Once a year, all of the Raceway Region YL leaders from Kentucky and Indiana gather together for the YL Summit. It's one of my favorite events of the year. Usually we meet down in Baghdad, KY but this year we drove North to Michindoh, the Wyld Life camp we've gone to the past two summers.
There's a feeling you get when you return to any YL Camp that feels like coming home. I was so excited to be back at Michindoh with all of my YL people. KCraig and her family came in the night before, Hannah and Riley came up from Purdue, I drove over from Chicago and the rest of our team carpooled up from Fishers. It was a freezing but beautiful day and I convinced KCraig, Hannah and Alex to walk down to the blobbing dock before we back inside.
My favorite part of the Summit is that EVERYONE is here. This YL family is all sorts of overlapping friends and leaders and staff and random connections and people we met at some YL camp or training weekend along the way. I was so excited to see Emily Harlow, a Tecumseh counselor, and Emily Sell, a Noblesville YL kid, show up behind me on the stairs.
We kicked things off with Club-- music led by Ryan and a hilarious program team that took everything #tothemax. Jesse is one of the most hyper kids I know but he was completely entranced as he watched the program guys on stage. He was totally mesmerized.
I love seeing all leaders participate in the games through out the weekend. There was egg tossing, goldfish spitting, jellybean roulette, and banana speed eating among other things.
Ricki Daly and Claire Neterer are Carmel alumni that currently go to IU. They came along to help watch all the kids that would be there this weekend-- YL staff had 7 babies born in the past year. But it seemed like every time I walked through the lobby Ricki and Claire were still sitting in this exact spot.
Don't let their expressions fool you, they're actually two of the funniest and kindest girls I know. I loved getting to be ridiculous with both of them for two days.
One of my favorite moments of the weekend was after dinner when I found myself standing in a circle talking with this group of women. Jenna Perkins, Abby Miller, MaryEllen McIntyre, Hannah Blachly, KCraig, Claire and Ricki are some of the most influential YL people in my life. I've learned how to lead with them, their faith and the way they love kids inspires me, and some of my favorite memories in the past 6 years have their faces in them.
HSE YL brought along a group of our Wyld Life leaders in training this weekend. Jacob, Alyssa, Brock, Blaire, Es, Grace, Rachel, Meg, Nat Rat, Audrey and Alli got to experience a brand new side of YL and hopefully grow as leaders in this environment. I loved when I got to hear what they were learning and getting to listen as they talked about our program at home with such ownership.
Getting to hang out with Hannah Blachly for a whole day was pretty awesome. She is a great friend and I'm so thankful that she continues to show up and be a part of our team whenever she can.
Saturday night after Club everyone gathered in the gym for Hallowgivesmaseve aka all the holidays in one night. Our team was stoked.
There were tables of candy and costumes for Halloween...
we wrestled over a loaf of bread for Thanksgiving (That's Nat Rat, Grace and KCraig climbing over all of the men)...
Santa brought us new YL Raceway Region shirts for Christmas...
and then we counted down the New Year and the ball drop before we all sang Auld Lang Syne. Then just like every great Summit, we had an epic dance party. Nobody dances better than YL leaders. Hannah, KCraig and I closed it down.
Saturday morning we went to another breakout session and one more Club with everyone. I'm thankful for worshiping together, praying as a team and getting to share this experience. It's sweet to see this group grow another year.
After solo-road-tripping the last few days I got to take Alli, Alyssa, Jacob and Brock back to Fishers in my car. Alli was a phenomenal DJ and we sang pretty much the whole way. There was a quick Cracker Barrel pit stop, an HSE tradition, and then we were back on the road again.