The retreat season ended a bit early this year since Pilgrim Pines moved our Junior High retreat from February to January. So both JVs (Winterblast) and HL (Winterfest) have had their awesome weekends.
We brought 18 to Winterfest the first weekend of January, and 13 to Pilgrim Pines Jan 25-27. Let’s start with Winterfest. The Hi-League had a smooth trip to Young Life’s Lake Champion in NY and enjoyed a delicious stop at Chic-Fil-A on the way. We got to camp with close to an hour to spare before the first session so were able to get settled in our rooms before things began. Always a bonus. The opening night was very worshipful and everyone enjoyed the speaker. He was the MC at CHIC this past summer so we were
already familiar with him. He was energetic and on point. His main lesson was on the parable of the tenants. Where one is given 10 talents, one 5 and another 2. The first two doubled theirs but the third buries it. The first two both get the same reward of being able to share in the master’s happiness but the third is punished. His interpretation of this was that no matter how much talent we have, we have to do something for God with it. So everyone was strongly encouraged to serve God.
Saturday morning there was a great illusionist who was very entertaining and we had two seminar opportunities. The speaker shared his testimony in one and it was very moving and encouraging. The rest of the day it rained so we played four square followed by board games in the game room. Fun afternoon. After dinner we enjoyed a talent show then worship complete with communion. Always a powerful time. Our group shared communion on our own in an upper room of our dorm (how appropriate!) and after we shared about how God was moving in our lives through the retreat. Then we played four square of course. Great night!
The drive home was not as smooth as the drive to Winterfest. Leaving lunch there was a miscommunication where the van had Sofia Warren but the car thought they were supposed to have her so looked for her for close to a half hour while the van was filling up and wondering where in the world was the car. Then they finally got the message that we had Sofia so came and filled up then when we left the car missed the first exit for the highway!! Everything is funny in hindsight. Overall it was a rad retreat.
The JVs also had a wonderful time at Winterblast, other than one student getting sick and needing to be driven home Saturday morning. The speaker delivered a wonderful message called “the other side of the but”. The Bible gives us several statements such as “once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:10”. She pointed out that with humans, what comes after a ‘but’ is usually negative. “I like you but you stink at basketball”. However, with God, what comes after the ‘but’ is ALWAYS positive! We need to embrace what comes after the ‘but’ and be transformed into the likeness of Christ. It was a beautiful message and I really think the kids got it. So that was the coolest thing about Winterblast, and the second would have to be winning broomball for the 6th year in a row! Niko Warren was the MVP with all 4 goals scored in the tourney while Hannah, Jack and Davey assured that no goals were scored on us! Everyone had a fantastic time and assured that they are loved by God.