Following YLC, we had a very quick turnaround to unpack, get all the laundry done, then repack for another youth trip to Nauvoo. Of course I had to squeeze in a whole bunch of work and clients on the Monday.
The trip to Nauvoo happens every 4 years for kids aged 14-18, just for our region – so a total of about 80 kids. Rob was planning on going on this trip, and I was going to YLC. Then they asked me if I would go to Nauvoo too as no other female leader from our congregation was able to go. While it was a bit of a stretch to take all this time off work, Rob and I figured it was worth the sacrifice as he was going and our three oldest were going too.
And I am so glad we went.
We started our journey by meeting at our church building at 2:15am. Of course, the kids wanted to “stay up all night”… and this is what I found when I went to get them at 1:30 am (they were just resting for a few minutes is what they said) ^^^ When we all got in the car to go to the meetinghouse, we couldn’t decide if this was the earliest we had ever left for a trip or the latest!
We rolled out of there about 3:30am – by the time we were all loaded up. Rob was in charge of organizing a “conference on wheels” which meant finding activities and workshops to keep everyone occupied on the 17 hour journey. We did some “get to know you activities” (just under 80 youth and about a 15 adult leaders) and it was nice to get to know the people on our bus (we were divided into two buses).
Rob did a great workshop about using our “gap time” as reflection time, time to be inspired, time to think and reflect, rather than filling that time with mindless technology and wasting it away. He encouraged everyone to be mindful of the gap time on this trip and put their technology away.
We stopped for a Chinese buffet lunch and stretched our legs before continuing on our journey, with another workshop on different values in different forums in our life (e.g. talking about peace, hope, faith, kindness and the role they play in our home life, with ourselves, with our friends and at church).
Everyone was pretty excited when we finally pulled in at the Nauvoo Inn. We got our room assignments and headed there. Everyone was divided into one of 6 “families” and each family was led by a “Ma and Pa” and two junior youth leaders (who were really in charge of most things). We were the Ma and Pa for the “Knight family” and had a great group of about 6 girls and 6 boys. Every night we would have an evening devotional where we would share about our day, and every morning the girls would meet and the boys would meet separately to start our day off with an uplifting thought/conversation. We did most activities together and had most of our meals together too. There was also lots of time for everyone to interact with everyone else from other families; but it was a nice way for people to get to know other people and make new friends.
That first night they ordered pizza and everyone walked around the little town area. It is a very very small town, so it was nice that the kids had the freedom to explore a bit. When bedtime hit, it was a bit of a zoo trying to get everyone sleeping in their assigned rooms, but of course, that is part of the fun:)
Off to a great start… To be Cont…