It’s raining outside. Hard. The kind of rain that sounds great on the roof when you’re curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a cookie, but is straight misery when you’re on a boat in the middle of a wide, wide lake.
Thankfully, my situation is the former; the latter is what could have been if I had accepted the invitation of a boat ride with my boss and her kids and the cook. Instead, I decided to stick around here and catch up on important things like blogging, and showering. (Three guesses as to which is getting priority right now. I’ll give you a clue: I hate showering.)
Anyways, I really have been meaning to tell you something, dear blog readers! It’s called Young Life.
(Warning: this is a straight-up informative post. If you’re already familiar with Young Life, I apoplogize if this one bores you. Let me remind you that the beauty of blogs is that you come here on your own. You don’t have to keep reading, if you don’t want to. You can leave any time. I won’t be offended! I promise. Also please don’t read this with a tone of attitude – the part about you leaving any time is meant with all due respect.)
I’m going to copy-and-paste a bit of the description from the Young Life Canada website in a minute, because they describe themselves really well, as any good organization should do. But first, I’ll give you a little bit of personal background:
Many many moons ago, my step-dad, Paul, worked for YoungLife.
Actually, first he was a part of YoungLife as a kid. Youth. Teen. Whatever. Then also a YL Leader.
He spent lots of time at lots of camps, but most notably, the YoungLife camp called Malibu.
Time went on.
Then he worked at Ness Lake Bible Camp.This is a camp run by the organization called CSSM – Canadian Sunday School Mission. Many of you know this, if you know me.
Then! One year and 2 months ago, he (and then my Mom and younger Brother) moved down to Princeton, BC, to work at YL (Young Life) Canada’s first truly Canadian Camp – RockRidge Canyon. He’s the ‘Property Manager’, which is basically the same as ‘Camp Director’, which is what he did at NLBC.
Still following me?
Five months ago I moved to the town of Princeton, BC.
Four months ago I went to this thing called club.
No, not that kind of club. Jeepers people!
Anyways, Long story short: I was convinced – this Young Life thing is a good thing.
And keep reading – You’ll find out what club is.
Rather than let me ramble on anymore (I’m reallly tired right now, and hoping you can push past my ridiculousness and this is making sense!) I will post the link to the Young Life website HERE! and copy and paste a bit of their ‘About’ section right now:
About Young Life Canada
Young Life leaders are committed to friendships with kids – no strings attached. Leaders spend time with kids playing road hockey, going to the mall, watching a basketball game, heading to the ski hill – leaders go to where the kids are and enter their world. We are all about communicating God’s love to kids in terms they can understand. We welcome all teenagers; both junior and senior high, regardless of race or religious beliefs. Young Life values and respects all young people, and strives to make them all feel welcomed and accepted. Young Life goes where the action is: So how does it work? Here is Young Life’s unique approach to working with young people:
Contact Work Young Life staff and volunteer leaders go where kids are; the high school campus, school games, practices, and local hangouts. Leaders work on building bridges of friendships in order to “earn the right to be heard.
Club An experience in controlled chaos, Club, usually associated with a high school, typically meets weekly for an hour or so. Young Life leaders create a high energy environment featuring songs, skits, and participation games. Towards the end of the evening, a leader gives a talk on an aspect of the Christian message. Club is the place to be, to enjoy friends and be part of the action. Club is a safe place to be one’s self and to express that teenage tendency to push the limits.
Campaigners This is the name given to our weekly Bible study and high school leadership team. Staff and leaders hold weekly discussion groups to give teenagers the opportunity to grow in their Christian faith and to plan and implement the weekly clubs. The goal is to see these young people become active participants in their church community.
Camping A Young Life specialty! At our camps kids can indulge their passion for adventure, challenge themselves athletically, hang out with friends, or share their hearts with a leader. Our outstanding new camp, RockRidge Canyon, has facilities for swimming, water skiiing and wakeboarding, mountain biking, hiking, basketball, sand volleyball, road hockey, and skateboarding as well as just “hanging out”. After a week at a Young Life camp, most kids say, “I had the best week of my life!” Registration for all Young Life camps, including our summer camps at RockRidge Canyon, is done through the local Young Life clubs.
I love that Young Life is not a part of camp, but that camp is a part of Young Life. I love that the leaders who are at camp come with their kids, and go home with their kids. Now that’s called follow-up!
I love that there are real people involved with this thing. Really. We joke about all the crazy YL Extraverts sometimes in my family, or the ‘cult’ of different organizations, but truly, every person is so unique and genuine and interesting and it doesn’t matter where they are or who they work for. So easy to judge all the hipsters down there, or for them to judge all the hicksters here, but you know what? You’re ALL awesome.
I love that Young Life is international. It’s all over the world – The US, Poland, Peru, the list is pretty long. Pretty cool, I know.
I love that Young Life is committed to Jesus. Sometimes the size of an organization makes it really easy to judge. Sometimes the bigger a thing is the more nervous it makes me. Can you really still have the same vision and focus when there’s so many people and places and ideas and traditions? Well. I’ll just say this: With God, anything is possible ; )
So there you have it. Young Life in a not-so-tidy nutshell. At least my version is not so tidy, but that’s life, isn’t it? Good grief, I need my nap. You’ll be hearing more about Young Life later too, so don’t worry if this post seems muddled. It is.