Music Festivals 101 (part 2)

Music Festivals 101Having just returned from a rather sizable Christian Music Festival, I thought it best to debrief myself by sharing my experience with you. This is part one in a small series, so please make sure to check out the other parts…

You knew at least one of these posts had to deal with something negative, right? Well, I did. And I decided to get it out sooner rather than later. If I were to subtitle this one I think it would be called “Or How to Discipline Teenage Girls.” Here’s the scenario.

During Alive there was a festival-mandated quiet time curfew of 1:00am. We required our teens to be back to our site by 1:00am. No problem, right? Wrong. We had three teen girls who came strolling in 6 minutes late. Sure, six minutes is not a long time, but it is later than they were supposed to be back, and we did not know where they were prior to returning to our site (we have since learned that – by their own admission – they met 27 guys, played spin the cell phone with hugs, and were apparently in tents with other guys from other groups), and once it was pointed out that they were indeed late, there was much attitude thrown around.

I stressed the importance of knowing where they were (we had banned cell phones for several reasons, so there was not a lot of opportunity for a check-in call to camp), and the need to abide by the rules which were set for more than just safety reasons. In seeking an appropriate punishment for the “crime” we settled on an earlier curfew the following evening. Which was met with more attitude and a comment about how the three were late because they were trying to save someone (which a week later, not one of the three has elaborated on to me. Apparently they were trying to take food to a drifter who had hitchhiked to Ohio from Florida and had only been able to buy a one-day pass but had nowhere to stay or food to eat). Had they brought this to me I probably would have been more accommodating. But they were (by one of their own words) too mad at me. I wish this was the only night it happened. But the following night, the group of three blew off the buddy system that we set up, and one of them was again late.

I share all of this to say that it honestly was probably the only big problem that we had (outside of some pretty fierce winds on Saturday). We simply allowed our teen girls too much freedom. They were boy-crazy. They allowed themselves to ignore a few simple rules. And they allowed themselves to be distracted from the point of the week. The questions remains for next year, how can we limit freedom for our less-dependable teens without punishing the rest of the group (who did an excellent job I think)?