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All night church youth group activites?


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I don't know what the point is- fellowship and fun maybe! But I remember when I was about 14 I was living temporarily in a foster home of a methodist family and I got involved in Youth Group (even though I was raised Jewish lol) because some of my good friends went and it was something to do, and one night they had an all night thing, too, which I was allowed to participate in, and I remember it being SO much fun! (and very innocent) :D

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I've been to these all-nighters before. Some are great, some are scary. When I was teaching middle school at a Christian school we had one for the kids, and it was just fun. There were probably about 40 kids, all from our school. We had games at our school gym planned basically all night long. The point? To stay up all night. This is jr. high. The scary one was for a larger church and it was outreach. They rented buses and went to a pizza place, a bowling alley, and various other venues. This was also jr. high, but there were probably 200 kids at least and most of them were not from our church. The kids were not well behaved at any of the places we went, they did not listen to me as a chaperone and it was a total nightmare. So.... personally.... if it was a youth group event aimed at outreach, I would probably not let my kid go.

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Our youth group does all night things--but not on the road. But the kids really like the fun of trying to stay up all night and hanging out with each other, doing silly things, etc.

 

I would check about the driving arrangements--most churches are careful with safety. They may have a "designated driver." If they didn't, I wouldn't let mine go either.

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It's mostly for fun. The kids get pizza ordered in, play games, watch movies etc. We usually have about 12 kids come and there are at least 3 chaperones sometimes four and one of them has to be male. The kids stay downstairs in the fellowship hall so it's easy to spot something. The adults don't stay awake all night. They sleep in shifts, that way they can keep track of the kids and still be okay in the morning to drive the kids home. My husband has been a chaperone frequently and to be honest most of the kids can't stay awake all night long either. Before you completely rule it out, I would contact the church and get more information about how it's going to be run.

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My son is heading off to one of these functions tomorrow night. They are going to a YMCA about 45 minutes away from the church for a night of swimming and basketball and I'm not sure what else. He's looking forward to it and we're glad he can participate (this isn't our church but a church related to the Christian school for which he plays basketball. The function he is going to is co-ed also but since the church involved is more conservative that we personally are (ie, dresses for girls, no co-ed swimming, etc), I'm confident that it will be well supervised.

 

Just to reassure you, my dh and I did this often with our youth group in our early married years. Actually, we continued to do this a few times a year until our third child was born. We always had a great time and it was a time of great fellowship, fun and spiritual growth (our set-up always had a special speaker earlier in the evening with a challenge for the youth). Most of the time ours involved a speaker/"rally", then three hours of one activity (bowling, swimming, rollerskating) and then our group would rotate to the other activity (each group was set up in a rotation among the activities. There was usually a pizza meal a some point. The place was "locked" down so nobody was allowed to wander off until the scheduled rotation time. We never had any trouble with inappropriate behavior between guys and girls. Keep in mind that these time were always very active, not a lot of sitting around time and no privacy.

 

I do understand your concern about driving but ours were always an hour away and we never had an issue driving home. Not sure how old the youth leaders are, but we were in our early twenties and still fairly used to the college "routine" of staying up late and sleeping little. There were always several leaders along so if one was having trouble with alertness, another would take over. Also, the teens were always wide awake and usually the trips home were quite rowdy (in a fun way). I know that accidents can happen, but I'm just saying that the fact that they've been up all night will probably not be much of a factor.

 

I'm not trying to convince you to change your mind, just trying to let you see the activity from the other side of the issue.

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When I was in high school youth groups had "lock-ins," where the group spent the night at a church, ate pizza, stayed up all night, played games, and had fun. There was also worship and Bible study. I never went to one where people were *driving around* late at night...I would be rather concerned about that. Usually it is possible to get sleep if you want.

 

The co-ed events I went to were well chaperoned and everyone had to stay in public places. It would have been very difficult if not impossible to sneak off alone. At other events I went to, where sleeping was planned, girls and boys slept in separate rooms or were placed on opposite sides of a large room (like a church building or youth group room) with adults present as well - and no one really wore PJs, instead wearing comfy clothes they could be seen in public in.

 

This will really depend a lot on the event and the attitude of the adults, however. So if I was concerned about this type of event I would talk to the people in charge of it and ask questions.

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Our youth group does them, all night, in the church building, co-ed, lots of supervision, totally innocent, lots of fun. Now, there are only about 20 kids at ours. I can't imagine that a lock-in with 200 kids could possibly be properly supervised.

 

I know for a fact that it's well supervised and safe since my DD is a youth group leader and helps supervise these "lock-ins."

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Our youth group does all night things--but not on the road. But the kids really like the fun of trying to stay up all night and hanging out with each other, doing silly things, etc.

 

I would check about the driving arrangements--most churches are careful with safety. They may have a "designated driver." If they didn't, I wouldn't let mine go either.

 

Same here... just lock-ins at the church. Several parents help chaperone. No one drives anywhere during the night. Lots of fun. About twice a year.

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Our church yg has done retreats, where the group stays overnight (usually 2 nights) somewhere farther away; lock-ins, where the kids stay at the church overnight and don't go anywhere; and the type of thing OP describes, where the kids go from fun activity to fun activity, starting around 6pm until breakfast the next morning.

I don't have a problem with any of it.

 

It's FUN. It's totally innocent. I would rather the kids get the rush and excitement of staying up all night, bowling and rockclimbing, playing laser tag and eating at IHOP, than using drugs or alcohol or having sex. It's not all the time, every weekend, or even once a month--it's one night in the summer, with no school the next day.

 

If we don't provide fun alternatives to some of these high-adreneline-needing kids, they will find their own, less safe alternatives.

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It can be called a lock-in and it's a fairly common thing. No, adults do NOT sleep. At least I didn't when we had all-night events! LOL! Why do them? Why not, I guess? Our church does them as an all guy or all girl thing, although at our last church, we did them with guys and girls together. There are usually activities planned the whole time--even down time is structured--no one is allowed to leave, and there *should* be plenty of chaperones.

 

When we joined our new church, dh went WITH ds to the event to see how they did things. It's great fun! If you don't have a problem with an after-prom type of thing, there should definitely not be an issue with a lock-in as long as you feel OK about how many adults and how organized it will be. The less organized, the more chance that kids go off on their own to do mischief or get too rowdy, etc.

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It can be called a lock-in and it's a fairly common thing. No, adults do NOT sleep. At least I didn't when we had all-night events! LOL! Why do them? Why not, I guess? Our church does them as an all guy or all girl thing, although at our last church, we did them with guys and girls together. There are usually activities planned the whole time--even down time is structured--no one is allowed to leave, and there *should* be plenty of chaperones.

 

When we joined our new church, dh went WITH ds to the event to see how they did things. It's great fun! If you don't have a problem with an after-prom type of thing, there should definitely not be an issue with a lock-in as long as you feel OK about how many adults and how organized it will be. The less organized, the more chance that kids go off on their own to do mischief or get too rowdy, etc.

 

 Folks driving into the morning with no sleep is my worry.

Edited by LibraryLover
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