It’s Monday morning, and I feel like I must have been hit by a train this weekend. Soreness everywhere. Our youth group retreat was a huge success. Here’s the play-by-play:
We arrived at Camp Willow Run Friday night just in time to catch the end of the sunset, settled in to our boxcars (the cabins are renovated boxcars… I realize that might sound weird, but it’s actually very cool, :)) and had our first session in our meeting room. We played a few icebreaker games, including Extreme Elves, Wizards, and Giants (it’s like Rock, Paper, Scissors, with different/bigger motions, teams, and chasing.)
We ate some snacks, introduced our lesson theme for the weekend–What You’re Worth–and talked about how we are often our own biggest critic.
Saturday morning we made our way to the dining hall at 8:00 for breakfast–biscuits, sausage, gravy, grits, eggs, cereal, fruit… Mmm. This was the first time I’ve been dairy-free at camp, and it was so tough to turn down those biscuits! After breakfast we met for our second group session. We played telephone charades, which is a hilarious game for those of you who haven’t played it! The clue is given to the first person in line, then acted out person-to-person (getting skewed a bit along the way.) The last person in line guesses.
At one point the boys acted out “going on a first date,” which the last person guessed was, “kissing.” (Parents, you should probably have a chat with your boys ;-)) The girls acted out “whitewater rafting,” which the last person guessed was, “dying on a boat.” Lots of laughs all around! In our lesson that morning we discussed the impact other people have on our sense of self-worth and how we can tune out those negative messages we receive.
Before lunch we played capture the flag–always a favorite with this group.
Headbands, eye black, game faces–we are serious about Capture the Flag.
We ran around in the woods for over an hour, sprinting after opponents, sprinting back to safety after jailbreaks. Only a few band-aids were needed at the end of the game, so I consider it a success 😉 I did manage to sustain a 4-inch cut on the back of my thigh when I was forcefully tagged just before crossing back to my side. Ahem. Battle scars.
For lunch we ate burgers, fries, and fruit cocktail. Power lunch for a busy afternoon! After lunch we went canoeing…
…played nine-square (like four-square, but bigger, and 3-D)…
Nine-square was a huge hit; we may need to invest in some PVC pipes!
…and climbed the wall and braved the Giant Swing…
Whew, it was a full afternoon! For dinner we had spaghetti and salads, then headed back outside to play some more nine-square (yes, every free moment we had was filled with nine-square. To quote one of the boys, “Nine-square is life.” 😉 )
Later that evening we met inside for our third group session. In my last post I mentioned that sometimes we play games whose sole purpose is to make me laugh. Saturday night we played, “Sock Wars.” It was one of those games that could either really be a hit or really flop…and turned out to be hilarious. The object of the game is simple: be the last person with a sock on your foot.
The result was total chaos. It was like the Hunger Games, with socks instead of murder. Some people hid. Some people attacked. Alliances were formed. They were ruthless. Unfortunately I was unable to upload the video, and the photos don’t quite capture the madness, but you get an idea. 🙂
For the sake of not making this post too much longer than it already is (thanks to anyone who is still reading!,) I’ll finish with a Cliff Notes version of the rest of the weekend:
Campfire. S’mores. Third lesson: God is our biggest fan, and we are worth more to Him than we can comprehend. Grog (outside, nighttime game in which one person is the “Grog” and tags people, and everyone else must find hidden pieces of a flashlight, assemble, and defeat the Grog by shining the light on them. In other words, more running around :)) Sleeping hard. Breakfast. Games. Fourth lesson: building up others so they know how much they are worth to God. Nine-square. Home.
It was a full weekend, to say the least. I loved being able to spend quality time with this group–laughing, playing, encouraging. Retreats always remind me what a cool job I have, and what an awesome opportunity I have to be part of the lives of these youth.
They also remind me that I am getting older, and my body can’t endure as much as it once could. Here’s to hobbling around like an old woman for a few days. 😉