In a moment of insanity yesterday I signed myself up to go on the 7th grade retreat in September. I love the 7th grade retreat/cruise and had to miss out on it last year (went in 2008), and I found myself actually missing it.
When you truly think about the Blake Island Cruise/ Retreat virtually no “promise”; picture yourself on a beautiful antique Criss Craft boat with a couple dozen 13 year old kids, and then this glorious boat drops you and the 24 kids off on an island with nothing but your sleeping bag and hiking shoes. You find a campsite, set up your bed on the ground (In September), and ward off Raccoon’s and Deer while you try to sleep. Then, 6 am when the sunrises those 24 7th graders wake and start to whisper, then talk, then they can’t help it anymore and have nearly everyone on the campgrounds awake. The beautiful people from the boat feed you, but leave you on this island with the teens and tell you to take a hike, so you find yourself on the other side of the island, and then the boaters allow you back on the boat to take you home, sweet warm comfortable home.
See? Virtually, no promise.
But would you believe me if I told you somewhere between the boat ride there and the boat ride home something magical happens? You spend less than 24 hours with these 24 teens and they blow you away, every year, every class, every one of them. They show you God in a new light, they show you the way they see things, and they show you how fun sleeping on the ground and warding off wildlife can be! They even show you how funny they can be when they leave food in their bags on purpose to see how close they can come to a raccoon. They show you how a little discomfort and one night of sleep can change your world.
I love those teens, and the happiness they bring. I love that our church can provide an opportunity like this for them.
I love that they’re so scared and shy to go on it, and hugging each other goodbye at the end of it.
I’m so glad I signed up!