Sixth Annual Exit 456 retreat helps Tweens grow closer to the only true superhero, Jesus Christ


In early March, more than 300 4th, 5th and 6th graders, local church children and youth directors, volunteers and pastors embarked on Camp Sumatanga for the Exit 456 Retreat. This year marks the 6th year for this annual retreat designed for Tweens.

Exit 456 is exclusively for students in 4th through 6th grade. The weekend includes worship, large group and small group sessions, as well as time to fellowship and bond with other Tweens from around the conference.

This year worship was led by the band Wings of Hope from Cullman, Alabama. They provided an amazing worship experience for the students as well as adults.

Large group sessions were led by Youth Directors and lay persons from within the North Alabama Conference. Each session was based on this year’s theme of “Jesus is my Superhero.” The talks focused on traits of different superheroes but all led back to the only TRUE superhero, Jesus Christ.

Exit 456 is designed and led by a group of volunteers that spend approximately 10 months preparing, choosing speakers, etc. to provide the best experience for these Tweens.


Here are just a few of the things the leadership team heard from participants during this year's event:

  • Somebody must have prayed over my bed because I slept amazing ~ 5th Grade Girl (She didn't know but leaders did pray over every bed)
  • I went to tell my girls lights out and they were praying for each other ~ Adult Chaperone
  • You should change the name to Exit 4567 so I can come back again ~ 6th Grade Girl
  • Camp Sumatanga is as close to heaven as you can get on earth ~ Youth Director
  • My kids were so excited for Saturday they couldn't go to sleep. Isn't that great? ~ Adult Leader
  • Jesus is in my sole ~ 4th Grade Girl (She did spell it that way)
  • This was the best thing I have ever done ~ 5th Grade Boy


Team leader Mike Arnold of Cullman First UMC says, “We are very excited and already planning for next year's retreat, MORE, which will be held March 17-18. We will learn how we can always Pray MORE, Love MORE, Give MORE, Serve MORE and Do MORE!”

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