For the past few years Youth Volunteer Corps hosts a lock-in allowing new and old volunteers to bond for a few hours. It was held at Emerald City. People will think of Emerald City as the green, glowing city that Dorothy has to travel to in The Wizard of Oz, but this Emerald City is much different. It’s infamous for its rock walls that go as high as the ceiling itself, the tall rope swing that leads into a foam pit and the convoluted jungle gym which seemed too small for the high school type kid I am. In reality, Emerald city is for everyone regardless their age or size.
The best part about lock-ins is that I get (at the most) 4 hours of sleep. Many others, besides me, didn’t get the minimum hours of sleep needed to be a healthy kid, but we had our reasons. The most active thing was playing dodge ball. Dodge ball was especially exciting when we played boys v. girls…the girls won. That really got me pumped. My favorite part was climbing the rock wall. There was perfect “work hard, play hard” music playing in the background. It was a big motivator to reach the top and not let my slight fear of heights get in the way. The staff at Emerald City was also a huge motivator as they could not be sweeter and more interactive. In fact, one of the staff members and I created a bond over cross country and sports. It was fantastic.
Team leaders and volunteers were great to be around for 10 hours straight. The team leaders are like outgoing parents that you never get bored of. They were even the peace keepers during our intense, sweaty and injury causing game of capture the flag. During the Disney movie Aladdin, everyone was pretty tired but their spirits were alive and alert while team leaders sang “One Jump Ahead” and “A Whole New World”. Within every activity, both the leaders and volunteers were always smiling and were energetic. It was one of the coolest all-nighters I’ve ever had.
-E-beth Leach, 14
Write for our blog!
Feel free to email a post and picture to the team leaders at