Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's Good To Be Bad

Last Friday night, I took our church teenagers to Wild River Country for a Lock-in. This fun night began around 8 pm and was supposed to be over around 1:30 am. My original plan was to take them as the only chaperone, but my wonderful husband ended up having to drive the big church bus because there were 20!
20 teenagers!
Love it.

Several were very young and had no experience going on a youth event. I was a bit worried for them.

I also had Nina, who is one of my all time favorite teenagers, and has a penchant for breaking rules. Worried about her too.

After a couple of hours there, Ralph fell asleep on one of the chaise lounges and I decided to take stroll through the water park. From some distance away, I happened to notice approximately half of my youth group having an animated conversation near the CYCLONE slide. Now the CYCLONE is biggest slide in the park, but on this night was closed for repairs.
The funnest ride was dark, unmanned and still.
Except for three little dark haired heads climbing out of the bottom of the slide. (Bayou Meto Baptist teen heads)
A nearby lifeguard witnessed this and looked away.

Judging by the hand motions and body language of those three and the rest of my group that joined them, it appeared that they were all considering playing on the CYCLONE, even though the sign stated it was closed.
To my surprise and satisfaction, the teens even asked the nearby lifeguard, working a nearby slide for permission to enter the CYCLONE.
To their surprise, (and mine)..the lifeguard gave them a "thumbs up" signal!

My teens visibly perked and off they ran.
Three entered from the bottom and the other 6-8 began to climb for the top!

Minutes later,...I witnessed my teens all following the Wild River Country Management. They were all in a row, looking dejected and frightened. The three from the bottom had run away and were now on the lam.
The rest were now on their way to the WRC Department of Security.

Joining them, I told the managers that I was their sponsor and that they felt as if they had been given permission to go on the slide by the nearby lifeguard. I informed the management and security that I had even witnessed the exchange myself.
They were not impressed.
They wanted the other three.

I went and gathered up the escapees and woke Ralph.
We all pow-wowed with security and managers and rather than get us all kicked out of the park,..the offenders were grounded.
No more swimming!
They all raced to the concession stand.

I tried real hard, but couldn't get mad about any of it.
Here's the good stuff that I see in it all:
**Jared, my oldest, became the spokesman for the group when they were all alone and in trouble.
**My youngest new kids in the youth group don't have a clue it even happened.
**That 12 kids got in trouble, and none of them were Nina.
** That the youth group now says that it was the best outing they have had in years.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Reminds me of my days at Siloam. I was kicked out the very last night for sneaking out and going to the boy's dorm (with our preacher's daughter, of course). They could hardly send us home since we were headed home that morning anyway. My mom told me that I couldn't go back after that and I've not been back since. I love that place...and I love working with the youth. It's sometimes hard for me to be the 'adult' in some situations. It takes very special, patient wrangle those kids. Enjoyed our dinner the other night. We'll do it again!