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Thread: Church Lock-In Ideas

  1. #1
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    Church Lock-In Ideas

    Hello everyone!

    I'm looking for ideas for an upcoming church lock-in that I am planning for a group of 13-15 year olds. I've never planned one of these, much less attended one, so I am sort of out of the loop if you will.

    Given the very creative minds that are on this board, I'm hoping, ok praying, that some of you might have some ideas for games, activities, etc that we could do.

    I meant to add, the theme for the evening and the lesson plan covers Civil Disobedience. One of the things we will be doing that evening is watching Gandhi. If you have any thoughts along those lines as well, that would be great!


    Thanks in advance for any thoughts!


    Jamie

  2. #2
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    Well, if you teach them about hunger strikes then you won't need to feed them.

    I'm thinking games and such... Twister doesn't seem appropriate for a church event though! How about one of those get-to-know you bingo games to start - get everyone talking.

    I'm thinking a build-your-own-sundae bar sounds like a yummy activity.
    Your actions speak so loudly I can hardly hear you - Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestions LongHornGal!

    We are already going to be in the kitchen with our "Make Your Own Pizza" party, so we might just have to finish out the evening with a Sundae bar. :-) (So much for Hunger Strike!)

    The bingo game also sounds like a plan! Much appreciated!

    I've got to dig out some board games and stuff this weekend as well. We will definitely need some activities to fill up the time!


    Thanks again!

    Jamie

  4. #4
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    I'll ask my son what they do at the temple at the sleepovers. Won't be able to post though until late tonight.
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  5. #5
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    When I was student teaching about civil disobedience, I spent a couple days on a "game" to help the students understand discrimination as motivation for civil disobedience. You might be able to adjust this concept for a fun project over just a few hours.

    Each student received a red or blue dot to put on his/her shirt. On day one, the "Reds" received special treats like a piece of candy, 5 minutes extra recess, etc while the "Blues" suffered minor hardships like having to be last in line.

    On day 2, the "Blues" were privilaged and the "Reds" discriminated against.

    It was very interesting to watch the different levels of maturity and thought during this project. Some of the students got angry, especially when the special treats differed from day to day. ("How come they got candy yesterday and we didn't get any?") We had some enlightening class discussions about how it felt to be discriminated against or favored, what other students could have done to help or hurt the situation, and of course how all this applies to real life.

    All that said, I don't know whether this is the type of civil disobedience you'll be discussing, but I thought I'd throw the idea out there.

    Other, more gereric ideas I remember from church lock-ins:
    -Capture the Flag
    -Bible trivia
    -Cookie decorating/caramel-corn making
    -ummm, I'll keep thinking. There have to be more memories in here somewhere...

    Good luck and have fun!
    Blogging about Barb horses at The Barb Wire and about the simple pleasures of less urban living at Nightlife. Saddle up and come along for the ride!

  6. #6
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    One game I've found that works well with teenagers as an ice-breaker (assuming not all the kids know each other, or that at least some of them might not be too enthusiastic about being there...): get stickers (large laser labels work great) and print/type names onto them. They can be real or fictitious, but they should be people the kids know. E.g., Brad Pitt, Bill Clinton, Oprah, Superman, Madonna, Harry Potter, Cinderella, etc. - you get the idea. Then, making sure the kids can't see, stick one of the labels onto each kid's forehead. They have to walk around and ask questions of the other kids that can only be answered with "yes" or "no" to find out who they are. E.g., "Am I a woman?", "Am I a real person?", "Am I on TV?". It works especially well if you mix up the labels a bit...put "Cinderella" on the guy with his jeans hanging down and his hat on backwards. You just have to be careful that kids who are a bit more delicate get someone that will make them comfortable rather than embarrassed (the more confident kids can handle being anyone!).

    For some reason, this works great - I was shocked. EVERYONE feels like a total goof with a sticker on their forehead, so it brings everyone to similar comfort levels. And it really does get kids talking to each other.

    If your kids are a bit more knowledgeable about civil disobedience going into it, you could use appropriate names.

  7. #7
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    Oops, I meant to also say...

    We've been talking about doing an overnight with our youth group, and one thing we talked about was doing kind of a survivor theme. Maybe you could make this work somehow?

