Saturday, October 23, 2004

When Adults Are Annoying: Word Of Life Superbowl 2004

Jasper Speaks:

So, Friday night was the Word of Life Superbowl. For those of you who are not familliar with this event, it is an all night party of sorts. It starts with attending a hockey game. After the game there are about two hours of games and giveaways along with a 15 minute gospel presentation. Then youth groups spend half the night bowling or roller skating and the other half in an open gym with extreme games and basketball, soccer, volleyball and video games. This is an event our church has been involved in attending for thirty years or so.

Our church doesn't own it's own transportation so it is a logistical challenge to get people to donate vans for us. It is also not a lot of fun to organize drivers and where kids will ride for the night. But I have accepted it as a once a year event that is successful in meeting the purpose of fellowship. It is genrally one of the highest attended events we do all year.

So, last night was the event for 2004. I have some observations I would like to share. I am always a little bored during the hockey game. I have mild A.D.D and watching the little puck is a bit of a challenge when there are all the signs to read in the stadium. Anyway, the Portland Pirates won in sudden death overtime so I guess that is cool. Then the time for the giveaways began.

This was a frustrating time for me. As I sat amongst the attendees, I was amazed at the number of adults who were intent on getting the giveaways for themselves. A fifty-ish year old man pushed one of my 15 year old girls out of the way to grab a ball thrown into the crowd. Another guy about my age fell into another girl in my group about five times diving for stuff. Maybe I am old school but I thought the giveaways were for the kids not us.

The organization of this event is a frustation for me as well. They just drag stuff out a lot and no one ever really seems to know what is going on. Last night each vehicle was informed as we entered the attached parking garage that it would close at midnight and the last car had to be out by 12:45 or it would be locked in for the night. So having about ten vehicles full of kids, I felt it was important to keep my eye on the clock. We were told that our group would be eating at the stadium other than our first activity stop (which is not how it usually works). The giveawy time did not end until about 11:50. When we went to the room where the pizza was being served, the food was not out and ready and there were no staffers around. After about another 15 minutes or so, the pizza was put out and the event director pulled in two of my leaders to serve drinks. With the closing of the parking lot looming, our kids grabbed their pizza and inhaled it and we took off to the bowling alley.

When we arrived, the place was packed. It was smoky and there were several inibriated people inside. We were told by the staff of the bowling alley that we would not be allowed in until they closed at 1AM and they had time to cash everyone inside out and vaccuum out the smoke. Now while I was happy they were going to vaccuum out the place, I could not understand why Word of Life would send us to a place where the lanes didn't close to the general public until 1:00AM. There were about five churches and 200 students waiting out in the 30 degree weather to go inside. We were there about 45 minutes before they let us in.

Once in we did have a great time. I bowled with a couple of students and hit an all time high of 85. I am thinking of turning pro. We usually go "candle pin" bowling. It is a style that is unique to the New England area. You get three small balls and the pins are tall and thin like a candlestick. Last night was the first time we bowled with full size balls and pins. It was the first time a lot of our students had ever bowled like the rest of the world. We really did have a good time.

The open gym was fun for the kids. I got some fun pictures of them on extreme games. Also, my students and volunteers did an old guy/young guy basketball game and it was fun to see my 30-50 year old leaders put the smack down on some mouthy teens! LOL!

In the end, I had a great, fun van of guys and had a pretty good time. I had to wait for the always can be counted on late parent at the church for about 45 minutes. I stayed a bit longer talking to my friend Bob. So I didn't get home until after 7:00 and just crashed. This is an event I am glad only comes once a year!

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