Saranac Village Work Crew 2018

     I just had the best month of my life (so far, as my Work Crew bosses continuously reminded us…God has even bigger things planned) on Work Crew at YoungLife’s camp in New York’s Adirondacks; Saranac Village.  I spent a month of my summer, June 23rd through July 21st to be exact, cleaning bathrooms, worshipping, and living alongside forty-ish strangers that were all about my age, and as weird as that statement might sound, it was the best of times.  I’ve been trying to get this post together since I got back and I’ve found that there’s truly no way to recap or write a travel diary that would come close to encompassing my time on Work Crew at Saranac Village.  That being said, today I’m just sharing a few thoughts, memories, and lessons from this insanely memorable month as well as a ton of photos and a video I made.  Enjoy!

     As strong as I felt my faith had grown to be over the course of my high school years, I never truly found my strength in God or talked to Him as frequently as I did on Work Crew.  Yes, Work Crew was a ton of fun, but there comes a point when you’re picking the hair off of what feels like your trillionth shower wall and you just can’t find the will to keep going within yourself, that’s when it comes from Jesus.  Suddenly the reminder strikes you.  The reminder that everything, every single meticulous and disgusting thing you’re doing is for the purpose of showing high school kids like you the unconditional love of God.  Then cleaning toilets become less about how disgusting the bottom of the seat is and more about how you can pray for the open heart of every camper that sits on it.  While from the outside looking in Work Crew seems to be a voluntary service to show campers the best week of their lives at YoungLife camp, being on Work Crew does just as much for the individual volunteering as it does for the campers on the receiving end.  Being on Work Crew gave me a front row seat to some big miracles.  Being on Work Crew gave me a community like no other, one that prayed over people whenever anything went wrong and encouraged people no matter what they were doing.  Being on Work Crew taught me how to be patient with people that I don’t see eye to eye with and how to love people the way God does.  Being on Work Crew gave me new outlook and mission for my community at home.  Being on Work Crew enabled me to grow my faith in ways I didn’t even know where possible.  I can confidently say that I will never be the same.

     I only briefly mentioned that sweet community, but I could talk about each person on Work Crew for days on end.  My love for these people is endless, and I’d do anything to hear Kayla’s loud laugh or see Derren dance in person right now.  I don’t know what I did to deserve such an amazing group of people, but I know God planned for each and every one of us to be on Work Crew at Saranac for session two from the beginning of time.  There’s no other explanation for how every person on Work Crew clicked so well, like puzzle pieces.  God is too good to us and showed up in everyone on Work Crew in the coolest ways this month.  From our cabin huddling on the guide house dock in silence to watch the sunrise at 5:00 a.m. to the housekeeping crew’s late big cookie on Sunday nights, His presence was so clear in every moment.

     I honestly don’t even know what else to say about this month, other than that I’m ecstatic to reunite with everyone on Work Crew in Heaven.  I made the video below to a remix of one of the songs they played on repeat in the dining hall while bussing tables (I loved the song before Work Crew too but that sentimental connection is an added bonus) and I’d be lying if I said the quick flashing of happy faces around the two minute and thirty second mark didn’t bring tears to my eyes every time.  You probably won’t cry nearly as easily as I do since you don’t actually know these people, so I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.

This video was created using iMovie.  All the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens.  The background song is “Take It All Back (BRKLYN Remix)” by Judah & The Lion.

     Below are twenty-four photos from Work Crew.  Yes, I know that’s probably an excessive amount but I was there for a month and the property was stunning and I couldn’t leave any of these memories out.  Sorry!

This might seem strange but I’d really like to close this post in a prayer if that’s alright with y’all.

     Hey God, thank you for my month at Saranac Village.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet and serve alongside some of the best friends I’ll ever have.  Thank you for showing me what it means to be a servant, what it means to be a disciple, and what it means to be a friend.  Thank you for the peak of our Sabbath days and the dirtiest camper bathroom and every moment in between.  Amen.

 Thanks for reading!

