the things that happen on a student mission trip airport layover

funny bit on the stuff christians like blog the recently about packs of teenagers and airport layovers. i’m sure youth ministry readers will resonate with this (as well as anyone who has been in an airport when there are roving mobs of teenagers traveling together):

Does anything good happen on a layover at the airport when you’re on a mission trip? I submit, “no.”

Despite your best attempts to keep the group together while you’re waiting for your next flight, a few things are going to happen:

1. You’re going to temporarily lose some kids that suddenly have the urge to explore the wonders of the Newark airport.

2. Someone will temporarily misplace their wallet.

3. The boyfriend and girlfriend couple will break up.

4. And get back together.

5. One kid will be the “where’s Billy?” kid. A phrase that is fun to yell from the aisle of a plane that is about to close its door and take off.

6. A game of four square will break out if someone has a ball.

7. A game of cards will break out if someone has a pack.

8. A game of “cards are gambling, no they’re not gambling, quit judging us” will break out if someone hates cards.

9. Someone will use their entire spending money on batteries at the airport, which cost $47.

10. A group of people will practice the praise songs you’re going to sing on the trip in terminal A.

11. Terminal B will become very crowded.

13 thoughts on “the things that happen on a student mission trip airport layover”

  1. Those things are soooo true. We just got back from haiti a few weeks ago and it was similiar. our group was a good bunch though. it was funny though, to see how some people were immediately irritated when they found out they were a church group. those people were hilarious to watch.

  2. and your adult leaders will take their prescription vicatin to help them with their “fear of planes” only to have the flight canceled at the last minute and rescheduled for the next day, leaving you as the only functioning adult of the group.

  3. Wow. I never have those problems with our kids. The occasional card game but that’s not a big deal. We go over the basic concepts prior to leaving, they know I’m not kidding and I make sure they know the who, what, when and why. They don’t leave alone, they always tell me where they’re going to be and they’re always ready to go when the time comes.

    Must be I have great kids, lol!

    Seriously, never had a problem like the ones listed.

  4. Are people really that crazy about cards and gambling? I mean, the kids I’ve traveled with always played cards. Who in their right mind would think a bunch of giggly middle-schoolers were gambling? Yeah, a bunch of card sharks they are!

    I’ve never had those problems either. Sometimes a game of hacky-sack breaks out and a few innocent bystanders get smacked in the head with it, but that’s about it.

  5. Don’t forget:

    “That youth group in-joke that sounds appropriate in context, but completely inappropriate out of context will be said in front of every octogenarian and stuffy parent in the terminal”

  6. I have a leader that takes a frisbee with him wherever we go. On our 2nd trip to New Orleans I hear there was an amazing game of frisbee going on in baggage claim as they waited for the luggage to appear. So far it happened appeared inside the terminal between flights…so far.

  7. it was on our way home, of course the students had spent all their money . . . and were starving. The airline gave us food vouchers ($3 each-not nearly enough to eat at the airport!) they pooled their resources & shared whatever they could buy. it helped that almost 1/2 the team had, um, tummy issues and were quick to give their vouchers away!

  8. in case you haven’t already thought of this marko, i feel like a significant # of posts from SCL should be read aloud during down-times of NYWC this year. this will of course make up for the lack of really cool rock bands that have made their appearance at the past 4 NYWC we have attended – and yet this year seem to have all disappeared?!?

  9. I have the worst story… In Paris on our way to Romania on a mission trip we had an 8 hour layover in their horrible airport. While using the restroom and standing at the urinals which are tall enough to stand in one of my students kicked me in the butt and since my hands were pre-occupied (that’s as much info. as you need at this point) my face was the first thing to hit the wet porcelain… most disgusting thing ever!

    I managed to leave him in Romania… haven’t seen him since.

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