This was the theme of the weekend (Sept. 23-25, 2016) with times of worship, speakers, small group conversation, and plenty of time for fun. Oh, and the food was pretty good too.
This was my first time at the middle school youth retreat at Castaway Camp in Detroit Lakes, MN. I am glad I was able to go and see what it was like. With one youth we partnered up with another group which was great as well and nice to have other leaders who had been there before. They filled me in on not staying next to the door entrance when the fog horn above it is blown for meal time. Much appreciated!
I spent some time helping the line of youth get harnesses and helmets on to experience the giant swing. There was also a climbing wall there as well if you were looking for some adventure and wanted to wear a helmet. The giant outdoor hot tubs were pretty popular as well. All this outdoor fun along with basketball, soccer, volleyball, frisbee, gaga ball, and inflatables that were set up. Then indoors there were pool tables, ping pong, foosball, 4 square, and a coffee shop if you wanted to stay indoors. This was great because it did get a little cooler and wet later on Saturday. I headed back Saturday night so that I could still preach and lead worship on Sunday.
Here is a picture of my tie dye shirt. It turned out better than I thought. Again I am amazed by color and those little things like how yellow and blue make green. I think the basic equation on the shirt is sound. Sometimes, in the sound bite culture we live in we want things short and sweet but sometimes they are a bit bigger and more complicated than we want to acknowledge. Also in this boundless and nonstop information age there are many voices and everything can seem pretty complicated but really we can indeed keep it pretty simple. I enjoyed relating both ways as speakers invited us into their lives and family and what it was like for them to adopt children from across the globe and how we can share stories in a new way with technology and images. We can also take turns telling the story and reading scripture all of which bring some new engagement with something that may seem distant, unfamiliar, or too familiar. It was a good time to be connected and have some fun.