Friday, July 11, 2014

Young Life Camp: Washington Family Ranch Day

I recently (as in the last year) became a Young Life leader.  It's been an AMAZING experience. First and foremost, my job is to love young people.  I get to show teenagers that there IS someone who cares about them.  Young Life was founded on Christian ideals, but whether a teen chooses to follow Christ or not, doesn't mean that we love him or her any less.  It's a really incredible organization.

First things first, this YL camp is in a desert canyon.  Yes, you heard me- d e s e r t canyon.  Do you see how lush and green that grass is?  I partially obsessed with it through the week. Yes, I know, adult problems.

Our days were filled with amazing adventures! Many of these pictures were taken during times when leaders were slowing down, so it doesn't even begin to capture half of the things we did and they're completely out of order.

We had a big ol' fancy dinner...a Christmas dinner at the end of the week! We're rocking holiday attire and Christmas sweaters.  It was also incredibly warm on that day, when the week had been unfortunately kind of cold (ironic).

One of my favorite parts about being part of this specific YL group is that I work with some fantastic leaders.  This was everyone who was able to go to camp.  They are great people and sooo inspiring!

The really awesome thing about going to camp, is that you meet people from all over the country.  We had folks representing Montana, Idaho, Orego, Washington, and even Alaska.  What was cool, being an Air Force officer is that we got to meet other Air Force personnel.  The two guys on the left are representing an AF base in Alaska and the guy on the right is a retired pilot.

As leaders, we are expected to do everything the kids do.  It's actually a critical point in being a good leader, not just a good YL leader.  How can you expect people to follow you if you're not up front and ready to go?  I've done so many high ropes courses in my lifetime but I still get nervous for each one.  The key point here is the idea of having faith and trusting one another.  It was a really cool experience and the high ropes summer staff was excellent.  They had us laughing and we were serenading them while scared half to death up on those ropes and wires.  

 Everyday we had a club talk.  When we're not at camp, we have club nights where all the kids meet throughout the school year, we play games, and finish up with a 10-15 minute talk on faith and God.  At camp, the talks are longer and it is so neat to see how each one follows from the day before.  Our speaker, Kent, was amazeballs.  He was incredibly inspiring and funny.  The club talks not only influenced the kids, but the leaders as well.  It was a really great time for me to do personal reflection.

These two lovelies were my one-on-ones, or the ladies that I met up with throughout my time there to talk about life and faith.  It is such a privilege to have someone share their story with me and to also talk about faith was so exciting.  I'm praying everyday for them as they wrap up their high school experience :)

While at camp, you eat  A LOT.  

 It's a full on meal with salad, bread, main course, and even dessert.  The only reason I didn't gain weight because I running after teens all day long.  It really was such a great balance!

We had such a great time and for my first YL camp, it was a phenomenal experience.  I will definitely go more into depth about what I learned while at camp but here was just a taste of what it's like.  If you're interested in learning more, Young Life is an international organization and I would love to share its message with you!

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