Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vertical Face Plant

Last night was the annual Girls Ministry sleepover.

It's K - 12, but we split the girls between 5th and 6th grades.  Grades K - 5 are together all night in our youth sanctuary but, after the joint worship/devotional, my fearless co-sponsor and I  took the 19 girls in grades 6  - 12 to the large classroom at the other end of the building and had an event that was, hopefully anyway, more suited to their age level.

Normally we split after the evening adventure and a snack, but this year's adventure venue got changed very late in the game; the climb-around-and-bounce place we were scheduled for rather  unexpectedly closed.  Fortunately our ministry leader called to verify things a couple of weeks ago; otherwise ...who knows when they would've let us know?  There was an alternate place available, but it was much smaller and not really suitable for older girls.

Normally, I do a fun activity for the older girls after we split, and then we settle down to a couple of movies and, for the girls who really want to stay up all night, a room full of board games next door.

But this year....

I had girls who had never roasted a marshmallow.

So we did a weenie/marshmallow roast in the back parking lot.

The craft the younger girls did was a little stretchy bracelet w/brightly colored plastic beads spelling 'Courage' (our theme was 'Strong and Courageous'); when I looked at it, I thought 'Oh, that's good for 2nd graders, but it ain't gonna fly with the high school girls.'

But I couldn't make it to Hobby Lobby to look for an alternative until yesterday morning;  I'd looked up 'Courageous' in my Old Testament Word Study Bible and found that the Hebrew word was 'amats', and I had a rough idea of what I could do...  but it took some work, and some sorting to find enough letters for everyone to have 'amats'

Then we played a mega round of classic charades, because there were other events in the building and I couldn't set up our activity, which was an in-the-dark scavenger hunt, until after folks had cleared out.

I thought we'd take about an hour on the scavenger hunt; it ended up being more like two and a half hours.  Mostly because I just didn't have time to revise the clues to absolute clarity, and the Internship Students who were helping didn't really get a chance to coordinate with me on it so we had some miscommunication.  But ultimately the girls did find the objective...and I learned a LOT about designing a treasure/scavenger hunt...Namely, try to write out all the clues more than 24 hours before the you have time to double check and revise and plan with any helpers...

So we didn't start our first movie, which is always related to the theme of the night, until nearly 2:30.  We watched 'One Night with the King', which is a rather liberally adapted story of Esther but shows the strength and courage of a woman who said, 'If I perish, I perish.'

Then we watched the Annual Sleepover Movie, 'Princess Bride'.  It wasn't over until about 5:55 AM...just slightly over an hour before we were supposed to wake the girls up.  No one got up and went into the game room; I think this is the first year that we had NO ONE up all night.  The treasure hunt flat wore them out.

So this is another year in the record books...and I think I have used up all my creative juices for the next four months.

However, there is one 'I got what was coming to me' moment...I had three items to hide fairly close to the classroom where the girls were playing Charades; I wasn't using my flashlight in those areas as there was enough ambient light from the storefront-type windows and I didn't want anyone to glimpse the light from the room.  After I hid the third item, I headed back to my office where I had the box with the rest of the clues and puzzle pieces and the big cahuna prize.  It's a walk I take often and I went through the firedoor into near total darkness with my flashlight off.

I cut the turn a little too short and hit the wall at full speedwalking.  My neck popped and I was sure my nose was bleeding, but I was laughing at myself even as I ducked into the bathroom to verify that my nose was only clearing the tears that jumped into my eyes at impact.  When I walked by that bit of wall this morning, I noticed that there was a visible spot right where I oil, I suppose.

Do you suppose it serves me right for the in-the-dark event I foisted on the kids?? ;-)

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