This weekend I went as a Chaperon to the Youth Group Retreat. It was at the T.A.G Youth Camp in Metropolitan Lynchburg, TN. The theme of the Retreat was “Feel the Burn”. It was about how they/we can get on fire for God and stay on fire. We had about 14 kids go. In addition to our group, there were groups from the Snellville Church of Christ (Snellville, GA) and the Broadway Church of Christ (Paducah, KY). Here’s pretty much everyone that went (minus me of course).
Friday night was a definite high and low night for me. It was low because we had gotten gotten stuck in traffic near Chattanooga for about an hour. The weather was also pretty severe for a portion of the drive. Lately it seems I’ve been driving a lot in storms which involves hail. By the time we had arrived, the general vibe was the none of the kids really wanted to be there. It seemed that being with other youth groups was a new thing for them (and well you probably know how new things go over in the Church of Christ). However, it was also a high because I witnessed on of the funniest things I had seen in a while. Trenda (Hoss and Bea’s soon to be three year old daughter) did about a 12 minute rendition of the movie Footloose. It was stinkin’ hilarious. Too bad it wasn’t captured on video. 🙁
It was my pleasure to be assigned to the 6th and 7th grade boys. Now, I’m sure I don’t have to describe the typical behaviour of kids in this age range, so I won’t. There were a few that were really well behaved and wanted to go to bed too, but more wanted to use up all the sugar and caffeine that they got right before bedtime. Yes, you read that right. The people running this retreat put snack time right before bedtime. This is a really bad idea, especially for 6th and 7th grade boys. It took me a long time to get the cabin quiet. I think there was a total of 3 kids in the cabin that had some form of ADHD. As always, I managed to bring my earplugs, but they only help so much. I didn’t get much sleep at all this past weekend.
Saturday seemed to be a much better day for the kids. I probably broke one of the cardinal rules of being a chaperon on Saturday. I was picked up by my dad. For those of you that don’t know, my parents live near Fayetteville, TN. Our house is around a little over a 30 minute drive from the camp. I haven’t actually been home in a while, so I wanted to visit my parents (even if it was just a little bit). I got to eat a good lunch and got to see the new filly (a female horse that hasn’t matured yet) that was born to our mare like 8 weeks ago. I also needed to take pictures of it so that we can get it registered as an American Quarter Horse. I got dropped back off at the camp and continued my job of being a chaperon. While I was gone, something must have happened. All of a sudden, the kids didn’t want to go back. They were really enjoying themselves and being with the other youth groups. While I was gone, there did “The Amazing Games”. The teams were semi-randomly divided so that each group had a spectrum of ages and genders from the different youth groups. The last event of the evening was a prayer labyrinth (actually more of a ring). Each circle had either 6 or 8 stations to it. Each station had something that they were to meditate over and pray about.
All in all, it ended up being a great weekend for our kids They got to be spiritually refreshed by being with other groups that are not like them. It was also good for them, since later this summer, our senior high kids will be doing a mission trip to St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana with these two other youth groups. Friendships were formed at this retreat that will carry on to the mission trip this summer and hopefully beyond too.
Interesting enough, it was on ABC Family.
So it started off pretty normal. I left to go to Sears Optical (East Towne) to have a follow-up examination on my contact lenses so I could actually get my contact lens prescription. I also need to run by Wal-Mart to pick up a battery for my watch, so I do that too. Afterwards, I need to actually pick up lunch so I go to the Taco Bell that is right there. Here’s where the excitement begins.
So as I am getting to turn onto Loves Creek Rd. I hear a cop car and it comes speeding right in front of me. I thought it might have caught somebody speeding, but that thought got ruled out as I was waiting at the light to turn onto Millertown Pike when another cop car (an unmarked truck) comes speeding as he turns down the road. The excitement doesn’t stop here. The light turns green so I turn onto Millertown Pike, so I can head back to work. Well, when I get to Kinzel Way (the light by Wal-Mart), about 10-12 cop cars (about 5 of those were unmarked) turn into the Wal-Mart parking lot. About 20 seconds go by and a brown car (yeah, I know, very descriptive) comes squealing out of the light immediately followed by like some 15 something cop vehicles. The car lead them down Mall Road. I’m not sure what happened after that.
Finally we can safely move on down the road. At the next light, the lady that pulls up beside me opens her door (I had to roll down my window) and asks if I saw that man almost hit her car and kill her and her baby. I’m thinking, of course I saw that, but I just said yeah, craziness. Luckily he didn’t hit you or anybody else. He’s got enough cops on him, he should get caught.
Once that light turns green and I start making my way on the overpass, I see a cop kneeled down pointing something at the road. After all that commotion, I’m thinking this cop has her pistol read to open fire on that car. As I got closer, it became obvious that she wasn’t pointing a gun. It was just a radar. There were three cop cars on the on-ramp. As soon as I passed one, it turned its lights on and took off. So I thought to myself… well I’ve had to pull over several times to let the cops do their job, what’s another one gonna hurt. It ended up pulling over a dump truck. Down the road a little bit more was an 18 wheeler that was pulled over, so I guess there was 4 cars waiting to pull over vehicles. They must have been targeting commercial vehicles. All over the news this morning they were talking about how interstate speed limits (in and around Knox County)have been lowered to 65 mph for cars and 55 mph for commercial trucks.
Still kinda curious as to what all the commotion was about. Maybe they’ll have it on the 6:00 news tonight.
Well this is the final group that went. The number was always changing somewhere between 9 and 11 people that wanted to go. The night before, it actually had dropped down to 8. Luckily it came back up to 9 and we got somewhat of a group rate.
I want to go back. It was a lot of fun. The trail wasn’t as crowded as I thought it might be, so that was good. Well I’m just not much in a writing mood now, so I’ll leave it at that.
No, not the inaugural week when pledges are abused and tortured to see if they are worthy to become fraternity brothers, but referring to the fact that I got to drive in TWO hailstorms in less than one week. The first was on Sunday night. We were at church and noticed the approaching storm. The sky grew darker and the temperature was noticeably dropping, so we decided it was time to leave, but it was about 8 minutes too late. I was just barely on the on-ramp to I-40 when the ceiling just opened up and poured down rain and hail.
The second time was on Friday. Our Let’s Start Talking team had Go Weekend in Nashville. I had been watching the weather to see what it was like. I knew we were already going to be pushing it because Eric’s class didn’t get out until 5:30. I went ahead and called LST earlier in the day to say we would probably be late because of the storms. We left Knoxville around 5:45 and managed to make it to Crossville before we encountered the storms. There was a lot of hail that was dropped. There was so much in fact, that it looked like there was snow on the ground. Obviously we made it safely to Nashville and had a good weekend.