Zachary's high school youth group took a retreat last weekend, at a local get-a-way on a lake. The retreat was led by a group called "Reach" who are based out of Yakima, WA. The leaders are recent high school graduates who give a year of service to spreading the faith. They did a fine job, and the kids really connected.
Having sunshine and being together with friends on the lake would naturally lead to swimming. They admitted it was cold, but when a crowd assembles on the shore to cheer you on ("swim across the lake" & "jump in again!" etc.) you have people to please.
Listening to the teens give a short testimony on the highlight of their retreat experience was insightful and included some of these answers:
- Learning to pray with scripture was my favorite part.
- Father's talk on the sacrament of reconciliation was awesome!
- I thought the games were the best.
- Having time to reflect on ways I can pray more means alot to me.
- I learned not to put my shoes so close to the fire!
- I had the most amazing confession I've ever had.
- I really like the way the REACH leaders connected with us.
I had the privilege of providing the meals for the group (as a way to cut costs). Luckily, I had the help of a few friends who are more natural as hostesses, which made it much more enjoyable. I learned that when serving a group of teenagers, you should have an adult in charge of dishing up the meat.
The teens learned how to sing grace to the Star Wars theme song, the Addams Family theme song and to Queen's "We Will Rock You." Easy to be excited about prayer when it involves singing and clapping to a familiar beat.
Zac and his cabin mates cleaned up an exploded fluorescent light tube, which was burst by someone's belt... at 2:30 AM. Hmmm, sounds spiritual! Some were cut by the flying glass, but the opted not to awaken a leader (sleeping upstairs). "We had 4 Life Scouts in the room, Mom, we had it under control." They got the vacuum and cleaned it up, dressed the wounds (or didn't), and back to.... sleep?