I've done a ton of trips to the snow with high school students and firmly proven that no two are identical. For starters, there's massive differences in mindset and expectations between a snow trip in Nor Cal and San Diego. I've had trips to the hospital, weather craziness, and everything from 10 students in a day trip to 140 in buses and cargo trailers. But this last weekend, despite 20+ yrs of going to the snow with high school students, I had 3 firsts.
1. WE DIDN'T RUSH. This is borderline sinning what I'm about to say, but we were in Big Bear for 2 days and only were on the slopes for one and um... it was nice. Hear this: I LOVE snow boarding and the reason we only did one day was because not enough of us could afford to board 2 days. But it allowed us to have a truly lazy Sunday. We got up... many of us sore. Had breakfast, enjoyed a "chapel" time together, then packed up, went to starbucks, stopped for lunch on the way home and got back in town around 3pm. Normally, we rush to pack early in the morning, slam down some breakfast, and hurry back to the slopes. Then I'm not home until 10pm and we're all seriously dragging. I thought to myself, "I must be getting old or finally getting smart. I really liked this pace." I think I had better convos, my soul was filled, and I really enjoyed myself.
2. I DIDN'T DRIVE. I don't really know why. But for the last 17 years, I don't think I've ever been on a high school student retreat where I didn't drive at least part of the trip. For years it was because we had buses and I was one of the only drivers. Other times it's because we have limited drivers and I needed to drive. But this time, I had 3 vehicles and way more than 3 very capable and trusted adults. I asked 3 of them if they wanted to drive. They all said yes. So, I sat down for the very first time, all weekend in the passenger seat. I NEVER touched the wheel... and it was nice. I played digital DJ. I looked at the map. I laughed with students and talked to people with eye contact. I think I might do it again :)
3. WE PLAYED MINUTE TO WIN IT. I know, I'm late to the party. But oh my did we have fun. I went to the minute to win it website and downloaded instructions for 20 games. I gathered supplies around my house, the church, and a couple of quick trips to the store. Then Saturday night after dinner and some rest, we divided up into 4 teams of 7 and then we laughed so hard the people "praying next door" at the camp we were at told us we were too loud. Been way too long since my youth ministry laughed hard enough to disrupt praying people next door! Thank you NBC for making my life super easy and for creating a "print button" on your page. Simply amazing and dang good times.