Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Everything's included in the Barn Party." "Ohhhhhhh-- so it's like Cabo."


I went shopping for camp supplies and bought 1000 plastic cups, 16 canisters of kool-aid, 2 tubes of red lipstick, multiple sticker packs and 2 hula hoops among other thing.

I posted the 'Merica Collection of friendship bracelets on Instagram and set a new record. #godblessmerica

I became "official" friends with Sam and Kylie tonight when I gave them friendship bracelets.

I met the YL family out at the Barn to plan the fall Barn Party on Oct 18th. I'm part of Team Club that brainstormed songs, games and skits for the night.

I can't wait for...

Our trip to Camp Tecumseh all next week with HSJH.

Seeing SO many different people that I love this weekend.

The first ever Cathedral v HSE football game next weekend.

Wyld Life Club tomorrow night.

The Casting Crowns/ Mandisa/ Sidewalk Prophets concert coming up.

Making "friendship quilts" with Sarah Battaglia in MI in a couple weeks. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

"You have two hands-- can't you scratch both our backs?"

Varsity Friendship Braceleters are in a photo contest on Custom Ink for the tshirts we just got. We're trying to win for the pride-- you can help us out by clicking on this link and then liking our photo  http://www.customink.com/photos/varsity-friendship-bracelet-club

We finally got back to the Barn for YL Campaigners tonight after missing last week. I love this place. I love these people. I love this time together.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to live life with these kids. I never want to take that for granted. When I first started teaching I didn't know if I'd get to share my faith with my students. But God tore down walls and opened doors and we're so lucky to have YL and Wyld Life in this town.

I love that Hannah and Haleigh have been in it since Day 1 and that they're invested in what we're doing. I love that the Junior girls will go tackle KCraig with love if I ask them to. I love that Kate and Cookie drink hot tea while we sing and don't think that it's weird at all.

I love these HS guys that create the culture of fun and intimacy and faith here. They're such role models whether they realize it or not.

I love that we can talk about Netflix and the Barn Party and what we think Heaven will be like and friendship bracelets and how awful Hell would be and how we want to share our faith and nubbin v. talking before dating and why Senior year rocks and everything in between. I love that our conversations are like a beautiful run on sentence full of so much energy and too many ideas to slow down.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Is this where we talk about Abraham Lincoln's mom and how she died down here?"

Today is our training day for our field trip rookie counselors at Camp Tecumseh. They all road up from Fishers on a bus together and I came down from Michigan to meet them. I got there early enough that I could do some exploring of my own first. 

I checked out the completed boat house that Smooney and I worked on so hard all summer. It's pretty fantastic isn't it? I can't wait to see it in use next summer. I'm thinking we might have to try to have a CILT girl sleep out on the porch.

There is an exciting new project going on in River Village that requires a new path. I hiked the new trail that has been created through part of the Oak Forest.

There are several new really cool bridges over little ravines and gullies. I can't tell you about the big project yet, but it's going to be awesome.

Just walking down Lake Road between villages is one of my favorite views in all of camp. It doesn't get much more simple or beautiful than this. My walks with campers down this road have held some of my favorite conversations.

Once the rookie counselors arrived we divided them in half. Libey and I took our group on a River Village loop and Brown took his on a loop of Lake Village. We swapped kids halfway through the afternoon so they would see it all. Let's say we're extremely pumped to be here with all of the 7th graders in a week.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Linc and Red's Birthday!

It's the nephews birthday weekend so Aunt Rarah drove up to Michigan to celebrate. Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of Lincoln yelling in the kitchen about how excited he was for his party. We ate birthday pancakes together--sprinkles in the batter and then blueberries! Red went to town destroying his.

We put the finishing touches on the Curious George Birthday Party before family and friends arrived at Katie and Nick's house. This is the third backyard bash and it's become quite the tradition.

I love getting to hang out with my sister, Nick, Linc and Red and my parents. Having Nick's family and their friends from small group there is just a bonus.

The kids played in the leaves, we had new creative hot dog toppings, Linc and Red went crazy over apple juice boxes and everyone just enjoyed the sun.

All the kids got to play a game together-- they had to pop these yellow balloons to get out the candy that we had put inside. It was pretty easy for the older kids but more fun to watch the toddlers and babies try to pop them.

They gathered all the cousins together for a picture-- it's impossible to get this many young kids to look at you and smile but they're still pretty cute.

Katie and I made banana chocolate chip cupcakes in honor of Curious George for dessert.

The boy's birthday weekend always falls on Hope's Pull so we make the trip to the Black River to cheer on the teams.

