Every year in May our High School Youth Group hosts a Lock-In for our newly confirmed 8th Graders and any other HS students who are not already members of our High School Youth Group. It’s a full night of fun activities and each year we select a theme to base the entire night around. We try every year to do something that is ‘current’ and fun. This year, we went with #tbt as a theme and ran with it.
Lock-In’s might look very different from church to church or youth group to youth group, but for us, we have found a good format that works for our parish and so the following is based on that. You could certainly use the ideas as inspiration and create your own lock-in format based on the theme alone.
When we started brainstorming about a Throwback Lock-In, we realized very early in that we had to keep in mind what a ‘throwback’ actually was to a 8th grader (mostly we have 8th graders attend, and a few high school students). A throwback to me, a 41 year old woman, is much different than a throwback to a Senior in HS. And, even a Senior in HS’s ‘throwback’ is different to an 8th grader’s. So, keeping that in mind, we tried to keep a good mix of ‘classics’ (throwbacks that never go out of style, like a Rubik’s Cube or a classic song) with a mix of things that were only about 3-8 years old. We had to remember that although a Senior in HS might consider a certain tv show or song a ‘throwback’, it may not be the same for an 8th grader.
I have listed our activities briefly below and I have attached (see the link at the bottom of this post) a full detailed description of each activity, materials needed, and any other info you might need. Our lock-in format here at St. EAS is a well oiled machine and I have listed the basic template for that as well in the attached document.
Our Stage Throwback Trivia/Decades Jeopardy Game Set Up in our Community Center
Community Center Activities- (1st half of night)
- VIP Entrance for Pre-Registered Teens (they receive glow items, sunglasses, candy bracelets, etc.)
- Food (lots of teen approved Junk Food….we try to do pigs in a blanket, pizza rolls, taquitos, etc. since we have use of the kitchen ovens)
- Live DJ (one of my Youth Group Alumni who is now 25. He DJ’s for us keeping a mix of popular ‘clean’ music and fun older stuff and line dances)
- Personal Inventory Bingo Ice Breaker
- Epic Lip Sync Battle Performance (Performed by our HSYG Lock-In Team Members)
- Throwback Trivia / Decades Jeopardy Game Show
- Human Hungry Hippos
- Life Size Rubik’s Cube
- Human Tic Tac Toe
- Antique Treasure Hunt (Scavenger Hunt outside in the dark. The solve clues/poems to find the ‘throwback’ antique treasures)
- Dance Crazes of the Past (All the fun line dances and dance crazes)
- If I Could Live In Any Decade….. Banner for attendees to fill out. To be hung in the youth room after lock-in.
4 Groups at a time compete in our Human Hungry Hippos Game
CCD Building 2nd Floor / 11 Different Rooms (2nd half of night)
- What being in Youth Group has Meant to Me (Senior Witness Talk)
- Don’t Forget the Lyrics (Activity Room)
- Remember When (Discussion Room)
- Pac Man Fever / Glow in the Dark / Life Size Pac Man Arcade Game (Activity Room)
- Human Foosball (Activity Room)
- Life BT: Pre-Technology (Discussion Room)
- #TBT (Activity Room)
- Letting Go of The Past / Predicting the Future (Discussion Room)
- Who Said That? (Activity/Discussion Room)
- Watch This (Activity Room)
- VHS (Movie Room….we played “Back to the Future”)
- Late Night Snack (Pizza and Other Snack Food Room. Doubles as Breakfast Room in the morning)
Our teens had an AMAZING time! Both our HS Youth Group Members who worked and hosted the event (and spent 2 months planning it) and all of the teens who attended really enjoyed it all. Please see attached the full details of the activities above. I included how we decorated, materials, how we ran each activity, etc.
It turned out to be a really fun theme and I’m sure there are tons of new ideas you can add or build upon to make it your own.
This was our Lock-In flyer which was given to all newly confirmed students (8th graders) and also in our church bulletin.