Monday, June 26, 2006

SPACE Mission Advance 2006

I'm back from Mission Advance 2006. There is so much to tell, but although exhausting as it was, it was definitely worth it.

The two big goals for the weekend was to have the teams bond together by spending time together and give the students a bit of preparation about culture, teams and their summer trips. Every piece of the weekend was centered around these two goals.

Fri 09.30p arrive
Fri 10.00p intro and worship
Fri 10.30p team time
Fri 11.00p snack
Sat 12.30a lights out
Sat 09.00a breakfast
Sat 10.00a team build 1
Sat 11.00a team build 2
Sat 12.30p lunch
Sat 02.00p team build 3
Sat 03.30p free time
Sat 06.00p dinner
Sat 07.30p mission workshops
Sat 09.00p worship
Sat 10.00p snack
Sat 11.00p leader mtg
Sat 12.00a lights out
Sun 08.30p breakfast
Sun 10.00p close
Sun 11.00p depart

Team Building
Team Building 1 was a sand castle contest between four summer teams. Each team was given a bucket filled with random, obscure objects that D and I got from the dollar store. Their objective was to build a sandcastle using those objects. The activity was meant to be fun and light-hearted, to get teams working together and give them a bit of time on the beach. It went really well. The leaders decided to just let the students do the activity together while the leaders formed their own team and built their own castle. This was fun for the leaders, although it didn't give them the opportunity to observe how their teams were working [or not working] together. I didn't think about it, but I should have made sure they were watching their teams.
Team Building 2 was having the teams go through an activity called Lost At Sea. Some of you may have seen this before. It's an exercise in decision making and the intention is to show how working as a team usually results in better decision making compared to making the decision by yourself. Most teams enjoyed it although since this was a sit down exercise, we probably could have had more fun doing another interactive, outside activity. See for the whole exercise.
Team Building 3 was meant to get the teams out on the boardwalk of Rehoboth Beach, doing some kind of light service project outside of camp, and taking some risks as a team. The ideas included filling up parking meters with some change that were close to expiring, serving and blessing some kids and families at Rehoboth Beach's Fun Land by giving them some free tokens, picking up some trash at the beach, and starting a soccer or volleyball game with some strangers on the beach. The Cam team played skeeball most of the time [no, not really.] Actually, we had an intersting discussion about who on the boardwalk would be a 'person of peace.' Most of these ideas worked well, but the weather was overcast and rainy. Fun Land was definitely a great place to see kids serve people they didn't know.

MMaloy told this story at dinner:
"Some guy was playing a game and his game finished. Someone from our team came and gave him a token to put into his game. His game finished again and someone else from oru team gave him another token. "This is the second person that has done this to me today!" "

Mission Workshops
JGuy - the ideas of obedience, prayer and trust on your missions trip.
MMaloy - how do you define success on your missions trip.
N and B Rmsing - culture - what is it and how can do we relate to it.
They were all excellent and the students appreciated the different topics and perspectives. The timeslot, being late in the day, was not optimal, but that was due to a last minute logistics change.

Cape Henlopen State Parks, in the youth group camping section.

The weather had some fun with us this weekend. Ideally, a weekend without rain would have been perfect. But Sunday was literally washed out, with rain and thunderstorms all night long Saturday night and flash flooding warnings during our whole drive home. In fact, part of the trip home was driven through a quarter mile of highway with water 2-3 feet deep.
I had been planning a kind of send off thing for the leaders to be part of on Sunday morning. It would have involved leaders annointing there students with a drop of oil on their foreheads and praying over the students as we worshipped on the beach, with no rain. Unfortunately, it didn't stop raining and our worship leader broke a string on his guitar. So that plan fizzled.

"I think this was my summer missions trip." - D [whose help in the kitchen was immense.]
"Adaptability is what it is all about." - N Rmsing

My two favorite parts - the mission workshops and our short leader gathering Sat night. I loved being able to bring some guys and gals with some good expertise and giving them a chance to share with these students. And I loved being able to share and hang with these leaders. Again, I can't tell these guys and gals enough how much I appreciate what they are going to do this summer.

Photos: All of SPACE Mission Advance; the Baltimore Merge team; the LC team during one of the workshops; the LA team admist the floods; most of the summer leaders. More photos at my 20060623missionadvance tag.

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