In the Still of the Night


by Tash McGill

Is there a match made more in heaven than 30 Hour Famine and the lock-in? A room full of hungry teenagers and some worn out leaders? The rush of that last meal shared together followed by hours of games and activities.

I like to start with giant water balloon volleyball, then work our way into karaoke before settling into movie marathons as the 2am munchies of a traditional all-nighter set in.

And then, it comes. The still of the night. Usually between the 1st and 2nd movie when the excitement of staying up all night has faded into comfortable sleepiness. The still of the night is when whispered conversations can turn from schoolyard gossip to heartfelt wrestling. Let’s be honest, parents and youth workers know the power of hunger and exhaustion to release vulnerability.

It’s a power that can be used for good and for evil, the same reason we do a response time on the last day of camp, right? But all cynicism aside – I love the still of the night when the walls are a little easier to break down and new relationships can be formed while older relationships go even deeper.

And it’s often the time we can be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief and hope to get some sleep ourselves. But I encourage to stay tuned in for the vulnerability that students experience in the quiet hours of a lock-in.

The power of shared experience is the single most impactful tool for human transformation that is known to us. The pivot point of turning insight into action is critical to long-lasting change. The 30 Hour Famine is built on this principle of understanding world hunger issues and taking that insight into action.

And in the still of the night our chance to have conversations that move insight and understanding into action is at an all-time high.

So I’ll never groan in anticipation of another all-nighter or lock-in. In fact, a group of teenagers and adults hungry together is a perfect recipe for change.

Go be hungry this month and enjoy your late night conversations.