Two months ago, Charlene Rohr called me and told me about a dream she had the night before. In her dream, she saw youth groups from around the area at an event together, in unity, in the metropolis of Drummond, WI. I thought it was a great idea and told her I would support her in any I could.
So Char went to work and did what she does best: organize! She pulled together youth group leaders from Hayward, Ashland, Cable and Barnes and we had a meeting. At that meeting we decided what the event would look like, time frame and such. We ended up calling the event “The Gathering.”
It ended up being pretty good. We played games, had snacks and pizza. Northern Lights Church performed a memorable skit and Sam Hansen shared his testimony. At the end, the students gathered in prayer groups and prayed.
It was a simple event designed to bring together youth groups from the area and help kick-start some things for youth in Drummond, WI.
It’s a start…
This past December, for the Followers Christmas Parties, we made gingerbread houses. It was a blast! We had done this activity before, but this time we gave the students a little more freedom with what they wanted to create. There was a simple model example, which some students attempted, while others dreamt big and created stadiums!
Here is the recipe for the frosting/glue to hold the houses together:
- Beat the whites of 2 large eggs (we used “liquid egg whites” as a substitute, which worked well) in a mixer @ high speed
- When foamy, add 2 1/2 cups of confectionery sugar 1/2 cup at a time
- the process takes approximately 7-8 minutes
We used graham crackers, spice drops, M&Ms, lots of sprinkles, marshmallows, wafer bars, licorice, and candy canes.
Followers Christmas Party 2010:
Junior Followers Christmas Party 2010:
The first was back in November. We were scheduled to take the Followers students (grades 3-5) about an hour south of Hayward to Skate City (roller skating rink) and it had snowed considerably the night before (and was still snowing). The decision was fairly easy: it’s dangerous to drive in conditions that are questionable with other people’s kids. While I think we would have been fine (busses are incredibly resilient in “questionable” situations), it was smart and wise to take the cautious route.
The second situation was last Friday night. We had a Winter Lock-In for middle school and high school students scheduled to start @ 9pm and end @ 7am the following morning. I didn’t realize how much snow was accumulating in Hayward (and we are used to snow in our area, by the way) that day until a couple of hours before the Lock-In. The high school pastor, Loretta, and I met at the church at our designated time and talked through what the plan was. We wondered if we should cancel the event because of the snow. After all, if we did cancel, we would be turning away people who already successfully braved the inclement weather, why wouldn’t we just keep the event active? Besides, the students would be in the church building all night long, what would snow do to hurt them or cause danger?
Loretta and I ended up making the decision to cancel (knowing how bummed the students would be … we were expecting over 100 students, by the way) because of what the roads and access to the church would look like in the morning. We were worried that after a long evening hanging out with students all night long (10 hours!) we might have students that couldn’t get home by that morning.
We were right about a couple of things: 1) the students (and their parents) were really bummed! and 2) there was lot of snow in the morning (more than we thought we were going to get) and the roads didn’t get plowed until late mid-morning.
While cancelling an event is never a popular decision, it is often the “right” decision taken upon by responsible and caring adults who (hopefully) are thinking wisely through multiple factors and implications in order to keep children safe and sound.
What do you think?
We took the middle and high school students to Skate City in Rice Lake, WI on Sunday, November 14, 2010.
It’s funny, every year the week leading up to our Trunk or Treat event, I wonder if anyone is going to come, or if the last year was the best and it’s just going to go downhill from here. However this year was another record attendance year. The official count was 1017 kids came through with bags. Add one adult per kid and you’ve got close to 2000 people we gave out candy to in under 2 hours! All of our vehicle participants were amazed at the turnout, and almost every one underestimated the amount of candy they would need. I had to do a last-minute Wal-mart candy fun in the middle of the event because we were almost out of candy! Our parking lot attendants kept the traffic under control during those 2 hours, which was very helpful and important for keeping things safe.
All in all it was a very safe and fun evening of giving out candy and promoting a fun and playful atmosphere on “International Candy Day” (my take on the popular use of Halloween). There are a few things I would do differently logistically, but overall this particular event as an outreach in our community continues to be an amazing success!
Doors opened at 8:30p and after we checked everyone in, we went over the rules of the Lock-In. Here is a run-down of what the evening’s activities were:
- 9:30p – Dodgeball games
- 10:30p – Snacks and free time
- 11:00p – Hide and Seek
- 12:30a – Snacks and free time
- 1:00a – Shuffle Your Buns and the Key Game
- 2:00a – Hide and Seek (take 2)
- 2:45a – Minute to Win It (60 seconds) games (kicking shoes on a table from 9′ away and keeping 3 balloons in the air)
- 3:15a – writing Letters to God and prayer time
- 3:45a – Snacks and free time
- 4:00a – Movie Time: “A Diary of a Wimpy Kid”
- 5:30a – Snacks and free time / others can sleep
- 6:00a – Breakfast: Donuts from the Hayward Bakery and some milk, OJ, and Apple Cider
- 7:00a – Lock-In OVER
There ended up being over 100 middle school students at the Lock-In that night! It was awesome! We had the best time just playing and goofing off and eating all the snacks that everyone brought. Below is a video from the evening: