Sunday, November 08, 2009

a weekend with middle schoolers

when you're preparing for a 2 day trip with middle schoolers, a few tips to get you through:

1) don't expect good pictures, especially with the tiny "purse-size" camera that doesn't do well in low-light. because they are constantly in motion. constantly. and waving around cell phones that are permanently attached to their hands.

and texting. the cell phones are texting. and playing poorly-recorded ring tones of pop songs.

2) expect the unexpected. when a kid randomly gives you his wallet chain while you're trying to lead the group in a heart-felt, serious discussion, roll with it.
this also goes for impromptu dance contests in the middle of bojangles, breaking out in every miley cyrus song ever written on the van ride, and performing repetitive verses of the cheesy Christian comedian's songs.

3) fashion is important. shopping is, too. and especially where you can spend money, how much money you have, and buying merchandise from the conference band and performers.
even when it's sporting a cool phrase like "be a revolution."

4) be prepared to remain active. especially when your group kicks off the conference by jumping up and leading the entire room in doing "the wave." rush the stage, jump around and bring ear plugs.
which i had. thank goodness. even if those middle school girls made fun of me for wearing them.

5) enjoy being with the younger kids. they make you feel young. to a certain point.
then you feel old when you realize that even though they know every word to the "fresh prince of bel-air" theme (which they, again, sing on the van ride) none of them were actually born before the show went off the air (if you're doing the math--1996.)

and finally, 6) remember how important conference events were to you as a middle schooler. how cool it was to hang out with the adults, stay in a hotel, spend all day and night with your youth group friends, learn from awesome speakers and worship through amazing music. and though it may mean giving up some sleep, a night at home, and just a small piece of your sanity--

it's totally worth it.