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Southwind WyldLife Summer Camp Travel Diary 2018

     I had the privilege and pleasure of accompanying my area’s WyldLife group to Southwind (a YoungLife camp in Ocklawaha, Florida) June 7-11 and boy, was that long weekend a blessing!  This is going to sound crazy (especially if you’ve ever been to weeklong YoungLife summer camp), but I think I might have actually enjoyed leading a bunch of middle schoolers at Southwind for WyldLife summer camp more than I enjoyed the “best week of my life” as a camper at Frontier Ranch for YoungLife camp last summer.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time at Frontier Ranch (watch my video and read my travel diary from the week here), but getting to be behind the scenes in all the fun and hear about why we do each activity that just seems like fun for the camper was so neat.  I also loved playing a part in the growth of those sweet eighth grade girls’ relationships with Jesus.  I’m so excited to be sharing this special time at camp with you today!  Enjoy!

     Much like my Frontier Ranch travel diary last summer, I’m not going to go into a ton of detail on the itinerary of each day at Southwind because that could potentially ruin surprises for any readers that are also going to Southwind this summer, and if you’ve ever been to a YoungLife camp you know that the time is jam-packed with surprises and that the surprises are half the fun!  All that you really need to know about my time at Southwind is that it was truly the sweetest.  The cabin of eighth grade girls I’ve been seeing at WyldLife club all year and led at Carolina Point back in February began to see me less as a chaperone or counselor and more as a leader and friend.  Suddenly I was included in the inside jokes, invited to tag along to the snack bar, asked to make matching friendship bracelets, and became a shoulder to cry on.  When I got on the bus at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday I was hoping and praying that I’d impact these girls in my time doing life with them at Southwind, but they impacted me more than they’ll ever understand.  Their sweet smiles during worship songs (“Rescue” now holds a special place in my heart) and genuinely thoughtful responses in cabin time reminded me what God’s love really looks like.  A relationship with God looks like a tight hug.  It looks like the jumping and screaming of a united cabin after winning a game of octaball.  It looks like deep conversations while learning to weave an anklet.  It looks like the words “I’m so glad you came to camp with me.”

     As per usual at YoungLife camps, the food was impeccable (especially big cookie).  The club speaker, Hancock, was absolutely amazing and used so many neat and unique illustrations of our relationship with God that we hadn’t seen before.  All of the program activities were so fun, even the ones I was a little scared to participate in at first.  As usual, club was definitely my favorite part of camp.  Screaming the words to our favorite songs, watching the program team make fools out of themselves, and hearing the Gospel in a new light never gets old.  See some of my favorite photos from our time at Southwind below!

     Since I’m not describing each day of camp (and also just because making videos is so fun), I’ve included a video below!  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.

This video was created using iMovie.  All the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a Canon EFS 18-55mm lens.  The background song is “By Your Side” by Jonas Blue featuring RAYE.

     I don’t want to end this post without mentioning my YoungLife leader, Townsend, who moved to my area at the start of my sophomore year.  Getting to know Townsend has been such an adventure and such a blessing.  Getting to be her “YoungLife kid,” leader trainee turned co-WyldLife leader, Work Crew trainee, and friend has been a definite highlight of my time in high school.  The energy and love she pours into me has changed my life.  Townsend gave me the opportunity to lead at Carolina Point back in February, then gave me the amazing privilege of coming to Southwind as the only high school age leader from our area this year.  Her faith in me and constant support is the only reason I’m anything close to a good leader to these girls.  The way she’s loved me throughout my high school career is such a model for me in how I love others and how I love my WyldLife girls.  Townsend was in our cabin, Tarpon Point, with me at Southwind and getting to lead the eighth grade girls alongside her was such a joy.  I don’t know if she’ll ever read this, but thank you Townsend for shaping me these past two years.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

Thanks for reading, and more importantly, thank you to the girls of Tarpon Point for the best possible time.  I’m so blessed to be a part of your lives.

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P.S. – All of my pictures posted during/of my travels on my Instagram are under my hashtag, #farawaywithfaith, so be sure to check that out (or even follow it!) throughout the summer to keep track of my adventures!

