What happens in a High School Youth Night?
Youth Nights immediately follow our 5:30pm Sunday evening Mass in the Community Center. We have a group of volunteer adults prepare dinner for all our HS Teens each youth night. Then around 7:00pm, our night begins!
Our youth nights have 4 basic sections to them - GATHER, PROCLAIM, SEND, and BREAK. In GATHER, our teens make announcements and sing and dance with our youth praise band. A big part of this section is a game or activity. These games can take any form! Some are physical and some are intellectual. In PROCLAIM, the Staff and/or CORE Team of adults give the "teaching" for the night. This is where "Things to Come" plays a huge role. In SEND, its all about prayer. We try to vary prayer experiences. This is helped again by our youth praise band. Lastly in BREAK, our households meet together to dive deeper into the nights topic. The teens are dismissed straight from our households.
Is dinner served? If so, what is served?
YES! Dinner is served! This year we have had incredible volunteers who are planning on preparing fresh homemade food! Our hope is to avoid frozen and prepared foods. Our first few meals of the year will be pulled pork sandwiches with cheesy hashbrown casserole, grilled chicken with scalloped potatoes and green beans, and scrambled eggs with sausage, bacon and homemade biscuits. If your teen likes homemade food, have them come hungry!
What are Households?
Similar to Fusion, every youth night has small group breakouts. In High School, these small groups are called Households. We give our households a name, a patron saint, and they develop their own culture and personality. We based this structure off the Franciscan University of Steubenville Household system. They have had these in place for 40 years! We plan to do the same!
Check out our Household page here!
How is drop-off and pick-up handled?
Each youth night ends in our household time. This means that the teens will exit out of BOTH the community center AND the parish center. Some groups may even be meeting outside, weather permitting.
Pick-up is easier in High School since 1/2 of our youth drive. But our advice is simply to park in the lot and wait for your teens to come to you. Each household has been given specific instructions to end at 8:45pm. The only thing that will extend this time is prayer. It is so difficult to stop teen from praying! (first class problems)
What if my teen won't come?
Unfortunately, this is a common question. It takes a huge amount of courage to step into a large room full of a 100+ high school teens from many different schools.
The biggest key factor for success is for them to bring a friend or at least know a friend that is a part of the night. Friends make the dinner time easier and our games and music much more enjoyable!
Another way we can help are our households. When new teens walk in for the first time, our CORE leaders and welcoming committee talk to them and introduce themselves. Once we find out a little more about the teen, we can put them into a household that best fits their activities, personality, and interests! This is one of the main reasons our households exists. We want our new teens to find a community to belong to just as soon as they walk into the door.
One piece of advice we tell our parents that have a concerned teen is to really ask them to commit to come to just 3 nights. If they haven't found a connection to a household or enjoy the nights, there is a good chance the unique environment is not a good fit for them. We have other programs in our High School Ministry to help keep them involved.... Check out our Life Groups!