Catholic Youth Group: Overnight Lock-in?!


#1

Is this a common practice for those of you with middle/HS age kids? They will be playing games, watching movies, eating pizza, etc. (no mention of anything related to faith formation). It seems unnecessary and somewhat inappropriate–especially for my 11 year old middle school daughter–who received her invitation in the mail today. What is your experience? Have you and/or your kids participated in a lock-in?


#2

[quote=Island Oak] Have you and/or your kids participated in a lock-in?
[/quote]

They are common. A great alternative to secular parties. I think the idea is to show kids they can have fun without sinful things like drugs or alcohol.

They usually aren’t combined with a preaching session as it is a “good, clean fun” event. I participated in one when I was in high school. I had a great time and no one got into any trouble, or rather no one did anything they should have got in trouble for :slight_smile:

Assuming it will be well supervised, I don’t see a problem with it. If you are concerned, I would suggest volunteering as a chaperone.


#3

My now 12 year old did this last year for the first time and loved it! He can’t wait to do it again this year.
It was held at a local rec center, so they had access to a pool, a gym, a movie room, etc. They ate pizza, sang religious songs with the youth leaders on guitar, went swimming, watched movies, prayed the rosary, ate more snacks, prayed together, ate again, played basketball, etc.

It was a great community builder. I think it shows kids that religion can be FUN! You CAN eat pizza and pray at the same time. You CAN have fun AND praise God together. Ours is a multi-parish event, so there are literally 500 kids, ages 11-13, there! There are about 100 chaperones, too!

Are you sure there aren’t any religious activities planned for yours? By just reading the brochure for ours, one would not know that anything religious happened either, but the night was full of experiences.


#4

Those have been popular since I was a pre-teen and teen, too. (I’m 25, now.) They were always chaperoned and produced cranky kids in the morning. However, ours usually had a faith aspect, with at least mass kicking it off and some kind of faith-related activity during the lock-in.

My parents did not let us attend nor entertain the idea until we were in high school. But, when I did attend, it was always really fun. I went from ages 14-16 or so. My Catholic high school also had lock-ins at a sports club, where we could swim, play indoor volleyball, basketball, soccer, jump on the giant trampoline, etc. There was nothing faith-related about those, except for mass beforehand. The parish-sponsored ones usually had mass, then a pizza dinner and mixer with a DJ. Following that, everyone changed into pajamas and there were movies and games until about 3 or 4am, when everyone was required to climb into their sleeping bags and attempt to sleep.

I will say that these events were rarely scandal-free, and there was always a girl or two who would whip out her “nightie” and prance around for about five seconds before parents were called or she was asked to change into something more appropriate. There was also always this air of excitement about spending the night in one big, huge room with the boys merely feet away. Looking back, I don’t agree with kids running around in their pajamas together unless the dress code is sweats or track pants and a sweatshirt for everyone. Plus, sometimes older girls take off their bras since “hey, it’s pajama time!” and then it just gets sort of…well, inappropriate.

But, my experience was high school lock-ins and not middle school, so there is probably some difference there.

Oh, and usually my dad volunteered to chaperone. He wasn’t big on the idea of adults he didn’t know having access to children in their sleep or in their pajamas, “Catholic-sponsored” or not.


#5

[quote=Princess_Abby]He wasn’t big on the idea of adults he didn’t know having access to children in their sleep or in their pajamas, “Catholic-sponsored” or not.
[/quote]

:rotfl: My dad would have laughed at anyone dumb enough to try anything with me. Next thing they would have known would have been them looking up at me, lying on the ground on their back :rotfl: But I digress.

I always heard they were great fun. Too bad I came back to the church and saw the value of attending too late, else I would have gone to one.

Eamon


#6

[quote=turboEDvo]:rotfl: My dad would have laughed at anyone dumb enough to try anything with me. Next thing they would have known would have been them looking up at me, lying on the ground on their back :rotfl: But I digress.

