Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Spring Retreats Baby

The two weekends after Easter are our high school and middle school Spring retreats. These weekends are high impact, high energy, and great opportunities for leaders to focus on their kids. We go to Rockbridge Young Life Camp, about 4 hours away. Last year, we hired 5 tour buses. It's an overwhelming operation.
We bring a massive number of students and leaders. We also bring a team to run the high ropes course, a kitchen work crew staff and a program/worship team. This year, our youth admin/catalyst is actually also staffing an on-site prayer team. This team will pray during the whole duration of the retreat.
We also run a pre-retreat meeting the weekend before. This helps volunteers get a sense for the schedule, theme and general logistics of how a retreat flows. It's really helpful for first time volunteers. Last weekend, we had about 100 people come to the one that was combined for the upcoming weekends. Probably the biggest thing we did was pray.
I've got a few specific goals for the retreat, since I'm not really overseeing a group of students.
First - the prayer team.
Some of you readers might remember me going along to work on work crew last year, helping serve meals and bus tables when the meals were over. I was tired, it was a LOT of work, but very fun. It was cool to be able to serve the students so tangibly but serving them meals.
CP asked me this year to help with the Prayer Team for the high school retreat. As we talked in the pre-retreat meeting, I realized - this is probably WAY more work than helping with kitchen crew... It's a little daunting, realizing that I am signing up to be part of a group of warriors that are battling against the Evil One and his attempts to grab young lives. Even as I write this, I'm a bit spooked.
I'm going to try to print a big map of the property and bring one of those. We are also going to setup a prayer box right in the program room so kids and leaders can drop their requests and updates in there.
Second - the next iteration of SPACE crew.
I've asked our current SPACE crew kids to think about younger kids (9th and 10th grade) that they know aren't too committed to program already, but might have a sense for helping with SPACE crew. They will talk to them on the retreat about maybe jumping in and being part of the team.
Third - getting to know some more students.
It's just a great time to meet new kids. Last time, I had 5 or 6 significant conversations with kids about mission, so thats always a possibility too.

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