Off to Saranac Village

     As you can see from the title, I’m going off the grid yet again.  Tomorrow I’m flying to Saranac Lake, New York for Work Crew at YoungLife’s camp, Saranac Village!  I’m so excited to serve for four weeks with lots of friends I haven’t even met yet and without technology distracting me.  However, I hate leaving y’all without new content so I’ve made some arrangements!

     One of my favorite things about blogging is the community of sweet girls I’ve met, and five of them will be helping me post while I’m away!  I’ve scheduled lots of posts to go up throughout the time that I’m gone, but each of these girls have also written their own posts that will go up on my blog!  Emma from Simply IntrospectiveBrooke from Live the Prep Life, Cayleigh from CNPrepster, Olivia from Absolutely Olivia, and McKenzie from Styled by McKenz will all be guest posting on my blog and taking over my Instagram account at one point or another over these next four weeks!  I’m so excited for y’all to read their posts, they’re awesome and I know you’ll love them as much as I do!

     Now, more about Work Crew, because I want y’all to know all about it and pray for me!  I’m going to be what YoungLife has nicknamed a “tawashie,” or part of the housekeeping crew.  I’ll be spending the next four weeks cleaning bathrooms, folding blankets, and helping with lots of other odd jobs.  While that might not sound like the most fun way to spend a month of my summer, doing it in a place as gorgeous as Saranac Village, with people as kind and fun as the other Work Crew kids I’m about to meet, and for a God as good as the one I serve sounds like the best thing I could possibly be doing with my summer.  Several of my YoungLife leaders did Work Crew at various other YoungLife camps while they were in high school and they’re all so excited for me and have spent the past few months telling me just how much fun I’m going to have.  I truly could not possibly be more thrilled to have this opportunity to spend a whole month on a YoungLife property serving God by helping other high schoolers have the same experience I had when I spent a week at YoungLife summer camp at Frontier Ranch in Colorado last summer.  Aside from serving in the form of cleaning and other manual labor, I’ll also be sharing my testimony with kids at camp.  I’m definitely most nervous about this aspect of Work Crew, because while I’m confident in my story and don’t struggle to share my life in writing like I do here, I’m an awful public speaker.  I know my testimony has the potential to impact the kids I share it with, but I’m afraid I won’t present it the right way because I’ll panic.  Please pray for my time at Work Crew and travels in general, but I’d especially like to ask you to pray for the sharing of my testimony.  I need God to ease my nerves and speak through me.

Thanks for reading!  See y’all when I get back!  Look forward to a post (hopefully including a video!) about my experience at Saranac sometime when I get back.

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Off to Southwind

     This post is nothing formal, just a little explanation of what’s going to be happening on my blog and Instagram this weekend!  I’m so excited to be heading to Southwind, a YoungLife camp in Ocklawaha, Florida, for Wyldlife camp this weekend (Thursday to Monday)!  If you’re unfamiliar with Wyldlife, it’s YoungLife’s (the Christian ministry targeted at teenagers which I’m super involved in – read more about their mission here) middle school ministry.  Similarly to how YoungLife is largely led by college students, most of my area’s Wyldlife leaders are high school students, myself included!  I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to lead at summer camp this year and I could not be more thrilled to have the chance to travel to another one of YoungLife’s gorgeous properties with my area’s sweet middle schoolers!  Our time at camp will include lots of fun activities like swimming in a pool and lake, watching hilarious skits, eating amazing food, experiencing a ton of awesome surprises, and learning more about a relationship with God.  Going to a YoungLife camp entails lack of access to technology (excluding cameras) for the duration of our time at camp to exclude distractions from the purpose of going to camp.  That means I physically won’t be able to post on my Instagram or blog while I’m gone, but someone else can!

     While I’m away, I have Cali from A Touch of Southern Style (@atouchofsouthernstyle on Instagram) taking over my Instagram for me (she’ll be posting my pictures I’ve scheduled for her) and I’ve scheduled two blog posts (including my June playlist and a new Scripture Sunday) to go up Friday and Sunday while I’m gone!  Cali is so sweet to do this for me and I know y’all will love her, so definitely check out her Instagram and blog!

     Blogging aside, I would really appreciate your prayers this (long) weekend!  I’m stoked to have the opportunity to be used by God at Southwind and I want to be the very best leader I can be.  Please pray that God would ease my nerves, help me interact well and form strong relationship with my girls at camp, and use me to model a healthy relationship with Him.  I’m definitely more excited than nervous about leading at Wyldlife camp this time around, but I still want to be sure I’m serving as a window to God for the kids at camp, not a window to me.

Thanks for reading, see y’all when I get back!  Look forward to a post (hopefully including a video!) about my experience at Southwind!  Have a great weekend!

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Carolina Point WyldLife Weekend Travel Diary 2018

     The weekend of February 23rd through 25th I had the privilege of traveling to YoungLife’s Brevard, NC camp, Carolina Point, with my area’s WyldLife group as a leader.  This was my first time going to camp as a leader and it was so neat to see the other side of things!  I loved getting to know all the sweet girls in my cabin better and watching them grow in their relationships with God as the weekend progressed.  Today I’m sharing the weekend’s happenings as well as a video in a travel diary!  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 the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens.  The background song is “Feel Good” by Felix Jaehn and Mike Williams.

Friday

     Friday night we arrived around 9:45 p.m. and shortly after dropping my bags in one of  the eighth girls’ cabins I ran with my area’s leaders to the leader lounge for a meeting.  In this meeting we were introduced to all of the weekend’s authoritative roles, including the speaker, camp director, program staff (aka the hilarious people who put on skits and organize the games for club), property staff, and more.  In this meeting we also discussed the schedule for the night and Saturday morning.  After a series of introductions and prayers for the exciting weekend ahead, we were dismissed and joined our middle school friends in front of the club room to anticipate club’s start.  About fifteen minutes later, music began to play and the club doors open.  During club we screamed and danced to a few songs, played games, and heard the talk.  The opening club’s talk focused on the things we pursue instead of focusing on God and the idea that maybe we were meant to pursue the one who created these things.  Following club was the opening cabin time, which was honestly a bit awkward for my cabin (as the first night’s cabin time often is).  Cabin time ended around midnight, so we prepared for bed pretty quickly and went to sleep soon after.

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Saturday

     I woke up around 7:30 a.m. and quietly got ready for the day (my cabin was still sleeping!) before heading to my leader meeting at 8:00 a.m.  In this meeting we picked kids for the games that would take place in club and discussed the planned happenings for the day up to dinner.  When the meeting ended, we went to the dining hall to claim our area’s tables at our first meal at camp.  I have to admit, standing on chairs and dancing to get kids to my table at each meal was one of my favorite parts of the weekend.  If you’ve ever been to YoungLife camp you know that as soon as the dining hall doors open every camper sprints to their leader’s table as though the table was going to stand up and run away.  It was so fun to see that excitement from a different perspective!  We ate some delicious pancakes and the best sausage (anyone else not like sausage unless it’s at YoungLife camp?) while watching the hilarious skit.  After breakfast it was time for the cabin challenge!  Our cabin did an array of activities, including leapfrogging around the pool, push-ups, dancing to YMCA on the dock, and trust falls from the stage to compete for the coveted cabin challenge winning title.

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     When the challenge ended, we went to the club room to wait for the morning club.  I distinctly remember the song selection Saturday morning being so good, including mashups of cartoon theme songs (the Phineas and Ferb theme is such a jam, don’t lie) and the “Banana Song.”  This club talk was one that’s always hardest to hear, the reminder that we are sinners and that there is nothing we can do to redeem ourselves.  In my now five trips to YoungLife camp, I’ve seen kids of all ages struggle with accepting this fact that without Christ’s crucifixion (which isn’t discussed until the Saturday night club at weekend camp) we are helpless.  That being said, the cabin time following this club proved frustrating for some of our girls (expected), but also brought up a lot about where they see Sin in their own lives.  At the conclusion of cabin time, we had about half an hour of free time before lunch.  Lunch was super good as usual (although I forgot what we ate, oops) and the skit led into field games!  Field games included a few fun games I don’t know how to name, a huge tug of war, and flour bombs (which I luckily dodged thanks to having my camera in hand).

