The first was back in November. We were scheduled to take the Followers students (grades 3-5) about an hour south of Hayward to Skate City (roller skating rink) and it had snowed considerably the night before (and was still snowing). The decision was fairly easy: it’s dangerous to drive in conditions that are questionable with other people’s kids. While I think we would have been fine (busses are incredibly resilient in “questionable” situations), it was smart and wise to take the cautious route.
The second situation was last Friday night. We had a Winter Lock-In for middle school and high school students scheduled to start @ 9pm and end @ 7am the following morning. I didn’t realize how much snow was accumulating in Hayward (and we are used to snow in our area, by the way) that day until a couple of hours before the Lock-In. The high school pastor, Loretta, and I met at the church at our designated time and talked through what the plan was. We wondered if we should cancel the event because of the snow. After all, if we did cancel, we would be turning away people who already successfully braved the inclement weather, why wouldn’t we just keep the event active? Besides, the students would be in the church building all night long, what would snow do to hurt them or cause danger?
Loretta and I ended up making the decision to cancel (knowing how bummed the students would be … we were expecting over 100 students, by the way) because of what the roads and access to the church would look like in the morning. We were worried that after a long evening hanging out with students all night long (10 hours!) we might have students that couldn’t get home by that morning.
We were right about a couple of things: 1) the students (and their parents) were really bummed! and 2) there was lot of snow in the morning (more than we thought we were going to get) and the roads didn’t get plowed until late mid-morning.
While cancelling an event is never a popular decision, it is often the “right” decision taken upon by responsible and caring adults who (hopefully) are thinking wisely through multiple factors and implications in order to keep children safe and sound.
What do you think?