Frontier Ranch Travel Diary 2017

This past Sunday afternoon I returned from what is constantly referred to as “the best week of your life”; YoungLife summer camp.  I was beyond excited to be going to Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, CO, but I had no idea just how much the week would surpass my expectations.  I did crazy things I never thought I’d get the chance (or have the guts) to do while learning tons about myself, my friends, and God’s love.  Today I’m thrilled to finally share this week with you all.  I was originally going to go into detail on each day, but if you’ve ever been to YoungLife camp, even for just a weekend, you know it’s always full of surprises.  I obviously don’t want to ruin any surprises for my readers who might be going to Frontier Ranch this summer or in the future, so instead I’m sharing a video I made along with some of my favorite pictures!  The important thing for you to know about my time at Frontier Ranch is that the food was delicious, the activities were fun, the skits were hilarious, the people were nice, the work crew was awesome, the speaker was incredible, and God’s creation surrounding the camp was absolutely breathtaking.  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the underwater/pool clips were taken with a FujiFilm FinePix XP120 and all the rest of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a EF-S 18-55mm lens.  The song used is Line of Sight by ODESZA featuring WYNNE & Mansionair.

I’m sure you noticed the change in audio in the last thirty seconds or so of the video.  You were listening to my favorite part of the message that our wonderful speaker, Andy, gave on top of the mountain that we hiked (the quality of the audio sounds weird because it was recorded on top of a windy mountain plus Andy was talking with a megaphone).  He told us about how God views us as His most beautiful creation, and that statement was so powerful for me as we were staring in awe at the gorgeous Rocky Mountains that God created.  Out of everything we heard last week, the overall message that stuck out to me is that my purpose is to be loved by God.  God loves us despite our mistakes and sins.  He gave us this incredible, beautiful world to enjoy and we turned our backs to Him.  To break the barrier that our sin created between Him and us, He sent Jesus to pay the ultimate cost for our sin, death.  Even after that huge sacrifice that He made, we continue to turn away from the best relationship we could ever be a part of.  Not only does God still want a relationship with us despite that, but He is willing to meet us in the middle.  Andy simplified this concept and told us that forming a relationship with God is as easy as the ABCs.  A is for admitting that we are imperfect sinners.  B is for believing that God loves us and through that sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins and break the barrier between us and Him.  C is for coming home to God, because a relationship with Him is where we belong.  We were made for this.

Here are some of my favorite photos of the week!

IMG_0272.JPG

IMG_0390.JPG

IMG_0261.JPG

IMG_0396.JPG

IMG_0392.JPG

IMG_0402.JPG

IMG_0401.JPG

IMG_0256.JPG

IMG_0393.JPG

IMG_0389.JPG

IMG_0400.JPG

IMG_0386.JPG

IMG_0269.JPG

FullSizeRender.jpg

IMG_0391.JPG

IMG_0387.JPG

IMG_0385.JPG

IMG_0254.JPG

IMG_0255.JPG

IMG_0398.JPG

If you ever get the opportunity to go to YoungLife camp, whether it’s for Work Crew, a week in the summer, or fall weekend, you really should go.  YoungLife has been so incredibly beneficial for me in my faith and nothing opens my eyes to God’s love more than time at camp.  This week at Frontier Ranch was my fourth time on a YoungLife property and I’ve yet to have an experience that was anything less than wonderful.  This was seriously the best week of my life.

Thanks for reading!  If you’d be interested in more YoungLife camp themed posts, such as “Things I Wish I Knew Before YoungLife Camp” or “Ten Things You Should Bring to YoungLife Camp,” please comment below, shoot me a direct message on Instagram (@apocketfuloffaith), or email me at apocketfuloffaithblog@gmail.com.  I love nothing more than talking about YoungLife, especially YoungLife camp, so I’d be more than happy to do more posts about it!  Another quick reminder, all of my pictures posted during/of my travels on my Instagram are under my hashtag, #farawaywithfaith, so be sure to check that out throughout the summer to keep track of my adventures!

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM

See You Soon!

Hey everyone!  This isn’t a formal post, just a quick little announcement and explanation of what will be happening on my blog and Instagram over the next week.   I am so excited to be heading to Frontier Ranch, a YoungLife camp in Colorado, today and I know I will have a ton of fun.  The camp includes so many fun activities like mountain repelling, swimming, go kart driving, horseback riding, and of course worship at club.  However, our phones (and other non-camera electronics) will be taken up on our way there, so I will not have access to my Instagram or blog until the return trip next Sunday.  I am more than happy to take a break from electronics, but I don’t want to leave you all without any new content for a week.  With that being said, I have blog posts scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and next Sunday and one of my good friends made through blogging, Olivia (from the Instagram account @faithandliv and the YouTube channel Olivia Stepp), will be taking over my Instagram, reminding y’all of my new blog posts, and announcing a huge giveaway in my absence!  I know her Instagram posts will be great and you all will love her as much as I do.  I couldn’t be more excited to be spending this week at YoungLife camp and I know I will write a post (and hopefully make a video) about it soon after my return.