The freshmen even year (Annihilate) lost to the sophomore odd year (Retribution) which was a win for me. We were on the even year side while we were there and I got to run into some friends, talk with Ellen Awad and hang out with Katie and Linc a lot.

Linc is very pensive as he studies the Pull, ready to be a puller one day down the road.

I randomly ran into Holly, our Work Crew server at Michindoh two summers ago, and Maggie, a SIB in my family line. It was so good to see them both and catch up with them. They're both such sweet, positive people. I'm a fan of them.

We got to go to the Holland Brewery for dinner, one of our favorite places, and then back home to put the boys to bed. It was an awesome day in Michigan and I loved spending time with my family.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Today's Letters

Dear Friendship Bracelet Club,
Thanks for being my favorite part of every Thursday. Making new friends, racing through games and tying knots with you all is the best. Oh my goodness--the video we helped make today about the FBC team was the greatest thing that's every happened to the daily announcements. Thanks for letting me be your coach. 

p.s. Hope and Katy P-- I'm so glad you showed up again today.

Dear Volleyball Girls,
Congrats on another win for both teams. You girls are doing such a good job of working together. I'm glad I could learn the importance of saying "hit" instead of "spike" so I don't look like a fool. Today I loved getting to cheer with the Hodgins, KCraigs family and Maddie in the stands. Volleyball is one of my favorite parts of the Fall.

Dear Tristan, Brannt and KCraig,

First of all-- before tonight I never knew what a COLTs  Blitz Box was. I'm incredibly impressed by your ability to put away 20 chicken nuggets, 3 large fries and 2 Big Macs.
Second of all- you skit for Wyld Life is going to be hilarious. I can't wait to see you become these tree-house living, squirrel-wrangling cowboys. #blessedbaconbits You guys are the bomb. Thanks for carrying about this program and the Jr High kids.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wise Words

On Friday Mornings I try to send out an encouraging word to some of my Camp Tecumseh girls. Recently, I asked them to share one of their favorite verses or quotes that brings them inspiration.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, you aren’t trying hard enough.” –Kid President

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty savior, who will rejoice with you over gladness and renew in you his love, who will sing joyfully because of you. Zephaniah 3:17

We live by faith, not by sight. -2 Corinthians 5:7

What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself. –Luke 12:29-32

We only regret the chances we didn’t take.

Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.

Some days life is all about your dreams, hopes and visions for the future. But there are some days where life is just about putting one foot in front of the other. And that’s okay.

What made her strong was despite the million tings that hurt her, she spoke of nothing, nothing, but happiness. –J.A.

Do small things with great love.

She believed she could do it so she did.

I am the daughter of a king who is not moved by the world. For my God is with me and goes before me. I do not fear because I am his.

God is within her, she will not fail. Psalm 46:5

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. -2 Chronicles 15:7

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Choose joy.

You’re off to great place, today is your day, your mountain is waiting so get on your way. –Dr. Seuss

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"I don't like carrying this bag because it's not designer."

Highs of the Day
  1. Eating "wishing seeds" with three girls during passing period so that all our wishes will come true
  2. Cheering on the 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams as they passed, set and spike to victory
  3. Getting to watch most of the first HS Choir Concert of the year--these singers were fabulous
  4. Hanging out with so many people in the YL crew after the show
  5. Getting a letter from my Blazer homie Erin Williams

Top 10 Things I'm Really Glad I Got To Experience
  1. Serving on a Mission Trip--far away in Mexico and the Dominican Republic and nearby in Indianapolis
  2. Young Life--in three different areas and at four different camps
  3. Being a Tecumseh camper for 12 years
  4. Being a Tecumseh counselor for Day Camp, Braves, Blazers, Warriors, Pathfinders and CILTs
  5. Doing things that are slightly terrifying like jumping off a waterfall and flying a two seater airplane
  6. Taking a risk and starting groups like the Gold Dolphins and Friendship Bracelet Club and inviting others to join with me
  7. Meeting so many of my favorite authors and hearing them speak-- Shauna Niequist, Bob Goff, Donald Miller, Glennon Doyle Melton
  8. Being in a sorority (SIB) at Hope College 
  9. Teaching 7th grade in a school that I love
  10. Growing in my faith in so many different settings-- the Green Cathedral, Delphi UMC, Dimnent Chapel, Willowcreek, Mars Hill, Common Ground
Top 10 Counselors I Wish Could Have All Worked A Summer Together
  1. Erin O'Farrell
  2. Colleen Drasga
  3. Michael Kraft
  4. Eric Glanders
  5. Sarah Fitzpatrick
  6. Maggie Shadid
  7. Molly Brunner
  8. Mary Brody
  9. Evan Frick
  10. Emily Westervelt

Monday, September 22, 2014

"A ZZ girl needs to become a RR boy and an RR girl needs to become a ZZ boy."