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     The end of field games marked the beginning of free time, so I quickly rushed to the cabin with a few of my eighth grade girls to grab our wallets before heading to the camp store. Somehow I managed to buy just one tee shirt and a sticker this trip (that’s a huge accomplishment for a tee shirt lover like me!), but the line was super long so the camp store easily ate up an hour of our free time.  After taking our purchases back to the cabin, we went on the hike with a couple of our area’s head leaders.  The hike was a lot of work but the view was so worth it.  Atop the mountain, we took a few minutes in silence to just talk to God and marvel in the fact that despite His creation of the gorgeous peaks in front of us, He still sees us as His most beautiful creation.  We took a few photos before heading back down the mountain.

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     When we got back to camp, I took a quick shower then hung out with a few girls for half an hour or so before dinner.  We had the best lasagna, green beans, and bread for dinner while watching the climax of the skit.  For dessert we had big cookie, but this weekend they prepared a “s’mores big cookie!”  The famously sweet dish included graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate syrup in addition to the traditional giant, gooey cookie.  After dinner I returned to the leader lounge for another meeting in which we discussed the plans for the night and worshipped as a large group.  When the meeting concluded, I reunited with my area’s girls in front of the club room.  Club was again filled with a ton of fun games, funny skits, and a great talk about the crucifixion of Jesus.  At the end of the club talk, the campers were given an opportunity to silently find a seat around camp and write a letter to God for fifteen minutes.  If you’ve ever been to YoungLife camp, we do something similar (fifteen minutes of silence to talk to God with all of camp’s lights out), but having never gone to camp as a Wyldlife kid it was really neat for me to experience this different take on the fifteen minutes.  When the fifteen minutes ended, the bell rang and we went to cabin time.  My head leader asked me to lead this cabin time, and this particular cabin time after the crucifixion talk and fifteen minutes is always my favorite as a camper so I was so nervous to lead it.  We spent cabin time asking and answering questions about beginning a relationship with Jesus based on the club talk and discussing what the campers though and wrote about during their fifteen minutes.  The five-minutes-to-club bell signaled the end of cabin time and I ran down to the club room with my eighth grade girls.  This particular club included a few “minute to win it” games, the conclusion of the skit series, and a super fun dance party filled with glow sticks and lots of whipping and jujuing.  When the dance party was over I headed over to the Mason Jar (snack bar) with my best friend and co-leader Cammie to purchase some Cheerwine slushies and ice cream.  After we finished our snacks we returned to our cabins and went to bed.

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Sunday

     Sunday morning my head leader, Townsend, woke me around 8:00 a.m. up with a stack of area tee shirts for my cabin.  I passed out the tee shirts as the girls slowly got up in preparation for 9:00 a.m. breakfast (on the last day of YoungLife camp everyone wears their area shirts!).  Breakfast consisted of lots of cereal, biscuits, and good conversations. After breakfast we returned to the cabin for cabin cleanup, in which we finished packing, took out the trash, folded all the blankets, and swept.  As soon as we finished cleaning we went outside to take lots of pictures before our area meeting!  I have to say, we got quite a few adorable shots, I wish I was that cute in middle school!  Our photoshoots ended when it was time for lunch, a delicious platter of chicken sandwiches and French fries.  We watched the meal skit’s conclusion as we finished dinner then packed the bus and headed home.

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I’m so grateful I had this amazing opportunity to lead some of the sweetest middle schoolers around!  If you have the chance to attend or lead at a YoungLife camp, trust me, you should go!  You can read about a few of my other YoungLife camp experiences herehere, and here.  Thanks for reading!

