Monday, April 4, 2016

Elevate Youth Group Rocked It!

We had a marvelous camping retreat with the remarkable Elevate Youth Group of Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater! Our remote base camp was beautifully positioned on the banks of Withlacoochee River surrounded by enormous oak trees, scenic palm trees, and deliciously scattered with orange trees. Although we got hit with torrential thunderstorms on Saturday it didn't dampen the adventurous spirits of this highly motivated fun group of high schoolers. They were so much fun and were ready for all of our outdoor activities, even in the rain! And these students were incredibly helpful and hard working. From the moment they got off the bus they were ready to take on the physical challenge of setting up camp. I can't tell you how many times students initiated walking up to our staff and asking if they could help out in any way. This tremendous group of young people blew us away with their love for God, positive attitudes, fun-loving spirits, and servant heartedness! We didn't see a bunch students that had formed several cliques. They were more like a big functional family of brothers and sisters that genuinely cared about each other. We never heard one complaint or one put-down or one critical word. We were so encouraged by each and everyone of them. And we couldn't help but connect the dots. These students are a direct reflection of their leadership! Justin, Carie, and Dickie set a incredible tone of Christ-centered character and lively fun attitudes. Their leadership is making a great impact. This retreat was jam-packed from start to finish. We enjoyed daily time in God's Word, nightly campfire sermons, delicious camp meals (including pulled pork prepared by my Dad), smores, roasted marshmallows, canoeing, an adventure race, camp games, hot showers, an outdoor movie, and so much more! Camping is hard work. We pour a lot of effort into set-up, break-down, and everything in-between, but every drop of sweat is so worth it as we watch God do what God does at camp. It was such a great weekend! Thank you so much to our superb volunteers, our generous donors, and our tremendous staff that God uses to make this ministry work! We couldn't do it without you... and we wouldn't want to! All glory to God =)