  8. #8
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    I did make your own pizza night with the youth group I worked with. You'll want to hide the hot pepper flakes...a few kids AND the youth leader ruined their pizzas by putting too much on theirs. Kids also love weird combinations...then they won't eat them...so extra generic pizzas would be a good idea. I came prepared. (the leader wouldn't listen to me when I suggested limiting their topping options so they couldn't ruin their pizzas.) I would also suggest multiple little bowls to put the toppings in. Kids will put their hands in, pick up toppings, put them on the pizza, lick their fingers, and then get more toppings...

    Do you have a gym? You could play War. You get a couple of dodge balls and divide the kids up into two groups. This works really well on a basketball court.

    Each group stays behind the center line. They throw the balls at each other (3 or 4) and try to hit people. (you can say only below the waist, or neck, or whatever if you have older kids that throw 90 mph balls straight for the jugular)

    If you get hit, you go to jail in the box under the basketball goal on the other team's side. You can catch any balls that are rolling or hit the back wall while you're in "jail" and use it to capture the enemy and put them in your jail allowing you to go free.

    This continues until one team has one person left. Then the other team will get most of the balls and just murder him. (trust me, it won't be a girl. )

    This will be a good lesson on the Geneva convention and the treatment of prisoners of war and combat. It will also show them mob mentalities. They will do things they would never do as individuals. They will also be tired enough to sit down and watch Gandhi.
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  9. #9
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    The teenagers at our church have always loved "Sardines"...its kind of a backwards hide and seek. one person goes and hides and everyone splits up to find them, as they find the person instead of yelling to everyone, they hide with them and keep quiet....so you get down to one person searching alone for everyone else, and they are all piled like sardines in one closet or under a table, or whatever.

    Also, they love mess...so shaving cream fights or anything with duck tape....like costume contests using only rolls of duck tape.....

    Have fun!...I love teenagers.

  10. #10
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    Since your theme is civil disobedience, what about looking at various forms of protest? A fun one might be looking at protest songs thru the years--you could even have the kids get together in groups & write their own lyrics for a cause they believe in after really listening/reading some powerful protest songs of the past. Find out when they read Thoreau in school & look at how each peaceful movement influences another--Thoreau, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, etc. You can also parallel how one act of civil disobedience differs from another, maybe peaceful vs. violent means.

  11. #11
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    These are all AWESOME ideas! I really really appreciate the thought all of you have put into this. Some of these will definitely be used over the lock-in, but I think we will have to pass on the shaving cream fight. I've already been read the riot act about having the church back in the same condition when we leave as when we came in. Apparantly, there was another group there this past weekend and they really messed up a few things.. :-(

    Keep the ideas coming!


    Jamie

  12. #12
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    You'va already got some great ideas!! That's why I love this board!!

    This probably won't work since you have a theme already for this lock in, but just in case you do another one, we had one when I was a kid that was 12 hours long (8pm to 8am) and every hour was a month of the year. It was pretty fun and kept the activities interesting through out the night.

    I wanted to add that I have done the activity that Tamawrite suggested only we did the different groups by eye color. This lead to a discussion on how our traits aren't chosen, but given to us (like skin color).

    Hope your lock in goes well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Write your hurts in sand, carve your blessings in stone.

  13. #13
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    Missi,

    I am actually working on incorporating Tamawrite's idea because it will go along with the thems quite well. Since I'm expecting a fairly gender-even group, I considering doing something along gender discrimination and civil disobedience. And instead of having the females being the "underclass", the males will be. Again it goes back to "traits", like you said

    Given that these kids have never really experienced discrimination, and the resulting civil disobedience, I think this would really drive the point home with them.

    Thanks to everyone for their help on this!

    Jamie

  14. #14
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    You can check out www.youthspecialties.com for great ideas, too!
    Springtime is my time of year!

  15. #15
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    My ideas don't relate to civil disobedience, but I can tell you what we used to do in youth group.

    - Draw Swords - everyone sits and holds their Bible above their head. The leader gives a Bible verse and says "Draw Swords!!" Everyone rushes to be the first to find the verse. You jump up when you find it, and then you get to read it aloud.

    - Treasure Hunts - using bible verses to give clues to different spots in the church - these take forever to put together, but man were they fun. For example, you get a slip of paper with a bible verse on it. You first have to open your Bible and find and read the verse which might reference say a candle, which would lead the team to the big candle in the sanctuary where the next bible verse-clue would be waiting for them. My youth leader always did two teams, so he had to think up two whole separate strings of clues. This was especially fun.

    - We also played Sardines as mentioned above - also one of my most favorite games!

