For the next couple of days, I will be sharing some notes from the youth weekend retreat “Episode”. I am still learning names, so forgive me if I don’t give too many personal references.
Also, please note I am just getting acquainted with these young minions, so this will not be as detailed as previous camp blogs where I rode with, hung out with, bunked with, and went to activities with … so more next time. It has only been a few months and I am here fir the long haul.
Let me give you some basic details This is a camp designed by a Thomas Road Baptist, but many churches join together and are part of what is going to be a great weekend. It is located at Ridgecrest Camp, the premier Southern Baptist campgrounds snuggled in the mountains of NC. There are over 500 youth campers and 150 or so adults, counselors, helpers, etc.
So, yesterday, yes, yesterday. For this started Thursday when Mac and I went to Midlothian to get the vans. Yesterday the vans arrived on site at EBC. Matt T came by after dark to check trailer options … and wohoo, a trailer was usable with the van.
About 1030a, Dave D (referred to as DD from here on out) arrived on the church scene. He did his walk about and began to prepare for his crew and campers. Food for the pit crew was provided … oh yeah. Well, actually, DD didn’t include me … strike one David. (JK)
5 hours in the car … I wasn’t ready for teen interaction yet, or maybe they weren’t ready for me. So I rode with Lisa in my 4Runner. But, I have to get back early, so all that worked out.
Ridgecrest has changed a bit, but it hasn’t either. Still beautiful scenery, cool mountain air, and pretty much same buildings. Some updates … Lifeway has removed the book store, but there is a gift shop, Roots, for T-shirt’s, etc. Nibble Nook had an upgrade … burgers now too. Coffee Cloud coffee shop. Better gate at entry. And lots of walking … lots of walking. Did I say lots of walking … love it.
Somehow, Lisa and I beat the caravan here. They had too many potty breaks I guess. 5p arrival. Foggy, drizzly, cool air … but again, beautiful. The adults didn’t seemed too frazzled, so the ride must’ve been good.
Guys … 3 rooms downstairs. Gals … 2 rooms upstairs. But in same big building. Lisa and I in the hotel – Laurel Mountain West, top floor.
Dinner was quick and okay … they had Brussels sprouts. I was gonna complain but Matthew B had a whole plate … why? For the love of all that is tasty, why? There was citrus chicken nuggets and fish and pizza and salad and rice and eclair cake. And gourmet chefs doing ice cream floats with Cheerwine (which is nonalcoholic for non Carolinians.)
Our campers identifier is a blue, glittery, boiler hat. It makes our group easy to spot in a crowd. The gals also had face marking. Some had under left/over right dots. Others had over left/under right. I think there is a secret meaning but they refused to share due to some blood vow (jk moms).
DD was getting hyped on the floats and coffee. Sugar and caffeine … he’ll be up a while. He is not as easy to spot as you might think though. Apparently, it’s a youth pastor code to shave your head but grow your beard. Ours will be the one on the sugar high.
Worship was … energetic, geared toward youth, blended in reverence, relational, and revved up. Micah’s music was part original with some mix of artist like John Mark McMillan. Loved his Death was Arrested and How He Loves. Tim Grandstaff from Mosaic in Orlando, shared about ‘standing guard’ with 1 Cor 16.13 as the focus text. He gave the kids a rock … kind of risky, but way creative. It is a physical reminder from a Rambo movie plot line about distractions … so ask your kid about their rock and what it made them think about.
From here, DD had some group time, and I went to bed ( I’ve been up since 2a to take our beloved chair of deacons to airport in Raleigh).
Keep them in your prayers.