To Live Today! To Care Today! To Be a Friend Today!
CREATE PEACE! Jr. Retreat in Brewer, Maine- February 6-8
Our first retreat of 2009 featured 7 great gals and a bunch of adults who are alright, I guess... just kiddin'. They were all awesome. Most of our kiddos were from the Bangor/Brewer area, but one brave adventurer came the whole way from Connecticut!
As the girls arrived on Friday night, we had our concerns. They came from gymnastics, dances, and a couple of other sugared-up and energied-up venues! We weren't totally sure if the roof of the church was safe, but a few games of Hide-and-Seek and Froggy "Attacker" seemed to do the trick to help us calm down a bit and start getting to know one another.
As is to be expected, we were hungry. Kim G. rose to the occasion providing freshly baked sugar cookies for us all to decorate and chow down. Check out the pictures to see how artistic the girls were. Some of them were very neat and creative, others (my own, for example) were thrown together pretty quickly so the eating could begin. That evening we also began looking at our theme "Create Peace" and talking about what it means to be a "Peace-Seeker". We found that in the area of brothers/sisters/family life and at school, we have lots of opportunities to look for peaceful ways to solve problems. We also found that the peace-seeker way is not always our first reaction! Lights out wasn't too rough and Saturday morning came pretty quickly!
After breakfast and prayer, we hit the tubing slopes at Hermon Mountain. I think it's safe to say a great time was had by all! We even went down in some really large groups... one group, all kids, and one group, all adults. We found a couple of ways to go super fast, which the girls seemed to REALLY enjoy!
After a spaghetti lunch back at the church and an episode involving my white sweatshirt, spaghetti sauce, and my best efforts at forgiveness :) we were on the road again toward Great Skates! We skated, danced, fell, laughed, ate, played games, and romped around at laser tag until it was time to grab supper and the massive 18 Wheeler (18 scoops of ice cream with all the sundae toppings!) at Dysart's restaurant.
Back at the church again, crafts (Valentines for the elderly at a local nursing home, and a box with the lion, the lamb, and the little boy) and more peace-seeking were on the agenda for the evening. Oh yeah, and of course, CAMPFIRE!!
Sunday morning was a slow start... it seems we were pretty run down from a BIG Saturday, but we managed to clean up our stuff and the church just the same. (Except for vaccuming. Sorry, Kim!) I'm pretty sure the "Wiggle-O" helped out a lot in waking us up!
After more food, the kids helped plan our 11 o'clock worship, volunteering their favorite songs and to help read and sing. They had learned "We're Singing a Peace Song" the day before. Church was entirely new to a couple of our retreat-ers, and we were most happy to have all attending! It seems that everyone arrived home safely on Sunday afternoon, and a couple of girls even stayed after to help us deliver the Valentines we had made on Saturday night.
All in all, I'd give the weekend a 10 out of 10. I may be biased, but I'd strongly suggest you get involved in what's going on now. Remember, ALL are called... to live today, to care today, and to be a friend today! Thanks everyone for coming! I hope to see you all again or hear from you very soon!
Weekend Schedule Create Peace
Friday Evening 7:00-8:30: Settle in, Introductions, Getting To Know You for youth/staff, Cookie Decorating, Games 8:30-9:00: Snack, Introduce Theme and weekend agenda, What is Peace-Seeking? To 9:30ish: Campfire By 10: Lights Out; Big Day tomorrow! Saturday 7:30: Rise and Shine 7:45: Breakfast, Clean Up, DRESS WARMLY!!! By 8:30: Leave for Hermon Mountain 9-11:30: Snow Tubing at Hermon Mountain 12:00: Lunch at Church and Clean Up 1:00: Leave for Great Skates 1:30-4:30: Great Skates Fun & Games 5:00: Supper at Dysart’s + 18 WHEELER dessert!! 6:30-7:00: “What is Peace-Seeking?” Part II 7 – 9: Creating Peace Activities & Crafts 9:30: Lights Out Sunday Morning 7:45: Rise ‘n Shine 8:00: Breakfast, Clean Up & Pack 9 – 10: Get ready for church, What is Peace-Seeking? wrap-up 10-12 Sunday School & Church
We Proclaim Jesus Christ and Promote Communities of Joy, Hope, Love, and Peace New England Mission Center Youth- Find us on Facebook (All Are Called) Youth Leaders: Albert Iannuccilli, David Long, and Gregory McElvaine