Finally as I have been promising I will talk for a bit about winter retreat. There really is too much to write. I don’t know how to explain it all without typing for years so I will just do some highlights. Right now I plan on making this just one of a few entries about retreat so that you can just get the info that you want.
First off let me give you some advice. If you are renting a place for a winter retreat that is normally a summer camp insist that they turn the heat on for you when you go to look at the camp. For the past 2 years now we have been assured on our walk through visit that "the heat works great" in the gym and both years we have gotten to camp and found that the heat really doesn’t work at all. This year it went a step further and never worked. Add to that the fact that it was probably the coldest weekend of the year and we had an interesting time. On Sunday morning it was cold enough to see your breath. We actually sent students back to their rooms to get blankets because it was so cold.
Winter Retreat is fun for me, but it is a ton of work. We are all making decisions and trying to figure out what is happening next from 8:00am until somewhere around 1:00am every day that we are there. There is always a choice to be made, a worship order to tweak, a video to render, or a skit to rehearse. There are so many small things that happen that when I get home my brain hurts. Also since there is so much stuff going on I don’t really get a chance to see my students for any real length of time. I see them in small glances as we pass at lunch and other places, but that is about all. Of all of the things that happen at retreat that is the one that I like the least. I wish there was a way I could be involved in the running of retreat part and still be involved with my students.
(Of course every trip that we take I end up spending an exorbitant amount of time with the guys compared to the girls. I am with the guys at night, and during the day I am trying to keep them out of trouble, and that leaves me little time to hang out with the girls in our group. And I miss the girls. I miss just sitting down and chatting and not having to worry if this kid getting body slammed is going to break the lamp.)
Some more advice that I have to give. If you are a parent and your child has issues with crowds. That is something that should be written in the "other" section of the health form. I mean if crowds just make her a little nervous then maybe not, but if a full blown, can’t breathe anxiety attack is going to come when he is in a closed in space with a bunch of other people then you should let your youth pastor go before the trip. That is just a suggestion.