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Windy Gap Travel Diary 2017

     I spent the weekend of September 22-24 at Windy Gap, a YoungLife camp in Weaverville, NC.  I love few things more than going to YoungLife camp and this year’s fall weekend definitely didn’t disappoint.  Today I’m sharing a little travel diary from one of my favorite weekends of the year!  I’m so excited to share this with you, I skipped writing a Windy Gap travel diary last year (I wrote a travel diary about Windy Gap in 2015 that you can read here!) but I seriously love talking about time spent at YoungLife camp.  I’m recapping each day with lengthy descriptions and photos plus I actually made a video this year!  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 clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and either an EF-S 18-55mm lens or a Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens.  The background song is “The World Is Ours” by Jai Wolf.

Friday

    The bus left around 9:45 p.m., just after halftime of our high school’s homecoming football game.  The bus ride was approximately an hour and a half of screaming the words to throwback songs and talking under blankets.  We got to camp around 11:45 p.m., just in time for the first club!  We sprinted to the club room as soon as we dropped our bags in the cabins.  Even in the rush, I love getting off the bus in the dark at Windy Gap and I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous navy sky of stars behind the silhouettes of the tall trees.

     We came into club a little late but came just in time to watch a hilarious skit, sing a couple songs, and send some kids from our area up to the stage to participate in a few games.  The first night’s talk was about how we can’t fix the mess our sin has created and the speaker was amazing all weekend long.  After club, we went back to the cabin for cabin time.

     During cabin time, we talked about the talk and what we learned/found interesting.  I love cabin time, it’s always one of my favorite things about YoungLife camp.  Cabin time gives you a chance to verbally process what you’re learning about Jesus, yourself, and your relationship with Him while getting to know your friends better.  Once cabin time concluded we all got ready for bed and went to sleep.

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Saturday

     Knowing that breakfast was around 9:00 a.m., I woke up at 8:00 a.m. and quickly got ready for the day.  Once I was prepared for one of my favorite days of the fall, I took my friend Emma, who was experiencing Windy Gap for the first time, on a little walk around camp.  I showed her the gorgeous willow tree (literally my favorite tree on this planet), the Sippin’ Parlor where you can find the best birthday cake milkshakes ever, club room entrances, the dining hall, the camp store, and how to get to the zip-line and swing.  After we finished this little tour, we returned to the cabin to walk down to the dining hall with the rest of our friends and leaders to wait for breakfast.  While anticipating breakfast, we took a few pictures.

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     For breakfast we had delicious pancakes and some really good sausage (I don’t even really like sausage but I love YoungLife camp sausage, I swear it’s way better).  Towards the end of breakfast, a continuation of the skit that we saw Friday night introduced the cabin challenge.  The cabin challenge is a list of activities each cabin completes in an approximately ten minute time period for points in competition with the other cabins.  These activities included rolling down the hill, sliding into the lake fully clothed, making a basket from mid-court, and doing ten pushups.  We didn’t win, but the cabin challenge is always super fun, we’ve done it every year I’ve gone to YoungLife camp!

     After the cabin challenge we had about twenty minutes of free time before club.  Club was pretty much the same as the night before; more skits, more games, and more songs.  The talk was great again, talking about the separation from God that our sin has created. The end of club led into cabin time, where we returned to the cabin and again discussed what we heard.  Cabin time ended with the five minute bell, meaning we had five minutes until lunch.

     Lunch included pepperoni and cheese pizza.  The skit continued at the end of the meal and led us into our free time.  Free time was spent packing everything Windy Gap has to offer into a six hour time period.  As soon as lunch was released, I sprinted to the back door of the dining hall with a few of my friends and from there we ran up to the swing.  I love the swing, it puts any other swing imaginable to complete shame.  Once my friend Came and I got off the swing, we changed into bathing suits and zip-lined into the lake.  After the zip-line we went back to the cabin to shower before going to the camp store where I bought a tee and YoungLife blanket (if you don’t have a YoungLife blanket you need to buy one next time you go to camp, they’re made out of the softest sweatshirt material and are very possibly the best thirty dollars you’ll ever spend).  Next we hit the Sippin’ Parlor, where I ordered my annual birthday cake milkshake and it was just as delicious as always.  We enjoyed our milkshakes under the gorgeous oak tree and then took a few pictures on the adorable little island.

