Lock-in #2

1 May
The list of fifth and sixth graders attending this lock-in kept growing – parents kept calling to sign their kids up. I would check the list in the main office every so often and by Friday, when we neared thirty, I grew terrified. Oh my. I wasn’t ready for the craziness; I wasn’t prepared mentally or physically for a night of little sleep, the running, the screaming … oh the screaming.

When the lock-in was in full swing, the total number was 37. We decorated flower pots, planted flowers, went on a scavenger hunt, ate snacks, and had free time. At this point, my coworker Tammy’s husband was a lifesaver. Jon took over the chaos of the free time and organized ridiculous relay races off the top of his head. It took a good hour and the kids loved it – perfect.
“Put the starburst between your knees and hop to the end of the hall.”
After Bible study, we let the kids run around a bit more before they were to be in their rooms watching movies. I taught them how to play sardines – the classic hide-in-the-church game. By 2:30am, it was pj/movies-in-your-sleeping-room time. Yeah … like that worked. I tried and some kids were asleep by 4:30 when I laid down on the floor. Others were not asleep and didn’t sleep a wink. Ugg. By the time I woke up at 6:15 to begin cooking pancakes, I could hear the non-sleepers getting anxious, running, screaming … and it started all over again.
Overall, it was a success. The kids had a blast. We completed a successful service project of delivering May Day baskets to our shut-ins. No trips to the emergency room. No lost children. The kids who attended left requesting another lock-in again soon. I told them they might need to find a new chaperone … I don’t think I’m cut out for lock-ins like this. (Small groups plus structured instruction, aka the first communion lock-in, are more my thing.) The lack of complete structure and the running/slamming of doors/screaming makes me go crazy. It was fun but I’m not always the most fun person with the above variables … lesson learned.

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