Pack ’em up!

Load your students and a few of their families up for a work weekend “get-away” and see immaturity and character development amass all at once! This was my experience this last weekend.
The youth group went on their annual youth work retreat to Jonah Ministries, a camp and retreat center in Trout Lake, WA. We arrived Friday evening with a group of about 35 energetic, hyperactive, fun-loving youth that ranged from 1 year to 18 and then we had 12 adult leaders. We had a game time, a worship/chapel time, and then free time before bed (at midnight of course!). Then Saturday after eating a delicious breakfast made from the wonderful camp staff we got started with raking a huge field that they have a ropes course on. The tractor-loads of pine needles and garbage that we produced seemed endless. We probably worked about 7-8 hours between mealtimes that day. At the end of the day we had a huge bonfire in the field.
The work that we did was hard, but it felt very accomplishing for all of us. We were engaging in serving the camp and learning about students’ lives and families. We talked about humility (Philippians 2) during the chapel times. Our wonderful youth pastor Shon gave us some wonderful insight into how we can treat each other and have the same attitude as Christ because he is our ultimate display of servanthood. Many of the youth that come on this trip are going on the youth missions team to a Native American reservation this summer. This event is designed to be an experiential learning experience in teamwork so that they will get used to working hard together and see what it will be like for their week-long trip.
I was really excited to grow closer to youth that I knew and get to know others that are new or that I don’t see very much. I would encourage every church to do a trip like this or get families together for an all-church work day because this is a way to create deeper relationships with each other, and become thankful for our gifts of service to one another.

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