydney and Cassidy Ogan.
Cassidy and Natty Broum and the Moronkamps.
Lauren, Kaily, Ben Pidgeon and Lucy, Jack and Julia Dewolf.
Rachel and Matthew Buckingham love one another even when they're fighting.
Troy and Nick Cefali (missing Dante and Natalie) and Jake and Drew Simone.
Brooke and Mark Beuoy and Michael, Brooke and Hannah Dillon.
Emma, Hadley and Libby Hendricks and their cousins Jimmy and Grace Ditto and Kennedy and Cooper Mair.
Jayde Conger and Mer Card were siblings for the night. Audrey, Henry and Ellie Fitzgerald.
Ashley and Lauren Tarak and Chloe and Grace Freund.
Kendal Davis (missing Chad) and Sydney Lorey are pretend sisters. Eliza and Lydia Eisenmann had perfectly coordinated outfits.
Andrew and Madison Schwarz and Rylan and Brody Busselberg.
Alaina, Aidan and Abigail Kerpsack and Maddie, Hannah and Jake Conrad love Bama.
Morgan and Kim Troutoyd and Natalie and Olivia Willman.
Wyatt and Mallory Watson and Taylor, Hannah and Sam Huston.
Drew and Leah Notar Donato and Tessa, Chloe and Sam Green and Cameron West.
Alison and Mallory Bell and Jenna and Trent Houterlout.
Jack and Anne Kleinrichert and Hope, Demi and Cecilia Vigren.
Devin and Nick Krauter and Grace and Olivia Supancik.
Kyle, Quinn and Kaelyn Conaway as they're hugged by their neighbors the Buckinghams. Ben and Brett Cowan.
**Not pictured Cooper, Alli and Mallory King, Ayden Gaddis and Cody Drudge, Elle, Hannah, Lukas and Haleigh Devoe
There's no way to capture the insanity that was going on in that gym tonight between the leaders and kids of all ages running around. Yes there were all the sets of siblings but there were still more YL kids that didn't come with a sibling.
Top that all off with the excitement of getting my very first friendship bracelet from Cassidy Leum. Well I just almost had a heart attack.
Having a whole crew of these 7th grade girls made me feel like I was also at Wyld Life Club. They're girls that I'm sure will be with us until they're Seniors in HS.
The first game of the night was a crazy relay. Everyone split up into 4 teams: Seniors and their siblings, Juniors and their siblings, Sophomores and their siblings, Freshmen and their siblings. If you have more than one HS kid in your family you stick together and pick a team.
Three runners at a time from each team ran up to the clothesline, bit off a clothespin and took it back to their group. Kids were sliding and squatting and spitting as they got those clothespins off the line.
Sophomores ended up claiming victory with over 80 clothespins in all.
Next we played a musical shapes elimination game. We'd already made these giant shapes on the floor with blue painters tape. When the music stopped each round everyone had to crowd into one of the shapes or they were out. But each round, the tape kept getting ripped up so there were fewer and fewer spots left.
Personal space does not exist in Young Life games. Everybody's in.
Everywhere I looked there were so many people that I love. The gym was packed with the awesomeness of all of our kids. Just finding myself sharing a shape with Grace, Mer, Lauren, Sydney, Julia, Lucy, Hannah and Maddie? That's a dream team right there.
Haleigh could easily have the title of my first YL kid in HSE and she's such a huge part of my story here. I love this girl and the person that God is continuing to shape her into.
I'm having a hard time coming up with another YL even we've done that has been this huge. After having so many little siblings like Tessa Green, Taylor Huston, Audrey Fitzgerald and Lucy Dewolf always asking to come to YL tonight so many dreams came true. At least 150 kids and 15 adults makes quite the party.
Michelle Devoe, our YL Committee Chair, said, "We had a full barn at our first ever Siblings Club. It was so exiting to see the older siblings bring their younger brothers and sisters... Eager for them to have the same experiences they have had with YL. Our community is truly blessed with some great families."
Then we had the Papps, Kleinricherts, Fitzgeralds and Golds come up front for a Sticky Sibling Showdown. Each pair had a mouthful of gum and a deck of cards. They had to use the gum as tape to stick 4 Queens to one sibling's face and 4 Kings to the other sibling's face.
It was disgusting and sticky and phenomenal to watch.
Silvana and Tristan came out victorious as the winners of the challenge. Audrey was the youngest and my favorite participant.
Then we played the most complex game HSE Young Life has ever attempted-- Human Hungry, Hungry Hippos. Back in their four teams, each group had a representative that laid down on two scooters, wore a bike helmet and held a laundry hamper out in front. Their team pushed them into the middle to retrieve balls and then pulled them back with their rope. Insanity ensued.
I was on the mic when everyone gathered up again and I had just said, "Raise your hand if this is your first time at YL Club." Immediately at the back of the room, Katy P and the Vigren sisters walked in. I gasped, because I'd been begging all of them to come, and that made the whole crowd turn around to look at them. Nothing like a grand entrance.
Julia and I hang out with these friends all the time but it was extra special to have them here at Young Life with us tonight. They're some of the very best kind of people.
Maddie made her own Best Friend Necklace this afternoon and proudly wore it tonight.
Maddie, Hannah and I are on day 4 of hanging out together. They kind of keep just showing up wherever I am-- I don't mind. I was so excited to have Ellie, HSJH alum and Session 1 CILT, at Club tonight. I can't wait to work with her this summer.
Ryan led us in singing his song Love That Don't Run Out and the HS kids belted out the chorus, "It's all about love my brother, the one that don't run out. It's all about hope my sister, making you move and shout. It's all about faith that moves a mountain, and a joy that can be found, from a looooooove, a love that don't run out." Even if our kids don't understand it yet, there's something incredible about all of them singing these words together.
Then our leaders Abby and Jackie, who happen to be cousins, delivered the Club Talk tonight. They shared about their families, the story of the prodigal son, God's unconditional love for us and how all of us at YL are a family to one another.
We share the gospel all night long in a whole lot of ways--greeting kids at the door, laughing together, sitting with them, hearing their stories, singing songs and receiving the message from leaders like Abby and Jackie. All of this isn't about YL-- it's about Jesus and his love that spills out of our lives.
I often talk about how YL is a family. The leaders. The HS kids. The committee. Our Wyld Life kids. Little brothers and sisters. But tonight was extra special because all of those groups were represented at the same time.
Do you know how else is a big part of my life and my family? KCraig. This woman is a rock star. And a prayer warrior. And a role model. And a leader. And she's just awesome.
Bgrad has been with us since the beginning and he'll tell you that he loves this YL family. And this YL family loves the heck out of him too. Most of the families that showed up tonight signed their names on our YL Family Tree. It's a great visual representation of how we all belong to one another. Everybody belongs here.