I believe I have mentioned that our church congregation is very small. We're still trying to reach people for Christ, though! One of our programs is a "character building" program for kids, similar to scouting. I lead the older girls group, and we have been working on our Recreational Sports badge. They have to participate in four different sports, and one of the options is bowling. Since we are severely lacking in leaders, there are not enough adults for me to take the girls out of the building and have adequate supervision both with them and at the building with the other groups. So, I got creative! We have a long hallway at the church, and we have some donated soda in 20 oz. bottles (which no one is drinking, as it is rather flat). We found a soccer ball, and printed blank score sheets. I played the roll of "ball return" and "pin setter", and the girls had a blast! We only got one game completed, but as we have to play three games for the badge, this means we get to "go bowling" again next week! Other benefits: it was free, there were no ugly shoes-of-questionable-cleanliness, no cigarette smoke, no drunken bowlers three lanes down, and we could hear each other quite well (since there were no other balls and pins crashing around or inappropriate music blaring). Now that we have it figured out, we should be able to get our other two games in next week. I'm just so happy that everyone enjoyed it so much, and everyone participated. I'm also glad that two girls from last year finally came back. We have at least doubled the number of kids that are attending in comparison to last year, and it's not because we have anything fancy or material to give them! I see these kids thriving on the real interest and attention we're giving them, and it makes my heart swell! Tonight, I'm so thankful for a fun and successful youth night, because they aren't always - our first week this fall, we had my own two children. That was it. Tonight, we had 13 kids!