I hope you all have a wonderful week, see you soon!

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM

5 Things I Learned During Work Crew Weekend at Carolina Point

This past Sunday I returned from a weekend at Carolina Point, a YoungLife camp in Brevard, NC.  I went with several of my peers to serve at Family Camp Weekend and it was so much fun!  I worked in the camp store and as a server.  I had an awesome experience and today I’ll be sharing five things that the experience taught me.  Some of these are life lessons I won’t forget for a long time, while others are just pieces of knowledge I learned about YoungLife camps in general.  I have also included some pictures from my weekend working at Carolina Point, so if you make it to the end of the post you’ll see them!  I know this is a little different than most of my blog content, but I hope you enjoy this post!

  1. So much work goes into every meal at YoungLife camps. – I’ve been to Windy Gap twice and as a camper I’ve never noticed that in each meal every napkin is facing the same way, every chair is right across from another, and every other piece of each table setting is perfectly and precisely arranged from table to table.  We as servers set all of the tables before each meal and there are so many little things you don’t even realize go into the preparation for the campers.  YoungLife work crews work super hard to guarantee that the campers won’t think about anything going wrong and can put all of their focus on the message being shared with them.  Everything down to the butter packets in each dish is organized oh so carefully and participating in the set up for each meal this weekend will make me appreciate all of it so much more on my next YoungLife camp trips.
  2. Mark 10:45; No one is “too good” to serve others. – My group memorized this verse and I’m working on applying it to my every day life.  The verse says “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  Out of this verse I have gathered that if Jesus wasn’t above serving others (and actually served us all in the most extreme way possible) I certainly shouldn’t act like I am either.
  3. Hard work isn’t so hard to get through when you’re with your friends. – I went to work crew with my school’s YoungLife group, so I got to serve alongside a few of my closest friends.  Having them around not only made the preparation and cleaning process quicker, but it became so fun.  We sang songs together, shared lots of laughter, and made up handshakes as we worked, it was great.
  4. Thank you’s are great, but making someone smile is better. – As I mentioned in the introduction, we served during Family Camp Weekend.  There were a ton of families with kids in a wide range of ages present, and serving these children was so fun!  While it was obviously great to be thanked when I brought out the food or refilled a pitcher, seeing the big smiles on a few little girls’ faces as we brought out the food filled my heart with the purest joy.
  5. The work is worth it. – On Saturday alone, we were awake and working from 7:30AM to 9:00PM.  In this time we (we meaning the servers, this doesn’t even cover what our school’s cooks, pits, and outdoor crew did) set the tables, poured drinks into carafes, put out condiments and other presets, brought out the food, served families, bused tables, and cleaned like we never have before, three times.  In our very little downtime, we got to enjoy a little of Carolina Point and share some Scripture.  We bought a couple tee shirts in the camp store, drank Cheerwine slushies, played a little ping pong, and utilized the go-karts.  At the end of the weekend, all the hard work was worth it and there was no denying that we all had a ton of fun.

As usual, I took my camera with me everywhere all weekend.  Here are some pictures we took!

5E9148F0-C029-4897-BD5D-AD2386C45B4F.jpg

DE441290-BEF5-49CD-9CF4-802203B3E517.jpg

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

D3EAC2E6-2553-4207-AA9E-0999A4193744.jpg

02C6C4F1-7F23-4CE2-992C-D6A627B590F4.jpg

080E67BA-D679-4356-ABED-6F5D15D8E8CA.jpg

79376D5E-95BF-4633-A6EA-E1467EA3507E.jpg

D18909FF-E7FD-4ACC-9615-693F3012D930.jpg

E57B1731-4611-44D3-BBBB-5DC5DF803E3C.jpg

B6A4BF18-AEF3-426A-A679-B9B4A4D68023.jpg
A31C7BD9-86D0-470B-B907-D0E09B99D657.jpg

37251438-BE53-4F9D-A19A-65D500BBCBA2.jpg

794647EC-85C8-4EB2-8763-4588B6A4374B.jpg

99AA158C-E625-4FFC-B3BE-B699A08ECE66.jpg

DF98FF27-7D6F-420C-94F8-2F69FCDF724A.jpg

8AADDB9A-6382-4191-8C97-ED7442A07BFF.jpg

EF2B30B2-EAFB-4BB8-8847-8E32595EA32A.jpg

If you ever get the opportunity to serve as part of the work crew at a YoungLife camp, take it!  Don’t go into it expecting it to be all fun and games, but know that you will be impacted in ways you didn’t even imagine.  Thanks for reading!

