The Wyld Life Lock In was a dream. Seriously, a dream. Months ago, I remember sitting down with KCraig and we said, "What if instead of renting a bus and setting up places for a Lock Out, we stayed at the Barn and made it the best night ever? Could we get kids to buy into that?"
I wish you could have been there with us Saturday night. 20 adult and HS leaders came together to make an experience for 100 Junior High kids that they won't soon forget. I saw adult leaders playing to their strengths (Kathryn administrating, Caitlyn taking photos, Brad speaking, Johnna organizing, Ellyn entertaining) and HS leaders loving kids well.
At 6pm check-in began at the barn and kids rolled in...
Every kid was assigned a group for the night with a HS leader. The leaders came prepared with a theme and outfits for all the kids in their group so they would instantly feel a part of the team.
These HS leaders are the best of the best. They've faithfully served all year long, (if not for the past two years), and they keep showing up because they love God and love these kids. Serving sacrificially is already a part of their life.
Tonight, the adult leaders didn't have set groups, so we just go to hang out with everyone. I loved seeing all my friends from the Clubhouse and getting to welcome kids who had never come to Wyld Life before.
First we had Club-- we like to start things off with a bang.
1- Kids lined up with their team and had to weave string through the shirts of every person, unweave it and wind the string back up again.
(of course a dance party happened as we were playing the game-- shout to KCraig and Johnna)
2- A kid from all 12 small groups came up front as a representative with Slime. I called out things that were hidden in the slime (i.e. a horse, 2 marbles, 3 shells) and they had to run them over to Ellyn.
3. All 20 leaders in the barn while the kids counted to 30. Then they were off, searching for all of the HS and adult leaders to collect their signatures before any of the other teams finished.
4. RAFFLE-- Kids from each group were randomly called to go into the center of the room a pick a raffle prize.
5. Brad gave the club talk tonight about the Armor of God and the armor he wears every day at work. The kids were transfixed. Brad spoke truth about the confidence and armor we have in Christ.
Small group time-- we were able to give every kid their own copy of the Message bible. With their HS leader, they looked up the verses that have been most transforming/inspiring in each of the leaders' lives. They underlined the verses and talked about them together as a group.
We realize that for many of these kids, this might be the first bible they've ever owned and could very well be the bible that they'll have with them for the rest of their life. This may be the most important thing we did all night.
When we thought about what food we wanted to have at the Lock In, it wasn't difficult to enthusiastically agree on a Qdoba buffet. Since the queso comes in bags, Johnna and Ellyn naturally licked up the queso left behind.
We rented an inflatable Hungry, Hungry Hippos game and a giant Zorb track that kids got to play on for the next hour and a half. It's even more fun than it looks.
It didn't take long for the music to evolve into a dance party. I dare say it was one of the greatest dance parties I've ever participated in-- and I take dance parties very seriously.
When Zuber and Hannah broke out their show choir moves we started copying their choreography.
I picked the best throwbacks-- the ones where everyone knows every single word.
The pre-game dance party naturally evolved into the planned dance party with neon lights, glow sticks, fog and black lights. DJ Zuber puts on a show.
The grand finale to the night was a Lip Sync battle between the four teams. They had 20 minutes to plan their routine and choreography before they performed for the rest of the crowd.
I couldn't have asked for a better night. I'm so thankful for these leaders, for these kids and the ways that God is at work in both big and small ways.
Here's to Wyld Life, friends, dancing, laughter and the most fun you ever had on a Saturday night with 120 of your closest friends.
Honorable Mention Blog Title:
"Oh I just packed 6 extra pairs of shorts in case we peed our pants."