    - "Mingle" - another silly game. You blind fold everyone and have them roam around the room aimlessly (we all used to mumble "mingle, mingle, mingle, mingle, while we walked around, but that's not technically part of the game). The leader then calls out a number (say for example, THREE!!) Then everyone has to get into groups of three (but you're all blindfolded, so you can't see where other people are, and you can't see how many are already gathered into a group.) The odd person out in all of the groups is out.

    - This game was always hilarious - it doesn't have a name, that I know of.... You split everyone into two groups. Each group stands in a line next to each other, the two lines facing one another. The first person in each line crosses over to the other line and has to stand in front of each person in the opposite line for 5 seconds while each person in the line tries to make the guy laugh. The guy moving down the line CANNOT laugh, or he's out. I don't know if I described that one very well, but it's soooo funny!

    - We also used to do a lot of music/skit type stuff. Musicals, hand bells, etc. So we'd use the time to get some practice for those things in too.

    For food we did "Foil Packs" - meat, veggies, rice, whatever baked into the foil packages. Easy stuff that didn't make too much mess.

    Oh, I miss my church so much. It's defunct now. Those were the absolute best times of my entire childhood (which was also filled with a whole lot of not-so-good-stuff). So I'm so grateful for that safe and really FUN place to go!!

  16. #16
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    Please forgive my ignorance, but what is a Church Lock In? These kids are actually locked into a church? Is it like some kind of punishment? Or is it an educational thing? As I said, I don't know what this is, so don't take it the wrong way...

    The churches of my youth are all big marble things with dead people under the floor and some spooky preserved Saint's body in a cold crypt...you couldn't pay me enough to be locked in there.

    Angela

  17. #17
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    Yes, a lock-in is an overnight somewhere that once you arrive, you are locked in. It basically means that you can't come and go. Parents can rest assured that their child will remain where he/she is supposed to be until the event is over (which is usually the next morning).

    If it is co-ed (as in a church youth group) then boys and girls have separate sleeping areas once it is time for bed. That is IF sleep is one of the activities It isn't always!) Many church's have kitchens where food can be stored/prepared, youth rooms with stereo equipment, and even gyms where the kids can play basketball or volleyball.

    Girl Scouts also have lock-ins, and I'm sure other youth groups do also. Just another way for young teens to have some good, clean fun that is supervised.
    kathyb


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  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Angelina
    Please forgive my ignorance, but what is a Church Lock In? These kids are actually locked into a church? Is it like some kind of punishment? Or is it an educational thing? As I said, I don't know what this is, so don't take it the wrong way...

    The churches of my youth are all big marble things with dead people under the floor and some spooky preserved Saint's body in a cold crypt...you couldn't pay me enough to be locked in there.

    Angela
    Lock ins are a blast! Until you are a 40 something youth leader - then it's not. But it's fun for the kids! It's a contest to see who can go the whole night without sleep and do the craziest sleep deprived things.
    Springtime is my time of year!

  19. #19
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    Definitely not punishment, Angelina!! I LOVED our church sleep-overs (we didn't call them "lock-ins"). And I grew up in a protestant church which typically doesn't have any marble or crypts or anything like that. It's just a typical brick building with a carpeted sanctuary with some wooden pews and stained glass windows. Then we had "Fellowship Hall" which was a fancy name for the church basement! Then there were the Sunday school classrooms and the big, big kitchen (we had lots of church suppers). I'm sure you've been to a wedding or something in a church kind of like I grew up in, no? Picture that instead...

  20. #20
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    Not to worry.. No dead people in our church! (Well, except for the ashes in the garden...)

    The "lock-in" for us is a sleepover full of fun and games, but with a little bit of lesson thrown in as well. I think that with the ideas I have gotten here, along with what I already had lined up, it will be a great night - both from a leaders perspective as well as the kids perspective. Enough games and activities to lighten it up a little bit, but still getting the lesson across. :-)

    I talked with a couple of the youth this morning that will be attending, and they are planning on making it an all-nighter, so we should all be toast by the end of it.. UGH! I'm in my mid-30's and I never make it past 2a, at the latest. This should be interesting..

    After church that day - SLEEP!!!!!!


    Thanks to everyone for the ideas!

    Jamie

  21. #21
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    Hi Jamie -- have you had the lock-in yet? Just curious to see how it went!
    Blogging about Barb horses at The Barb Wire and about the simple pleasures of less urban living at Nightlife. Saddle up and come along for the ride!

  22. #22
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    The lock-in is this upcoming weekend. I'll definitely post the results after it is over, and I have caught up on a little sleep!

    :-)

    Jamie

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