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM

Windy Gap Travel Diary 2015

First of all, I would really like to apologize for my extreme lack in posts lately.  I’ve had a ton of tests and extracurricular activities.  I’ve spent the past week working on my grade’s homecoming float from 3:30 to 5:30 everyday and I went to Windy Gap with my YoungLife group last weekend, so today I thought I would tell you all about that!

Last Friday, September 18th, we all piled onto a bus and drove to Windy Gap for fall weekend.  If you don’t know what/where Windy Gap is, it’s a YoungLife camp located in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.  Windy Gap is absolutely gorgeous; it has a small lake and is encircled in mountains.  When we were about fifteen minutes from Windy Gap, our cell phones were taken up, so all of the pictures/videos you’re about to see were either taken on my friend’s GoPro or by the camp photographer.  I had the best weekend of my life, and now, I’ll tell you why.

Friday

When we got to Windy Gap late Friday night, it was absolutely stunning.  Even in the dark, you could see the outline of all the mountains among the stars.  The buildings’ lights reflected on the lake and it was just gorgeous. After exploring the area and settling into our cabin, we went to club.  Club is a lot like our weekly YoungLife meetings, only 10x more fun and exciting.  In club, we sing and dance to lots of songs (both Christian and popular,) watch skits performed by YoungLife leaders from the different groups that attended, play games, and listen to a sermon.  After club, we went back to our cabin and had cabin time, a time that the girls in our cabin talked about what we got out of the sermon and what it meant to us.  After cabin time, we showered and went to bed.

Saturday

Saturday morning, we got up early, took a few pictures and went to breakfast in the dining hall with the rest of the camp.  The food at Windy Gap is amazing.  During breakfast, we watched more skits and played double tap at our table.  After breakfast, we had cabin competition.  We were given a small slip of paper that had a list of things to do, like sliding into the lake or burying our cabin leader in the sand on the volleyball court, and their point values, then we had to go do as many as we could in a set amount of time!  Once time was called on the cabin competition, we went to club again.  As always, after club we walked back to our cabin and had cabin time.  When the bell rang, we all ran down to the dining hall excitedly for lunch.  After lunch, we had about six hours of free time.  Windy Gap has so much to do, including a zip line, giant metal slide that goes into the lake, volleyball court, pool, basketball court, and a giant swing that goes through the forest that I just don’t know how to explain without showing you (watch the video below).  Closer to the end of our free time, we went into the Windy Gap store to pick up a few tee shirts and stickers before taking a shower and getting ready for dinner.  Shortly after we finished cleaning up from our adventures, the dinner bell rang.  While we were waiting to get into the dining hall, we took a few more pictures on Scout’s GoPro.  After dinner, we ran to the club room where we had club again.  All of the messages over the weekend were so good, but this one was special.  The preacher described all of the things that Christ endured for us all during the crucifixion in such great detail, I was close to tears.  At the end of the message, everybody at Windy Gap walked outside and found a place to sit and pray.  As soon as everyone found a spot, all of the electricity in Windy Gap was turned off.  It was so cool to have that time to just look up at all of the beautiful stars with no distractions and talk to God.  At the end of this time to pray, a bell rang and we all walked back to our cabins for cabin time.  During this particular cabin time, we talked not only about what we got from the message, but what we prayed about as well.  A bell rang at the end of cabin time and we walked back to the club room where we played a ton of games before we were directed to the gym.  Once we walked into the gym, we were handed glow sticks and directed into a giant tarp tunnel.  Inside the tunnel, loud dance music was played and black light shined.  Up until this moment, we had no idea we had walked into a YoungLife rave.  This tunnel put all of those elementary P.E. class parachute games to shame, it was so much fun.  After the rave, we went back to our cabins and went to bed.

Sunday

Sunday morning, we got up early again to attend breakfast.  Before we left for breakfast, we were given our group shirts (hence everyone in the picture below matching.)  After breakfast, we went to one last club.  At the end of club, we went back to our cabins to have cabin time and finish packing to leave.  Once we finished packing, we took a few more pictures in Windy Gap before packing the bus and leaving.

Windy Gap was without a doubt one of the best weekends of my life.  I feel so much closer to God and all of the girls in my cabin!  I am so glad I went and I would highly suggest going too if you ever get the chance.  YoungLife is the most fun Christian youth program I have ever been a part of.  I can’t wait for my next YoungLife fall weekend!

Thank you so much for reading!  I hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventures in Windy Gap!

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM