Thursday, January 7, 2010

Every Church Youth Group Should Have an Outing Like This.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. The youth group had worked hard at the church all year. Cleaned the grounds of leaves in the fall. They had helped string garlands at Christmas. They had helped hide Easter eggs and then helped the little ones find them. They had held several fund raisers so their coffers were full.

What to do with the money?
  • Send more kids to camp? Yeah, look how well that turned out.
  • Go on a hiking trip halfway up Mt. Rainier? (story for another time. Trust me, you'll love it. It features my mother).
  • Let's go on a snow trip. There is nothing like a weekend in the mountains with a dozen or more (delinquents) teenager, some adults and car tire inner tubes.

Someone in their infinite wisdom thought that renting a closed business was a great idea. The building was just sitting there, empty, cheap to rent and large. It was perfect. Why not rent it for a long weekend.

We packed up the trucks and vans with food, clothes and inner tubes for sledding. The kids were excited, the adults were excited, the owner of the building was excited most of all. He was generating income on a business that had shut down for selling alcohol to minors (unbeknown to the adults or kids).

An hour and a half later trucks and vans disgorged a dozen teenagers, a half dozen adults and a mountain of luggage in front of a timbered building covered in snow. A large sign caught the teenager's eyes - BAR.

It was the holy grail.
It was mecca.
It was a full-fledged tavern with pool tables, a juke box, a dance floor, a music system and best of all A BAR!

The doors of the bar were unlocked and within moments, while the adults were, (yelling at the kids to help), unloading the vehicles, the teenagers had breached the unlocked liquor closet. No wimpy little cabinet this was a full-on walk-in closet. Bottles and jugs were squirreled away from adult eyes faster than one of the inner tubes would fly down the hill the next day.

Circumventing the juke box's need for coins took a little longer but was ultimately achieved. The locked cabinet with the pool cues and balls was child's play for this group of miscreants. Beer taps (this was before we had learned to tap our own kegs and we were savvy enough to know that it is a little hard to hide a keg.) were changed out to dispense soda before lunch was served.

Boys and girls rooms were assigned. What these rooms were used for in their previous life was not fully explained, let's just say they came complete with beds and dressers. Had we known there would have been a huge Ewwwww factor going. As it was we threw down our sleeping bags and called it good.

Because this was a church youth there just had to be some goody-two shoes that just had to tell the adults of the contraband. It was only by shear stealth that 6 bottles of Annie Greensprings hidden away. These were consumed after the adults went to bed.

All I can say is that morning came early for a few of the youths but with the alcohol in (our) their system they didn't feel the cold or the pain when their inner tubes hit giant snow banks.

Thank you for sharing another of my mis-spent youth stories.



  1. I bet they didnt feel a thing when they hit the giant drifts!!! LOL

  2. ANNIE GREEN SPRINGS????? ONLY THE NECTAR OF MY YOUTH!!!!! Wow - what memories THIS story elicited. Have I said it before? I just love stopping by here!!!

  3. Ah, that brings back my own memories of going to Turner Falls in Oklahoma one summer weekend with our church youth group - and the brand new youth minister, straight out of seminary, who had no idea what he was in for.

    I won't go into what all went on that weekend, except to say that it included a lascivious young woman (NOT me) and 2 or 3 of the young men, and the contraband that was brought by some of us who will remain nameless (ahem) was of a controlled substance nature. Let's just suffice to say all of our parents received a phone call and we weren't taken on any more weekend camping trips with wet-behind-the-ears youth ministers.

  4. Now that was a memory! Honestly, what WERE they thinking with that setting? Kids can't be trusted. Actually, grownups in that situation would likely have done the same thing.

    Drunken tubing! Wowee!

  5. You are a hoot! I'll bet you gave your parents sleeply nights, but you slept soundly!


  6. I would have to say that if I were one of those teenagers that would have been one of my favorite memories

  7. Always gotta watch out for the kids in the church youth group; I know, I was one.

  8. Dang it. You church kids had all the fun!

  9. Oh man, this reminds me of my high school days too! What a great memory. The church groups were always the WILDEST.

  10. I'm appreciate your writing skill.Please keep on working hard.^^

  11. Hee Hee. I love these stories. I remembered the first one you linked before I even clicked on it. The best thing about this referenced Bagwine in the form of Annie Greensprings. Cheers Michele!!