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Archive for September, 2008

International Talk Like A Pirate Day 2008

by on Sep.19, 2008, under Ashley Bingle, Richard Bingle Family

The time has come again, Mateys! That most wonderful time of year when we get to annoy all passers-by with our piratical speech. I know I will lapse into pirate speech just about any time now that I have gotten to see all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (since last TLAPD I hadn’t yet), but this gives me a reason to be talkin’ like a pirate. (I get a few less stares that way, maybe…)

Last year I confused my Computer Science teacher when I answered all her questions about java coding in my pirate persona and this year I saved up my Web Design teacher’s oral quiz for a similar demonstration. Ironically, as I am usually the Captain when we play pirates at PE and it started just yesterday, I got to try out my pirate voice prematurely.

-Cap’n Ash

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Fall 2008 Student Leadership Retreat

by on Sep.15, 2008, under Ashley Bingle

At our church we have two groups of Student Leaders, the regular Student Leaders, who are high schoolers, and the Junior Student Leaders, sometimes called the Padawans, who are in middle school. These kids are supposed to help by leading ministries, or for the Padawans to help lead those ministries. My ministry is singing in the Youth Praise Band for Youth Group on Monday nights. They also discuss some more in-depth or controversial doctrines in weekly Student Leadership Meetings. Requirements have gotten more strict this year and include attendance of these meetings, mentorship meetings, and scripture memorization each week.

In the Spring of this year the high school Student Leaders of our church who were available went to a leadership retreat at Cedarkirk, where the Children’s Ministry had been before (with Mom, Amber, Alyssa, and I all attending) for a High School Retreat organized by that camp. Our Youth Director did not have anything to plan or worry about, just getting the small group of us there and back in one piece. This Fall, with a new semester of students and attendance of the biannual retreats now mandatory all but one of the Student Leaders attended a completely different “Retreat” to Southwind camp in Ocala.

Amber went to Southwind for her summer camp, Great Escape, the week following my summer camp, leaving the same day I came back, and apparently our Youth Director struck a deal with someone there about getting us to be the Work Crew for someone else’s retreat at that camp. It turned out that the church who is usually the Work Crew for Great Escape was having a family retreat with around a hundred people that we got to serve.

The whole point of the retreat was for us to learn about serving attitudes and get better at our leadership, communication, and teamwork skills, which we did, although not how we originally thought. Our Youth Director apparently did not expect Work Crew to be quite so much work, but we spent most of our time doing that. We got to serve the food, acting like waiters, asking people if they needed anything, getting them more food, clearing their dishes. We got to clear all the tables entirely, washing them, putting the chairs on them so we could vacuum the entire floor, then resetting everything with new place settings for the next meal. We got to wash and put the dishes away, which was a special job called The Pits. We almost had to cook too, but then four of the kids would have to be working at times when everyone else was off work. Shaun managed to talk our way out of that so we had time for having time all together for talking about the upcoming year and doing an “exercise”. We did a traditional Leadership Retreat exercise that I had not been around for before, which involved a spider-web like net that we had to get the entire group through without touching the net or using the same hole more than once. It took us a while to do it, but we made it eventually on our last attempt before we were going to give up so we had time for something else before dinner. We were very pleased with ourselves, because apparently, the game had not been won by a youth leadership team for several years.

We got some break time also, where we went swimming, played ping-pong, air hockey, and foosball in the game room, and went on the ropes course. The ropes course was two different “rides”, one which was a giant swing where three people were strapped in and rode to the top of the swing’s height with a winch and then released themselves to go swinging back and forth until coming to a stop when the ride operators caught a specific part of the swing and hooked it into an anchor. The other was a jump off of a twenty-five(?) foot tree harnessed onto a belaying rope that was held at the bottom to let you down slowly. Both rides were very fun and I got to ride on each of them before we headed back to get ready for dinner.

The entire trip was entertaining and educational and in my opinion we learned just as many teamwork, communication, and leadership skills being the Work Crew as we did in our exercise. I know we all came back having learned how to work better together and it was a good experience to serve on that trip.

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