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     A couple hours after our little photoshoot, the five minute bell rang and we all ran to the dining hall again.  While we waited a little longer than five minutes we took even more pictures with some of our leaders.  I switched camera lenses in our final minutes of free time before dinner and I just love how these pictures came out!

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     I honestly forgot what we even had for dinner because the memory was overshadowed by the fact that we had the big cookie for dessert.  If you’ve never been to a YoungLife camp this might sound foreign to you, but big cookie is a huge cookie served in a circular pan fresh out of the oven with a ton of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup on top.  It’s so good that no one stops to divide it evenly, everyone just digs in with a spoon.  It’s so much fun and it’s so good.  Once we finished eating the big cookie we met up with our area by the basketball court to get our area tee shirts that we’d be wearing the next day (you’ll see we’re all wearing matching navy tee shirts in the pictures from Sunday and that’s why!) before having a little free time before club.

     The final evening club of YoungLife camp is always my favorite, whether it’s fall weekend or a week at summer camp.  This particular club is used to describe Christ’s death on the cross in immense depth, the kind of depth that makes you wince.  Once the crucifixion is explained, campers are gifted with a fifteen minute period of silence and darkness in camp.  You get to pick a spot, then you just sit and stare at the stars and talk to God.  I love this, I always have.  At this point I’m always reminded of my amazement that the same God that made those stars made me, and even though He blessed me with all of this I still sin and turn my back to Him, yet He still wants me.

     Once the fifteen minutes were up, a bell rang and the camp turned the lights back on.  We all walked back to our cabin for the most personal and emotional of the cabin times.  This year’s wasn’t nearly as tear-jerking as some of my past years’ cabin times have been, but it was equally as eye-opening.  When cabin time concluded, we were led back to the club room where some of the leaders from various counties present that weekend were putting on skits.

     These were some of the absolute funniest things I have ever seen, my stomach hurt from laughing so much.  At the end of the skits, we had a big camp dance party and were then told that Tim Halperin, our camp musician for the weekend, would be having a little concert in the club room about an hour later.  Tim Halperin was so good (he was actually on American Idol at one point, be sure to check him out on iTunes!), I especially love his song “Hey 17.”  His concert ended the night, so when it was over we walked back to our cabins and got ready for bed.

Sunday

     I woke up at 7:00 a.m. to go on a little walk with one of my YoungLife leaders, Adrian, before her morning leader meeting.  We ended up sitting in rocking chairs in front of the Sippin’ Parlor and reading the Bible.  It was so nice to have some one on one time with Adrian and to just open up the word!  Around 7:45 a.m., Adrian had to go to her meeting so I walked back to the cabin and began to change into my area tee shirt and actually get ready for the day.

     Around 8:30 a.m. our cabin walked down to the dining hall to get some coffee and wait for breakfast.  Our delicious breakfast included biscuits, eggs, grits, and bacon.  When breakfast was over, we went to the club room for “say so’s.”  Say so’s are a little period of time in the club room with some music playing in which campers who have accepted/recommitted to Christ can stand up and say so.  I love getting to clap for and congratulate my friends and all the other campers who are making such a big step!

     Once say so’s finished, we went back to the cabin to clean up and pack.  When we finished cleaning and packing we took all of our bags to the bus then returned to the basketball court to hang out with the rest of the people from our area.  We then went to the leader lounge for an area meeting before taking a group picture of everyone from our area in front of the camp store.  Shortly after, the five minute bell rang for lunch.

     For lunch we had sandwiches and some really good chocolate chip cookies.  The skit concluded on stage as we ate and once we finished eating we walked up to the buses to leave.  It was such an awesome weekend and I was so sad to see it end!

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If you ever get the chance to go to YoungLife camp you need to go!  You can read about a couple of my other YoungLife camp experiences here and here.  Thanks for reading!

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