From October 11 to October 13 of last year(2019), my friends and I were blessed to attend the HIC+ Youth Retreat at Indian Creek Camp.
At first I wasn’t sure if I was going on this week trip, but I am glad I ultimately chose to go, because I had such a wonderful experience. This was a much needed getaway because while I do appreciate being the youth director at my church and ministering to all generations, there is not a big group of individuals in there 20s at my church.
I don’t care what the hardcore, conservative Christians say, I have no quarrel with contemporary Christian music. As long as it is pointing towards our God that is all that matters to me. I love traditional music from the hymnal, but it is also a treat to have something less traditional and new. In the morning, afternoon and evening time all attendees were blessed with good spiritual music played and sung by a couple of the mentors and students.
We played an activity a little similar to “speed dating” as they called it. We had a maximum of two minutes to ask away to the person in front of us any questions to get to know each other. Though not everyone’s names stayed in my head, I do remember quite a few of the other answers. Some were readers. Some were singers. Some were the eldest siblings, while some were the youngest or in between. Some were born in the states while some from other parts of the world. Some of us were in our 20s and the rest of us in our 30s. I could see my friends and I incorporating this into our youth ministry back home and maybe for the pathfinder program to strengthen the bond between our members.
That Saturday after worship, my friends David; Lulu; Josh; and I made our way down to the docks to do some canoeing out on the lake. I hadn’t gone to the gym all week, but I definitely got a great arm workout pushing forward; back; and alternating left to right with my ore as David and I rowed in the deep water. If you haven’t had the chance to canoe, then by all means take the opportunity. It’s a good workout, and you might get to behold a beautiful scenery like I did. The autumn breeze cooling my body as I rowed. The wind decorating the lake with leaves, blown off from the trees of red, brown, green, and gold.
At this retreat there were plenty of college students and high school juniors in attendance. Those of us not attending college were recognized as mentors and staff. I heard such amazing feedback from all the attendees, such as how to make friends in college; surrounding yourself with other believers; finding a local church to attend while attending college; listening to your elders; not being afraid to call on Christ during these years; etc.
As frightened as I am of being up high and looking down below, I had was able to conquer my fear and cross off something off my bucket list right before heading home. That something was zip lining. Not gonna lie, I felt something inside me drop when I first dropped down from the top, but all fears morphed into thrill as I sped across that line faster and faster with the wind in my face.
I highly recommend young people attend at least one youth retreat during their life, especially during their high school years and college years. During those years it is easy to give into peer pressures of the world and feel alone. By attending one, you can be around others in your age range who love the Lord and come back home with some insight about how to live your life day to day in Christ Jesus