It all started that one Sunday night that my mom made me go to youth group, the night my life would never be the same. This is the night I met my people, and the night I realized what it meant to be a youth group go-er. Maybe it was the free pizza, the worship, the ridiculous icebreakers, or the youth conferences, but I knew I had found my place.

If you grew up as a youth group-groupie, you may have followed these ten commandments almost as strictly as Moses'.

1. Thou Shalt Always Accept Free Food

There are three significant times food comes into play at youth group: 1) when it’s your mom’s night to bring the whole squad food and she says she’s going to make some weird food that no one will like. Operation Padre John kicks in and pizza must be ordered. 2) When your youth ministers bribe you to volunteer with free food and 3) Post Youth Group McDonalds and Skyline trips.

2. Thou Must NEVER go about purpling

Everyone knew that girls are red and boys are blue and that purple is most definitely out of bounds. This was a scary line to cross and an ongoing joke amongst the years. If all else fails, probably just become a priest or a nun.

3. Thou Shalt Be Fluent in Church Puns & Jokes

A few of my personal favorites are “At what time of day was Adam created? A little before Eve,” and “How does Moses make his coffee? Hebrews it.”

4. Thou Shalt Know Every Word To "Oceans" by Hillsong United

The number of times this song or something to do with it was the theme of one of the retreats we put on is innumerable, but truly, it never gets old.

5. Honor Thy Youth Pastor, But Always Prank Them

Whether it is hiding cut-outs of your priest’s face throughout the parish, saran-wrapping everything, or turning everything upside down in their office, the pranks are the best. We do it because we love them, and they know that.

6. Keep Sacred Thy Inside Jokes & Traditions

If you’re from my church and you don’t know what underwater basket weaving, pie-ing Grant in the face, cool girl #2, Bucket Hat Deacon, or Canoe Tipping is, then you’re simply not doing it right.

7. Thou Shall Not Miss a Youth Conference

These are sometimes for serious memory making, time away from home, in dorms, or even better, church floors.

8. Thou Shalt Always Give Your Testimony

If you are asked to give your testimony at a retreat, that is one thing, but to have the spontaneous opportunity to share with others how incredible the God you love is, that is something completely different.

9. Thou Must Always Participate in FourSquare and Weird Food Contests

Being the King of the Square is not just any old title. It is THE title. And eating mashed up graham crackers, ketchup, honey, pickles, a brownie, and a piece of ham in one bite is normal. The weirder the better, I guess?

10. Thou Must Keep Sunday Evenings Holy

“Yeah sorry, Betty, I have youth group Sunday night, I can’t hang out.” This also meant a break from homework on Sunday night. Sunday’s are for the Group.

If there is one thing I will always remember, it is that "Thou Shall Not Forget The Memories."