I always heard they were great fun. Too bad I came back to the church and saw the value of attending too late, else I would have gone to one.

Eamon
[/quote]

:slight_smile:

Well, my dad is a former city cop whose father was a police officer for 30 years. My dad is now an attorney and I think he’s seen his fair share of the not-so-good in people over the years, so he just wanted to be careful with his girls. Plus, all my friends loved him (and still do) and he was remarkably fun at these events.

We were never allowed to spend the night out anywhere for sleepovers, except at these lock-ins where my dad was always present.


#7

[quote=Princess_Abby]My dad is now an attorney and I think he’s seen his fair share of the not-so-good in people over the years, so he just wanted to be careful with his girls.
[/quote]

Yeah, mine too. I suppose a son with martial arts training is a different cup of tea :wink:

Eamon


#8

[quote=turboEDvo]Yeah, mine too. I suppose a son with martial arts training is a different cup of tea :wink:

Eamon
[/quote]

Ha, well I only had my dance and soccer skills to protect me, lol. :slight_smile:

(Although eventually we did take self-defense courses, but that was after my lock-in days.)


#9

Our HS has them for the seniors. I don’t care how well chaperoned they are, the kids will outwit them every time. I don’t understand the need for overnight functions like this. Breeding ground for all sorts of temptations that I don’t think we should be exposing them to.

My children are not allowed to participate in these types of functions. And I’m sure they will be just fine (if not better) because of it.


#10

[quote=Chris G]Our HS has them for the seniors. I don’t care how well chaperoned they are, the kids will outwit them every time. I don’t understand the need for overnight functions like this. Breeding ground for all sorts of temptations that I don’t think we should be exposing them to.

My children are not allowed to participate in these types of functions. And I’m sure they will be just fine (if not better) because of it.
[/quote]

I’m in agreement with this. I never went to an Overnight Lock-in, but I attended a few co-ed weekend retreats. Let me just tell you that there was drinking, drugs and sex going on t/o the weekend. We had PLENTY of chaperones too. I just don’t think it’s necessary to have co-ed sleepovers–or whatever you want to call them—even if it’s of a supposedly religious nature. Sure, they’re fun. However, fun can be had without a bunch pre-teen/teen kids prancing around in their jammies.

I know. Just call me an old fuddy duddy:D


#11

I know that these have been increasingly popular, but I never really got into them. I know that many of them are sufficiently chaperoned, and that kids can get away with alot at others, and, ultimately, it just depends on the kids who are there.

I guess it’s what you make of it. As you can see already in this thread, different people have different experiences.


#12

I was a team leader in my youth on a couple of Confirmation retreats (co-ed) back in the '80s. The retreats were very well-chaperoned, and we actually had the boys sleep in one big room, and the girls in another room. We also did bed-checks, we monitored their free-time, and always did head-counts at each of the activites we provided for them.

I guess it would all depend on the organization of these lock-ins or retreats. I would not hesitate to let my sons go to one of these, at least in my parish…much better than them wasting their time out on the streets looking for trouble…


#13

[quote=Princess_Abby]Oh, and usually my dad volunteered to chaperone. He wasn’t big on the idea of adults he didn’t know having access to children in their sleep or in their pajamas, “Catholic-sponsored” or not.
[/quote]

Haha … I must think like your dad. That would be my primary concern as well. I am not comfortable with my children spending the night anywhere either.


#14

I went to a couple of church sponsored lock ins in my middle and high school days. They were so fun, and I would let my kids participate in a heartbeat. I never remember anything untoward happening. We did have a jammie dress-code - it was more of a “theme” party. We all had to dress in a certain way with sweats, longjohns with shorts and t-shirts over them, or swishy pants suits (bear in mind - early and mid 90’s folks - it was cool then: :stuck_out_tongue: ) Anyways, it was always a chaperoned, clean, Christian environment that facilitated fellowship and celebration in a safe way.