Camp Tecumseh Trip Update: After school today I worked with Brown to form study groups as Libey called back more parent volunteers. There is a huge spreadsheet of 631 kids and 104 counselors that we had to sort into 104 gender balanced groups by session while fulfilling all of the special requests and needs. It's quite the puzzle to say the least. It took us just about three hours to make all the switches and changes. Now we've just got to figure out their cabins, dining tables and buses. 13 days until the fun begins. 

On Wednesday night all of Indianapolis Young Life will meet at Carmel HS for an All-City Club. It's going to be awesome.... but I can't go. I'll have our last Camp T counselor meeting before the field trip at the exact same time that night. HSE YL cancelled Campaigners tonight in lieu of the Wednesday Club but I still wanted to see some YL girls tonight. I met Julia, Hannah, Natalie, Lauren and Alissa at Starbucks to hang out and have a mini-campaigners of our own.

I'm thankful for these five girls and the stories they're living. I'm thankful for how YL brings together friends that might have never met otherwise. I'm thankful for conversations about the way we see people and trying to see the best in them. I'm thankful for growth and the truth that it's never too late to make a change. I'm thankful for days when I see that Sagamore Creed lived out, "I'm happy with life and with myself, yet I will always try harder to be the best that I can be."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"I like hanging out with you Miss Wright because 1- you're awesome and 2- because I get to be in your blogs."

Saturday morning I got to go to one of my favorite Cross Country races of the entire year-- Flash Rock at Northview. Over 20 different teams race which means that I get to see so many different YL and Camp Tecumseh kids all at the very same time. I ran into Maggie Kroeff right away, she was cheering on her friends from Guerin. 


I ran into Robby, Courtney, Ashely, Kate (all Session 1) and Tay Hoff (Session 2 last summer) around the course. I quickly found the HSE tent and got to congratulate Grace, Courtney and Rachel on their Varsity race. I love seeing how these girls take care of one another when they're hurting and support each other in love. They are pretty incredible. 

I ran into this Pathfinder from Tecumseh that I randomly became friends with this summer. She spotted me with the HSE girls and screamed, "Sarah!" as she ran over to hug me. This girl constantly has a smile on her face and is so friendly and fun. I feel awful that I can't remember her name though! Can any camp people help me out? 

Saturday afternoon I met up with Ryan, KCraig, Abby, Jackie and Diskey out at the Devoe's barn for Leadership. The coolest part of our meeting was when we all went off by ourselves for 30 minutes to rest and be still. I walked around the property, even discovered a little tree fort, and felt like I was back at the Oak Forest at Tecumseh again. It is so good for my soul to be out in nature like that. Being in the constant go-go-go of city and driving and appointments and meetings is draining. Today was a good recharge.

Saturday night Taylor Fischl and I got to hang out. She's such a gem. We met Natty B for dinner at Steak n' Shake and then Taylor and I watched The Fault In Our Stars. As always, it was good to be with camp friends.

Sunday morning after church I picked up Cami, Julia and Rachel, three Wyld Life girls, to go on an adventure. We grabbed lunch on the way down to the IMA (Indianapolis Museum of Art) and the 100 Acre Woods. I've been here once before and knew the girls would have fun adventuring around.


It's basically a giant park with art projects just plopped all over the place that you stumble upon. There were a gathering of signs. My favorites were the Indian Tribes and all the "Pretty" ones.

Funky Bones, the location of Augustus Walters and Hazel Grace Lancaster's picnic, has got to be the most well known spot. The girls and I climbed and jumped from bone to bone.

We trekked out by the lake, swung from the tree swing, saw some Alien rings and had our picnic under one of the trees.

There is a basketball court covered in giant red and blue arcs that you can climb all over. We were a little bit risky as we climbed all over the place.

After the IMA I had one more fun stop planned. I took the girls to Nicey Treats in Broad Ripple, a gourmet popsicle place that I hadn't been able to try yet. We opted for Pink Lemonade, Sour Cherry Cola and Blueberry Buttermilk flavors.

It was a sweet treat to sit on the bench outside as we slurped our popsicles and people watched in the middle of Broad Ripple. I loved getting to hang out with these three sweet girls all afternoon.

All weekend long I got pictures from more Varsity Friendship Braceleters that got their frockets in the mail! Ellyn, Hallie, Julia, Kristen and Lauren, Allison and Matt are all stoked to be in the gang.