Every year our church does a program with the youth group called DNOW (Discipleship Now). They've been doing it a really long time - in fact, I went 11 years ago as a 15 year old Sophmore!
Back then, it was a lot smaller but it has really, really grown into a wonderful outreach over the years. Kids from other churches and kids that don't go to church all come together for this event.
I've mentioned before that sometimes my family and I go stay at our cabin. We recently built the cabin and we had DNOW in mind during the process. We have bunk rooms that we can host larger groups of kids. For example, when Chris and I hosted 10th grade boys at our house a few years ago, we had 8 boys and 2 counselors. At our cabin this year we had 21 12th grade girls and 2 counselors. Chris' mom and stepdad have come up the last two years to help with support - they stay at the cabin with my parents and help with shuttling the kids around.
I mentioned that there are 2 counselors. They are usually college girls/boys that come in for the weekend and lead Bible studies with the kids and help make sure they are where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there! Here's my mom and our two counselors this year:
This year, the competition was called the "Amazing Race" after the TV show. First, there was a scavenger hunt for clues, and then the 4 teams that gathered the clues and returned to the church first were in the finals. Our team was back first! Then there was a search through 1,000 bottles for a little ball. The two finalist (we were one) then had to stack the books of the Bible in order without audience assistance.
And they won!! The prize? $1,000 to donate to any charity they want! They choose TWO wonderful charities and split the money between them.
Sadly, Chris, Brayden and I were ALL sick ALL weekend and hardly able to participate. Usually we are really involved with our kids, but this year we decided it was better not to get them sick too.
On Sunday, there were 28 baptisms! Two of them were our girls! What a wonderful weekend it was!