Less dramatic and silly, and certainly less complicated than the movie, but still painful nonetheless. I’ve discovered that ‘lock-in hangover’ is actually a very accurate description. Twenty-four hours awake, and in charge of more 5th & 6th graders than a small child could count to…leads to some interesting encounters, followed by a serious headache and aversion to bright lights.
At one point in the night, one of the kids I’d never met before says, ‘Do you GET to do this EVERY year?’ When I responded, ‘Yes.’ He yells, ‘YOU ARE SO LUCKY!!!’ and runs away to the massive inflatable.
He’s right, I am lucky, well, more blessed to have some amazing kids that I get to pour into, and lead them into learning more about their Savior. Yes, there are ones that aggravate me. But there are also ones that listen when I think they are not. Then there are ones that have so much joy and excitement in everything they do. And of course the ones that for some strange, odd reason…they think I am cool. Odd how it takes working with students to make you ‘cool.’ I was never cool before, and definitely not cool when I was their age or in high school!
I also have some really amazing parents, high school and college kids that help me out all night. And no, I do not bribe them! They stay all night or help with check-in or come in at 1 or 3 am to do their shift. Then there are those that go above and beyond, staying later than they say they will. They organize the kitchen, spend hours shuffling groups at the Rock Band station and jump until they are sore at the inflatable. I could not do it without them…they are wise, funny and when they get an exploding Sprite sprayed on them…they are still positive and joke about ‘exfoliation’ being good with Sprite. Honestly, the 5th & 6th graders don’t even know how blessed they are to have them around.
Some of the kids thank me when they leave the next morning…but they should really be thanking my volunteers, because I am only one person while my volunteers are well more than a dozen. I am thankful for them, because they are my one link to sanity while a multitude of kids chant, ‘Stephanie! Stephanie! Stephanie!’ because everyone wants something!
Chapel time was different this year…normally I do some kind of presentation on whatever international trip I’d been on that summer. But this year I hadn’t been on an international trip and what God pulled out for our Chapel time was phenomenal…but that shall be a story for tomorrow, because today…it’s about some awesome kids, amazing volunteers and a hangover headache that lasts for 3 days!