This week at Eastport Bible Church, we kicked off both Hangtime and Youth Group.  Which means that we opened our doors to about 120 K through 12 Grade students and it was pretty fantastic.

Hangtime started back up again on Wednesday.  We were pretty hyped up about it, if you couldn’t tell.

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That energy was contagious as we welcomed back an amazing group of Kindergarten through Sixth Grade students.

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At the beginning of our afternoon, our homework room was buzzing.  Every week, after snack, we send the kids up to do their homework.  I emphasized that it was extra fun being able to do your homework with your friends and the awesome teens and leaders that we have, as opposed to doing it at home.  Most of them bought right into it.

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These three siblings just melted my heart.  They sat by each other the entire time as they worked on their homework and it was just so sweet.

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And I was so proud to see that some of our Hangtime graduates from last year, were back and ready to help out this year.  Hangtime is for K-6th, but we invite 7th-12th graders to come and help out at our program.  It’s good for their community service hours, but even more good for their hearts.

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After homework and an opening game we sent the kids out to workshops.  We always have a craft workshop which the kids really enjoy, because they love creating things.

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This year it was my goal to introduce a Board Games table.  I told our students about back in the day and how kids used to play actual games that weren’t on their iPads and tablets.  They laughed, but I was pleased to see three tables of kids all playing different games.

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And then out in our church parking lot, we had a great group of kids running around and playing Thunderball.  The other element of our workshop time is to encourage kids to go and get some good, healthy exercise.  We set aside 45 minutes each week for the kids to enjoy this time.

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Our final workshop of the day was our Lego table.  It was filled up with kids who were playing and creating and it also made me smile.

After workshops, we met up downstairs for our Bible lesson and small groups.  I have to say I was so impressed at how well the 56 K-6th grade students listened this week.  It’s not always easy to keep the attention of that wide of an age range, but the kids were absolutely amazing!  We talked about our theme of the year which is, “Best Life Ever.”  Our goal will be to show them that God wants them to live the best life and also ways for how they can do just that.

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Then yesterday night, we opened up our doors to this incredible group of 7th through 12th graders.  We kicked off our Youth Group year with a Pokemon Go Hunt, in the dark.

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First we equipped them with glow sticks.

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Because they are fun and because it would make it easier for them to see each other as they walked around in the dark.

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Then we gathered them all and explained the game, which did not take place on their phones.  Instead we shared that we had hidden 1,000 tiny Pokemon figures all over the church and outdoors and that it was their job to go and “catch ’em all.”

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I didn’t take too many pictures.  Because most of the event was in the dark.  We played three different rounds of hunts and I just have to say that it was so cool to see them all active and hunting together with friends.  Each year, Jeremy and I make up these events and truthfully, we are never quite sure how they will go, but I am so happy to share that this event was even better than we could have imagined.

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The kids had an incredible time hunting around for tiny Pokemon and it was just pretty awesome.

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We gathered them a few times to see who had found the most Pokemon.

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We also played a few side games for Candy involving throwing the “Poke-balls” that we found at Target at a Pikachu target.

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It got pretty exciting, as you can tell.

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And at the end of the night, Jeremy shared a quick devotional and then we sent the kids down to have some snacks.  All in all, it was a crazy few days, but a great few days kicking off two of our Children’s and Youth Groups.  We are so excited for what this year has in store.  Thanks to all of the amazing kids that came to join us this week as well as to the parents who brought them!

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Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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