Tonight 98 Wyld Life kids and leaders gathered at the Barn for our 2nd Annual Lock Out. From 6pm to 6am we'd be adventuring together all over Indianapolis. One of our changes this year was to create small groups of kids for each leader. Each group's leader came prepared with a theme and outfits for their kids.
Brooke, Silvana, Elyse, Mia, Sophie, Maddy, Maggie and I rocked the red, white and blue all night long. God bless America.
With a little time before our departure, we managed to take really fun pictures of our whole group. Everyone was so excited for the night ahead.
I was able to snag pictures of some of the groups before we headed out. Alyssa and her Where's Waldo girls Caroline, Kersit, Joyse, Maddie, Phoebe and Alexandra.
Grace and her hula girls Mackenzie, Abbey, Grace, Emily and Sophia.
Pidgeon's girls went neon-- Lily, Lauren, Lizzie, Maggie and Grace.
Blaire's pack was camo-- Alex, Madison, Lucy, Grace, Meredith and Maddie.
Audrey's crew of ninjas included Maddie Zirkle, Taylor Kuklish, Mallory, Abby and McKenna.
Jess's princesses were Caitlyn, Cami, Sarah, Laura and Victoria.
Alli King had Rosie the Riveters-- Jayla, Lauren, Sydney, Emily, Sarah, Mer and Grace.
Connor's 8th grade guys just oozed intensity-- Jack, Matthew, Ben, Gavin, Henry and Sam.
Soon it was time to rush outside and load up on our two school buses for the night.
First stop--the Roller Cave. I grew up going to birthday parties and last day of school parties at Roller Junction in Monticello so I felt like I was going back to my roots. We strapped on our roller skates and everyone hit the rink.
Almost all of these kids were in totally new territory. Most of them had never been skating before and they gripped their friends hands tightly as they made their way around the loop.
With so many of us there, you were always surrounded by really fun people. I love hanging out with Jayla, Sydney, Lauren and Sarah.
The middle of the rink was a giant, light up dance floor. You could take off your skates to dance and soon our kids were having a dance battle with some of the regular guests of the Roller Cave.
I'd like to give a huge shout out to my dear friend KCraig. She organized this entire night and made it such a success. It's been a huge blessing having her take over Wyld Life. She's equipping these HS leaders, spending time with our middle school friends and pointing both groups back to Christ all the time.
It was awesome to spend the whole night with all of these leaders-- Jess, Connor, Grace, KCraig, Lauren, Blaire, Chad, Alyssa, Ali Bell, Brock, Max, Alli, King and Audrey. They gave up their whole Friday night to come hang out with Wyld Life. I loved seeing them so excited about their groups and getting to know each of their kids.
Henry Fitzgerald would like the whole blogging world to know that he fell 43 times at the Roller Cave.
Stop Two- Climb Time
Traveling with this many people is nuts--especially right when you arrive somewhere and you're not really sure where to go yet so all of the kids stand in a huge mob.
By now Mer, Grace and Maddie had all joined us from their cheer practices and their whole sevie crew was reunited. I really love these kids. I'm so excited that when the schools split next year I'll still be in the same building with most of them.
Mer always cracks me up with her Miranda Sings voice and her dance moves. Maddie and I have a blast together and I know she'll always be up for an adventure.
Sydney is the sweetest and one of my favorite side kicks. I love spending time with her.
I came to Climb Time once with my youth group when I was in High School and hadn't been back since. This place is all kind of crazy and awesome.
I like to think I have a healthy amount of fear, so I stuck with the auto belays when I went up the wall or just took pictures pretending to climb.
Young Life calls the time we spend hanging out with kids Contact Work. Tonight was basically 12 whole hours of contact work which is phenomenal. With everyone's busy schedules we're usually lucky to spend an hour or two together. We think leaders like Brock are rock stars and I loved seeing him with 7th grade guys all night.
Climb Time definitely used up some of our kids' energy as they ran and climbed all around the gym for hours. Mia conquered the wall for America and then we shipped out at midnight.
Stop 3- Laser Tag
OH MY GOSH. When we started planning the Lock Out this year my one request was that we would go play laser tag. KCraig delivered. The kids were split into three large groups and each would get two turns in the arena.
When all the boys went in the first group with KCraig and Trulock I jumped in as an extra player. I'd been talking smack with 7th grade boys all week at school and couldn't miss this. Then I immediately played again with my own group of 'Merica girls in the second rotation. After two games I realized I could just keep playing if there were extra vests... SO I GOT TO PLAY 7 ROUNDS IN A ROW. BEST NIGHT EVER.
Maddie and I became a super team of laser taggers together. She jumped in on my plan of playing every round and racked up 5 games of her own. We had our own hallways that we guarded and defended because it has the best defensive walls and view of a large part of the arena. I got 2nd of 36 in three games and never got lower than 15th. I was sad to leave when it was time to head out at 2:30am.
Stop Four- Return to the Barn
As soon as we got back to the barn girls snuggled up in their blankets but the night was still not over. Leaders got set up for Club while kids ran around.
A couple might have tried to fall asleep...
We saved Club for the end of the night. Our kids are great at dance parties and they went crazy when we turned on Breaking Free from High School Musical and Who Says by Selena Gomez. Dance parties are one of their strengths.
I don't know if you've ever tried to have an event at 4 in the morning but it's pretty comical. The kids were a mix of being slap-happy hyper and almost asleep with a zoned out look in their eyes.
We played a really funny relay with the kids lined up head to toe all around the gym. The first person started with the banana between their feet and then they had to pass it back to the next kid.
Then we got back in our small groups and built tours out of Oreo icing for the most stuffed cookies you've ever seen.
We had a raffle and I was cracking up at Sarah and Caitlyn with all of their tickets lined up.
Winners today got copies of Love Does, Jesus Calling and Not A Fan. It was pretty awesome.
KCraig delivered the Club Talk and I think the kids lack of sleep helped them focus because their friends weren't being distracted. She told us about when Jesus and the disciples fed a crowd of about 10,000 with just a few fish and loaves and bread.
Jesus is in the business of making something big out of the little when we bring to the table. When she was in Ethiopia with a group of friends painting a community center larger than this barn they never would have been able to get the job done. But Jesus sent friends from Lebu that helped them get it done. When KCraig and her family dreamed of building a new library in Lebu they never would have been able to make it happen on their own. But with the generosity of so many different people God made it happen. You + Jesus = Everything.
When we got in our small groups we got to give a special gift to each kid. Every one at the lockout received their own bible tonight. We've been talking about the Bible in Campaigners the past few weeks and had dreamed about giving one to every kid.
The girls in my group were so excited to get theirs whether or not it was their first bible. We gave each kid a list of the leaders favorite verses and found a few together so we could start highlighting them. We want kids to use these bibles, to write in them, read them, pray with them, bring them to church and Young Life.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters,and when you pass through the rivers,When you walk through the fire,
Let me hear joy and gladness;
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Deuteronomy 20:3 He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them.
1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
2 Corinthiains 4:16-18
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
1 Corinthians 7:17 And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there.
We finished the night watching When The Game Stands Tall, a really fantastic movie, but I don't think anyone was really watching it at that point. Everyone snuggled up in their sleeping bags and blankets and either whispered with friends or fell asleep in a matter of minutes. At 5:50am there was a line of cars outside the barn and kids started to trickle out to their parents, ready to go home to their nice, warm beds. The 2nd Annual Wyld Life Lock Out was a success.