Last weekend, some of the youth leaders went up to Fort. We prayed, served, loved, laughed, and got sick. Here's the top ten...
10. Pioneer Restaurant--For the first time (ever), we ate at the Pioneer Restaurant. This restaurant has no known claim to fame. However, our group annually stops to take pictures with the statue in front of the restaurant. This is a tradition we have done with the Project Serve group the last four years. Below, is my first picture of the statue eight years ago (apparently when I thought: I could grow long hair, I was the coolest person on earth (see: the pose) and when I was 200 pounds lighter).
9. Safety Force--TK did a great job of taking a simple privilege that Fort had given him (walkie-talkie) and abusing it. He was told the walkie-talkie was only for use in an emergency/medical situation as he watched the tube hill. Instead, he used talkie to make jokes, cry wolf, and radio in for hot chocolate. Below is a picture of a girl who went down the tube hill without shoes because TK told her "that's the rules":
8. Ace's Uncontrollable Laughter--On Saturday night, Ace lost it. He could not stop laughing. Didn't matter what was being talked about, he couldn't stop. This, of course, caused the rest of us to start laughing. Fact: We weren't very productive during that devotion time.
7. Unity--One thing that I am so thankful to God about is the leaders. God has so blessed the youth ministry and me personally with a great staff of leaders. God has brought men and women with different backgrounds, personalities, and gifts to serve. It amazes me how well these people work together, how they encourage one another in Jesus, and how they are so content for God (and not them) to get the glory. Winners: God (he gets the glory), Me (I get blessed), and the students in the youth group (they see Jesus through them).
6. Don Francisco--As we were taking a rather boring ride to Fort, Bryce got the great idea to listen to Don Francisco as we drove. Soon, the whole van was chanting, "Don Fran-cis-co" and there was nothing I could do but happily oblige.
5. John 15--Over the weekend, we studied John 15 together. This is a wonderful chapter, with many rich themes. Sunday morning, we sat together and discussed things like: God answers prayer, the importance of abiding in Christ, what pruning looks like, the love of God, obedience, real joy, loving others, and the Holy Spirit. These leaders shared deep truths they saw and also how God was working in their lives. Exciting stuff!
4. Banquet Dinner--Lobster. Steak. Moose something-or-other. 'nuff said.
3. One-on-Ones--I got a chance to sit down with several of the leaders and talk to them about how things were going in ministry. I went in wanting to encourage them as they served. I left being encouraged. They love God. They love the students. They are willing to serve God in any way to see that the students grow.
2. Ace's Comeback--Tom, the camp's head honcho, came into the room where all of us leaders were eating to greet our group. He, apparently, was a friend of Ace's and decided to take the opportunity to embarrass Ace in front of his friends. Mistake. What resulted was the single greatest comeback ever witnessed live.
Tom: Hey, I didn't know they let old guys like you up to Fort.
Ace: Look at you.
Tom: Well, at least I'm better looking.
Ace: That's not what your wife said.
Tom: (leaves room)
1. Prayer Time--The best part of the weekend was how it ended. We spent time praying for ourselves, each other, and the group as a whole. There is something about praying together with other believers that is so refreshing. This was one of those times.