Trip Blog //
Friday, July 21
Our final day was full of mixed feelings. Everyone was tired, sad to leave new friends, but also eager to be home. After the final session (on Soli Deo Gloria) we made the obligatory pilgrimage to In-N-Out and spent an hour at the secluded Table Rock Beach in Laguna.
During our long drive home we played Battle of the Bands and sand along to Phantom of the Opera. Elder Liston kept us on our toes by randomly shrieking and Pastor Spotts told a story of true crime. As we drew near to Phoenix several students asked the inevitable question: “can we go to RYS next year?” Lord willing, I hope so!
Thursday, July 20
In addition to more sessions, today's highlights included the ice cream social and talent show. Among dozens who tried out, Peter was one of the few acts chosen to perform. He received more cheers than almost anyone else. In this case, “anyone else” was none other than Rev. Nymeyer who demonstrated his martial arts skills by breaking boards held by Edler Liston and Rev. Spotts. Here's a clip of the choir (I accidentally cut out two seconds in the middle):
PS: ask Peter about his other time on stage this day.
Wednesday, July 19
What a day! After the morning session on Solus Christus, we crammed into school buses and went to Knott's Berry Farm.
There was some trepidation at first, since for most this was their first time on thrill rides with soaring loops and plummeting drops. For bravery, they came away with big smiles and some incredible memories. Nearly everyone preferred Ghost Rider, a colossal wooden coaster, but water rides were another highlight in the hot weather. At the end of the day, Katelyn's favorite experience was “the fact that I overcame my fears... I'm more of a daredevil than I thought.”
It's been neat for Elder Liston and Pastor Spotts to observe our kids encouraging one another and praying together. They are becoming more comfortable and bold with their faith and it's wonderful to behold.
By the way, Kirk won the Gorilla, whom he named Flavius, by kicking a certain number of soccer balls into a goal. Well done!
Tuesday, July 18
Despite yesterday's events going until midnight, today started early with a 5K run (optional) at 6:45, and breakfast at 7am. Following Son-rise groups, we had a powerful Key-Note session from Rev. Marcusse on Sola Gratia. After free time and lunch, students broke into separate workshops.
Peter, Timmy, and Regan especially enjoyed Rev. Nymeyer's class on TULIP (which he taught with expected gusto). Others sat in on What Your Selfie Says About You, Why Confessions Matter, and more.
Our PURC Youth formed a volleyball team and won both games! They advance to semi-finals on Thursday. Of course, we attribute their skill to practice at the Van Hofwegen pool.
Finally, after evening Workshop, pool time, and Son-set groups, we hit bed about midnight. It was a full day, and we need rest for another long one tomorrow. We'll be heading to Knotts Berry Farm! It is hard to believe how jam-packed our schedule is but I haven't heard any complaints from the youth. Actually, they seem to be having a great time meeting new friends.
Monday, July 17
Our drive was uneventful but enjoyable. We played several games including "five fingers" (Kirk won) and Geography (we discovered a new State, "Ellinoise").
After settling into our dorms, we explored the beautiful campus (especially Olivia, ask her later).
Rev. Jon Bushnell gave the first Key-Note session, on Sola Scriptura. It was amazing to see over 825 students and sponsors worshiping and studying God's Word together. Before bed, our group got together for a Son-Set meeting to discuss how things are going. They seemed excited and encouraged by their experience thus far. Of course, there are some growing pains that come with meeting new people and interacting with kids of more and less Christian character. But we're here to grow!
Students, please fill this out and hit Submit. Thanks.
Biola University, Los Angeles, California
Departure & Return:
Two options for when/where to meet on Monday:
- 8:30 AM — At the church (East / Central)
- 9:00 AM — Moss House (Westsiders)
We plan to return to church by 8:30 PM Friday.
What to pack:
Your RYS infopack gives more details. Basically, a mix of clothes for warm and cool weather, modest swimsuit and towel, sunscreen, and copious deodorant since we're all sharing a van. ;) Make sure to bring your Bibles, a notepad and several pens.
Food & Cash:
- Eat breakfast at home before we leave.
- We'll stop on the way for lunch (pack / bring cash for fast food).
- Bring snacks / cash for munching on the long drive.
- There should be sufficient meals and snacks at RYS, but if you want extra bring it.
- On the way back we'll get dinner (cash for fast food).