Friday, July 29, 2011

How To Get Your Friends To Sleep At Young Life Camp

Guest Post from Mackenzie Olson, Ft. Collins, CO

This may sound silly but I swear it is the most brilliant idea I've ever had. Maybe not ever, but it is a good one. I know for years I spent nights at camp saying, “ooooo-k let's be quiet” “ooooooo-k DOESN’T BED SOUND FUN!” “OOOO we probably shouldn’t wrestle.” I have been the leader to whom other adjacent cabin's leaders come and ask if we could be a "little bit quieter."

Sorry about that.

A couple of years ago I started a new tradition: reading bedtime stories.

I read out of two of my favorite books Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet by one of my favorite authors Shauna Neiquist. They are short, funny, relatable, and weave the Lord into them beautifully. I read two chapters to them every night, picking and choosing which ones suit the girls best. Everyone gets in their bunks and listens to me read, and as soon as I finish, a miracle from the Lord occurs...

Uninterrupted silence.

What books have you read to your Wyldlife or Young Life friends?

Mackenzie Olsen has been on part-time Young Life staff in Fort Collins, CO for the last year and a volunteer leader for the past six. You can read more about Mackenzie's adventures in Young Life at her blog and check out her art at


  1. Something guys get into, as weird as it sounds is being tucked in. They think its really funny and it makes for great one on one time. You tell them lights out in five and then you'll come around and tuck them in. Then you go around one by one, ask them about their day and tell them your even more excited about the next day and goodnight.

  2. One thing we do with our kids is pick a kid to tell a bed time story. They are best when they can be made up and completely random. It works wonders and most kids look forward to their night to tell a story. When it is their night, they are almost always the first to be ready for bed.