Monday, January 31, 2011

High School Ski Trip

I just like this picture. 

This is Ben.  He is a freshman in our high school ministry.  I snapped this picture just before we hit the slopes this weekend at Hidden Valley Ski Resort

It was a great trip for a variety of reasons.  The first and primary reason was the relationships.  There were 21 high school students and 5 adults that hit the road for a two night (1 full day of skiing trip) to PA.  Many of the students (almost half) were totally unknown to me before we hit the road.  But after a full day of skiing, riding lifts, hitting the terrain park and playing together, I had some new friends. 

I think, from time to time, trips like this are overlooked by those in the church outside of youth ministry.  From the outside, it looked like a fun trip to play in the snow (read: vacation weekend).  But from the youth ministry side, some invaluable relationships were built along with some serious credibility.  (Students look at you differently when you hit the half pipe right behind them and spend the day just riding lifts, talking about life and hanging out. Seriously... I did hit the half pipe... multiple times! Shaun White I'm not... but I can handle the half pipe!)  There is a connection that's established there that can't be established any other way. 

So... from that side... it was an invaluable weekend. 

Beside that, there were several other elements that made the weekend remarkable:
  • We stayed overnight in a fabulous lodge! 
  • The slopes were awesome!!!! Especially the 35-40 minutes that we were on the slopes before they officially opened... but the lifts were running so they let us on.
  • The snow was amazing.  The slopes were perfect... especially in the morning hours before the crowds arrived.
  • The temps were perfect!
  • It wasn't too crowded... always good.
  • We had to take one student to the hospital (poor Julie).  The ski patrol thought she might have a concussion after a spill.  After a couple of CAT scans and X-rays, she didn't.  (I got 3 1/2 hours on the slopes after getting back!)
  • My adult leaders were awesome! (thanks Andy, Megan, Scott and Erin (especially Erin... who went last minute!!))
  • The vans didn't break down (always a plus).
  • The company that we worked with in setting up the reservations (CTI Group Adventures) was top-notch and took care of us well!
It was a great weekend of relationship building, hanging out and youth ministry.  I'm already looking forward to scheduling another for next year.

And just in case you wanted to see a few videos of students crashing on the terrain park or landing big jumps, check out these videos (crashing, Brock landing, Brock jumping over Braxton). 


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