It had always been a vision, to one day have a Junior Vista Team consisting of a bunch of High School students. We would be multiplying our leaders who would lead others. We were just waiting for the right moment to implement this idea. And wouldn’t you know, this summer was the summer! As we interviewed and made a team of four High School Students they blew us away, working hard, engaging with youth and bringing more High Schoolers leaders along! Our team of four turned into eight by the end of summer that had earned a 5-day rewards trip.
In late July, we took two van loads, and spent five days in Lanesboro, Minnesota, a cute little town hidden along the Root River beside the bluffs. To me, the trip felt like a tight-knit community doing life together. We were a group of Vietnamese, Sudanese, Hispanic, and Caucasians coming from several different religions, ranging from 15 to 38 years old. We had leaders from the past summers, the present team, and a future team member (who is now our Finance/Administrative Assistant!). We canoed down the river, rode bicycles, and sat by the fire laughing, telling stories, and talking about Jesus.
I think we all agreed that our favorite part of the trip wasn’t the High Ropes Course or Valleyfair although they were challenging and fun, but instead the best parts were the evenings where EVERYONE joined in a game of Ultimate Frisbee or Soccer. Community is really underlined by people coming together and working as a team.
And that became evident during on this trip. We saw some new campfire chefs born and all 16 of us went through at least two High Ropes stations as we addressed our fears and encouraged one another to walk across the cable suspended 30 feet in the air. We were able to pour into these student leaders who are pouring into younger youth. Filled with laughter, friendship, joy, and good food this trip was one not to be forgotten. And the best part, is that this community can continue on with much laughter, learning, and building relationships over the next year.
Praise God for such a good trip!
-Jessica Skelton, Youth Advocate & Spiritual Development