Fallout. A high school Campus Life trip. Campus Life is a youth outreach ministry through Youth For Christ. The first weekend of every December we take a trip to Salt Fork State Park in Ohio. We stay in cabins with kids from our Campus Life Club and have different activities at the lodge. Activities range from jamming out with the band, listening to the speaker, playing manhunt, taking nature walks along the lake, small group discussions and other random games. The whole weekend is jam packed full of fun and games all with a central message about Jesus.
Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator
When I was asked to be a leader for this weekend, I was excited, but surprised because I was asked to come four days before the trip. I was told that I would be leading with one of my old leaders and we would have freshman girls. Not just any freshman girls, but the freshman girls that I led when they were in middle school last year when I helped with middle school Campus Life. I was nothing less than excited to spend my birthday weekend leading and growing with these girls.
Little did I know how funny freshmen were. I completely forgot what it was like to be a high school freshman. Pure, innocent, excited for everything, happy. I've never seen a group of four girls so excited to be in a cabin in the middle of no where. It made me try to remember my first Fallout trip. I was just as excited. Right from the get-go we started to have some really funny moments with sassy comments that are now memories and I felt the need to share them (with their consent). So here's how my weekend went with four freshman girls.
Once we arrived at the cabin, my co-leader and I told them that they needed to get their bathing suits and get ready to head up to the lodge for club and a pool party. April, my co-leader and I began to hear chatter of a crisis. The crisis was bathing suits issues. Their suits weren't fitting right and worries of being too revealing came about. I offered to let them try my suit on, but they all had brought two or three suits (who knows why) so they some how got it figured out.
After club and swimming, they put their clothes on over top of their bathing suits and started to walk to the car. Except they were mad that their sweatpants were getting wet from their bathing suit bottoms so they decided to walk like awkward ducks and ran all of the way to the car. We called it, "The Awkward Duck Run". They then left wet butt marks on the seats of April's car.
When we got back to the cabin we talked about a large variety of things. We talked about about birthing videos in health class. We discussed high school freshman problems versus college freshman problems. We also found out that the one girl had potentials to be a therapist after she told one of the other girls, "Repeat after me, 'I am beautifully and wonderfully made.'" Around bed time, April and I scared the girls by pounding on their door around 1:30 a.m and they screamed like lunatics (we got a video). About 20 minutes later, one of the girls popped their head into our room and went, "AH!" but not loudly enough to scare or even startle us. She said, "There, now we're even" and left. April and I couldn't help but laugh.
We had some grumpy girls in the morning even though we made them cinnamon rolls. They took three years to get ready and April and I only took 10 minutes. As we drove up to the lodge they complained about the cold and having to walk down steps even though we drove to the lodge instead of walking. We told them, "Geez, life is so hard."
On the way back to the cabins, we fit 15 people in a small SUV and jammed out to 'Shut Up And Dance." When we got back, we sat in the cabin asking impossible 'Would you Rather Questions' with another cabin group and some how we ended up talking about jumping into the lake. One of the freshman said she'd pay someone $20 to jump in the lake. One of the juniors actually did it. She jumped in the freezing cold lake for $20. We were happy she didn't go into shock or anything because none of us leaders wanted to go in after her, but of course we would of if we had to.
Tacos were for dinner, followed by club at the lodge with more games, music and 'No Talent Night"; where kids with and without talent performed. Some kids made a human sandwich, while others ate dry cereal, yet while others performed songs and raps. We listened to the speaker and decisions were made amongst the students. Many of them decided to follow Christ for the first time and others decided to recommit. We had conversation and prayed with the girls and encouraged them to confide in one another throughout this journey.
The weekend was fun and exhausting, but powerful. To be around energetic, excited, innocent and loving girls was refreshing. To be around their joy and happiness was overwhelmingly wonderful. To know that the harsh and bitter world hasn't quite affected them yet, was nice. They're so excited about life and what God has in store for them. After spending the past four months at a university full of stressed, bitter, and overwhelmed college students, I enjoyed spending the weekend with these girls and sharing the Gospel with them. Though they were sassy and had 'snarky' remarks, they taught me so many things, and gave me a lot to think about in my own life. One thing to remember for sure is that each of us are "beautifully and wonderfully made."