In the fall of 2012 was the first box maze that Terry constructed for an outreach at church. It was such a hit that he did it again the fall of 2013. However, it was such a huge amount of work that he took a break after that.
One problem was that the maze had taken place just before the already incredibly busy time of the Fall Retreat. The other reason, to be honest, was that I was just not a fan of the box maze. Terry had to work a ton of overtime hours and it was difficult for me to homeschool and parent all on my own (plus Ezra was a baby and I'm sure that made it worse). It is actually easier for him to be out of town and unaccessible than for him to be at work all hours of the day and night. I couldn't take the strain. So he took a year off, reevaluated, and decided to try it during the empty month of February over a three day weekend when he'd hopefully have more help from students out of school. He kept reassuring me that he'd worked out everything so it would be a lot less work than the previous two mazes, but I was somewhat skeptical. I had my token freak-out weeks before but didn't have any problem during the week of the actual construction. He did a fantastic job of planning and more help than ever before. Thank the Lord!!!
So after church on Sunday February 14 they got started. Here are the students bringing in the boxes from the two sheds. All 220 (!) that Terry collected from Karls, Sears, Lowes, and Fishers.
After a lunch of Little Caesars pizza, Terry gave everyone a tutorial on how to connect and secure boxes together.
Another reason the box maze went so much smoother and faster this year was because Terry and Zeb worked out a plan beforehand. The last two times they just winged it as they went along. Terry put a couple of the adult leaders, like David, in charge.
Even I wasn't supposed to know the secret of the box maze exit. Steven was cooperating with my desire to take a photo but David put his hand in the way.
So with some leaders in charge everyone got to work.
I put Ezra to bed in a pack and play in the nursery and Samuel said he wanted to rest. I think he was just playing though since he didn't sleep. Cute though.
Denise and Jazmin were zip tying buds.
Noah and the other little kids had a lot of fun in and out of the construction zone.
By 5pm that evening we had come so far.
Talk about progress for only one afternoon! We even got to go home and have dinner together!
The following day, Monday, was President's Day and Terry had helpers for the entire day. That had never been the case before and it was a game changer because they completed just about everything! The students and Terry worked on completing the actual box maze portion and several adults constructed the secret exit, pictured here surrounded by a huge black tarp-like drape to ensure privacy. Last time it was primarily only Terry and David working on the exit. This year it was Danny, Jason, David, Steven, and Zeb! They were amazing!
You can see here a bridge of sorts, which is one of the things the guys worked on, but it was not the secret exit. The exit was to the left of the bridge under the black tarp. The exit was a flap in the ceiling!!! Ridiculous! NO ONE would have found it without hints because the older students have to go through without light of any kind - even their cell phones are taken away.
Here is an improved map of the maze. The ceiling exit slid underneath the bridge landing. I don't have a photo of it, but there is video of it at the end of this post.
Wednesday finally came and Terry was more ready than he'd ever been. Here he is giving the many leader helpers directions.
Jaz and Denise prepare to go in.
The Awana kids received their glowsticks and set out to find their way through. There's Evie!
A leader, John, peeking around a corner.
Natasha, one of our students leaders wrote a lot of misleading directions and silly things in the maze, not that anyone would see them. ;)
My job was to be a photographer. The kids were getting annoyed that I kept flashing my camera at them. Natasha was also a photographer and snapped this picture of Noah finding me.
Jazmin's whole family was represented in the maze. Here's Jenna.
Natasha caught the moment and Denise and I were reunited (we crawled around together in the beginning).
Natasha and I were lost in some far corner of the maze and found and stuck with each other. We took pictures of each other in our own corners.
Here's my shot of her. We found our way out in the end, Natasha clutching my foot the whole way.
Kiley got a flash surprise. Ha!
Lindsey was another photographer and I just think she looks so pretty here.
Denise again. We had a lot of fun in there.
Here come the minion hoards!
Shekinah and Evie.
I'm on the bridge landing and Halle is coming up one side. Notice the glowstick behind her taped to the ceiling? That was so no one would hurt themselves on the bridge.
Noah again. He had started feeling ill that afternoon and by Friday woke with a temperature of 103.9. He had Influenza A!
Jazmin's youngest sister, Jada.
I love this photo. Hannah and her friends laughing about the camera flash.
I love this one of Sarah too.
Jazmin's final sibling, Jake, seemed to be asking for help.
Jonah walked bent over like that as often as he could. Can't blame him. My knees were quite sore on the second night (the maze was open Wednesday through Friday).
Here is the video Terry made for church. David contributed a time lapse video from his Go-Pro camera of the construction and tear down. It's amazing.
So thankful was I for all the help Terry had, especially from the guys who constructed the secret exit since it was the most work, that I made them all cookies.
I'm so thankful for all the help! Incredibly grateful!