#15

[quote=Island Oak]Is this a common practice for those of you with middle/HS age kids? They will be playing games, watching movies, eating pizza, etc. (no mention of anything related to faith formation). It seems unnecessary and somewhat inappropriate–especially for my 11 year old middle school daughter–who received her invitation in the mail today. What is your experience? Have you and/or your kids participated in a lock-in?
[/quote]

Yes, I have participated in a lock in both as a middle schooler and as an adult chaperone. Our parish is having one this coming weekend for the youth group with three other parishes.

I have seen nothing inappropriate go on at a lock in. The kids enjoy the fellowship, play games, and learn some Catholicism too.


#16

In my youth, about a thousand years ago, (and a non-Catholic Christian one) – there were lock-ins. They never involved actual sleep, it was about staying up all night, and I never saw a pair of PJs – just casual teen clothes (sweats, jeans, etc.). There were always chaperones, and it was a fun evening.

My sister is a non-Catholic Christian, and their youth group has lock-ins. My sister is a more protective mother than I (she is a no Harry Potter mom), and allows her middle school kids to attend lock-ins. Her oldest attended a lock-in at the Catholic Church with a Catholic friend and had a good time learning how to make a Rosary :slight_smile:

Our Parish has a growing youth group. There are both lock-ins and Lock Outs (they have a Lock Out each year, where the high school kids spend the night in the cold on the parking lot to raise money and awareness for the homeless).

I’ll volunteer to help at the Lock-In for the Jr High, and look forward to it!


#17

Our High School youth group has one a year…

there’s no real sleeping.

Doors lock at 6pm open at 8am.

They start with prayer, end with prayer, pray the rosary, have a small session on a current Catholic topic.

Activities are indoor basketball, soccer, movies, video games (including DDR), a Q&A room where anyone can have a one-on-one session with the DRE or other youth counselor to ask personal questions about Catholic teaching in regard to what’s going on in the kids’ life. Because they are relaxed, in a secure environment and in good moods from the fun and food, the kids actually use this Q & A forum throughout the night. It helps the DRE a lot, she says, in getting to know the spiritual needs of her students and how to proceed from there developing curriculum and other activities throughout the year.

Girls get the upstairs of the school building.
Boys get the basement of the school building.
Activities are on the main floor.
There are lots of adult supervisors (they don’t sleep).


#18

[quote=YinYangMom]Girls get the upstairs of the school building.
Boys get the basement of the school building.
Activities are on the main floor.
There are lots of adult supervisors (they don’t sleep).
[/quote]

Island Oak—

Is the lock-in your daughter attending set up this way? IMO, 11y.o is much too young for the co-ed thing, but it might make a difference to you.

My 12 y.o daughter attends weekend retreats and functions, but the events are all girl only with the supervision of consecrated women and teen leaders.

I think it was Princess Abby that pointed out that when she attended these things a lot of the girls were very much excited about the prospect of sleeping overnight so near a bunch of boys.

No matter how spiritually uplifting, how many fun activities there are, or how many chaperones, I think that the co-ed thing is simply unnecessary.

Again, I’m just an old fuddy duddy:D


#19

My attitude is based on what I remember from my own youth. My children will not be allowed in youth groups and especially lock-in/overnights.


There are many other ways to be social.


[quote=Island Oak]Is this a common practice for those of you with middle/HS age kids? They will be playing games, watching movies, eating pizza, etc. (no mention of anything related to faith formation). It seems unnecessary and somewhat inappropriate–especially for my 11 year old middle school daughter–who received her invitation in the mail today. What is your experience? Have you and/or your kids participated in a lock-in?
[/quote]


#20

Wow–thanks for all the input everyone!! I appreciate that some of these are well run and lots of (good, clean) fun and others, not so well supervised. I guess my gut is telling me even if well-run, 11, almost 12, is a little too young for this type of event. I think for now I 'll keep my antennae up to see how it actually goes, but have her wait another year or two before I let my daughter participate.


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