Once a year Willowbrook Baptist Church has an event that draws almost 400 6th-8th graders to stay up all night as they drive all around the city and do fun things together. You have to see it to believe it.
Around 7 pm, parents and kids arrive at the church to kick off this annual event. The kids are very excited and can’t wait to enjoy all night with their friends. After all, they are used to their parents telling them it’s time to go to bed and not giving them permission to stay up all night, especially to play all over the city. But this is the “Lock Out”, and kids can’t wait for this summer kick-off event.
After the kids check in and the parents head home for the night, they all gather for the opening events. They all get together to go over the plans of the evening and get assigned to their bus. Massive Trailways buses will be their transportation for the evening, and the kids on their bus will be the ones they get to hang out with all night.
Pulling our of the parking lot, two buses go to the Ice Plex where they will have have the whole center to themselves to enjoy the ice and each other. The other buses head to Southern Adventures where there is mini golf, video games and so much more. Then a couple of hours later they load on the buses and switch places. The next stop brings all the kids together at the church’s Madison campus where there are games, a band and speaker. The energy in the room is amazing! Even though it is past midnight now, the kids are still full of energy.
Next they load the buses and head to the last stop at Altitude, a warehouse full of trampolines. Now imagine almost 400 kids going crazy on all these trampolines at 4:00am in the morning!
After almost all energy is spent, the kids load the buses one last time and head back to the church where Krispy Kreme donuts await. As the kids are picked up by their parents and they head home, they leave with memories from a night they will not soon forget. If you talk to the parents, most will tell you the kids hardly make it out of the parking lot before they are crashed out with smiles on their faces.
When Cale Holloway Willowbrook’s Minister to Middle School Students is asked why they would do such an event? He says, “With so much negativity in the world we love giving kids a place where they can find fun, hope and encouragement.”
Willowbrook Baptist Church
7625 Bailey Cove Rd SE, Huntsville, AL 35802, Huntsville, Alabama 35802