While many of our high school friends are finishing up state playoff games and AP tests, we all know that "summer-itis" has set in and kids are quickly checking out of school-mode and into Chill-ville.
That means it's time for summer movies. It's what kids think they are supposed to do with summer nights. Part of our role as YL leaders is to lead our high school friends into the adventure of following Christ and help them discover better ways to use their time than settling for the big screen. But... another part of our role is to meet them right where they're at, and this summer they are going to be at the movie theaters.
We can take advantage of this by planning well. Last summer, thanks to the prompting of one of my YL leader heroes (Zachary Kreeger), I wrote down in my calendar the opening nights of all the big blockbuster movies. A couple weeks in advance I started talking it up with kids, building anticipation for a fun night for them to look forward to. We went to see the midnight showings of a few flicks and they thought it was super cool that their YL leader was willing to drive them around in the wee hours of the morning. One of the nights we met at a field around 10pm to play "Glow in the Dark Ultimate Frisbee" before the movie. Another night we hit up Waffle House before the show. It created some fun bonding moments and memories.
High schoolers are going to go see the movie anyway. If we as YL leaders can plan in advance, then we can create an experience that we lead, teaching them and modeling for them how to "live life to the full" in a healthy way that doesn't need to be followed by a morning of.
"Fast Five" opened last week and half your club kids have already seen it. It started the summer movie trend which continues with "Thor" opening tonight. Your next best bet is "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides'" coming out on May 20th.
I'll post some more thoughts and opening dates later on this weekend.