Monday, February 4, 2008

Catch that Wheeling Feeling

As many of you know, Dustin and I have been helping out with Young Life in our area, and this weekend was the annual Leader’s Retreat (Capital Letters! Because we're Official-like). So Friday about 30 of us headed off into the wild, icy yonder of West Virginia. We stayed at this place, (pronounced "ogle-bee"...don't ask me why!) which “offers 1700 acres of year-round recreational opportunities and excellent overnight accommodations but has retained its picturesque natural beauty.” We were a bit unsure what the weekend would entail, but we were at least familiar with the location.

Dustin and I previously had the pleasure of visiting Oglebay this past summer (we sneaked into Meredith’s Sudol Family Reunion!) and we had a blast. It reminds me of family vacations as a kid. In a way, it’s a bit like Gatlinburg, in that it would kind of suck if it wasn’t so totally awesome! The grounds are beautiful, and the pool is amazing. I sat by the side and pretended I was at my boarding school summer camp. Very Cruel Intentions...well it would be if not for all the little mountain kids running around everywhere.
Ivy league fantasies aside, I’m pretty sure the “Good Zoo” was my favorite part. If I remember correctly, it had some otters, a parrot and a racoon. It’s like they set up a fence, and anything that wandered in became an official “attraction”. Other recommendation: the planetarium. After a long day of deer and muskrat sightings, I like to unwind with a nice movie of the stars. Out of the 4 people in our party, exactly zero stayed awake for the whole film.

But, back to this trip....

There was no wildlife excursion, and no similated starry night naptime, but it was an amazing weekend all the same. It was packed with teachings, activities, some authentic river region eatin' and lots of laughs.

Chris Buda was the speaker, and he was absolutely amazing. Dustin and I had each heard him speak at YL camp years ago, so it was fun to get to hear him again. He is actually the director of our region, but I still consider him a bit of a celebrity (It was an a struggle not to ask for his autograph when chatting with him, but I resisted).

I learned a lot about what God is doing in our region, and really felt Him calling me to be part of His plans. I got to know the girls from Trinity (the school I help with) better too, which was fun. And there was square dancing, because for me, no event is a success unless there is dancing...and a theme...and costumes. Oh Young Life knows me so well.

But probably the best part was each night, when our group gathered shared our goals, our struggles, and how we are growing in our walks with Christ. It was pretty cool to hear the unique stories of so many people, and taking a step to share my heart with them as well. I know God has great blessings for Dustin and me, and I'm excited to see how He uses us to bless others.

It was a great time, and I sincerely hope this time next year, we are preparing do it all again. But next time? We'll just say no to the ham barbeque.

1 comment :

  1. Sounds like a fun weekend! I've actually been to Oglebay a few times in college - I guess we just stuck to the cabins, because I don't remember a pool or zoo or anything else.
    I heard Chris speak at my first YL camp up in Saranac - he did such a good job and it always stuck with me. I think he spoke during the week our crew was at Champion last summer!
    Glad you guys are having fun!