In my previous post I wrote about the Lead Team pre-retreat which took place for 24 hours prior to the actual retreat. The rest of the group started arriving in the late afternoon on Monday. Upon check-in they were given a little “welcome basket” with some treats (my wonderful wife assembled these baskets), a welcome letter, lanyards, and a couple other items.
Some arrived early enough to enjoy the beautiful afternoon downtown. Others met us at The Old Spaghetti Factory for our opening meal. The group was very festive and it was very exciting to see new and old friends sitting together and reminiscing and/or creating new memories and friendships.
After a great dinner and the drive back to the Crowne Plaza we did our first session, entitled, “The Mission.” Our goal was to give the participants a good idea of what the actual mission trip would look like. Because my main goal with Youthmark Mission Ventures is to train the students for the “51 weeks of life back home” it was important to start with the conduit (the mission) and end with the main purpose (I’ll share about that in my next post)..
We finished right on time (10:00 PM) and called it an evening (though many stuck around until nearly 11:00 talking). I already have ideas as to how I’d like to change this first evening next year, but that is a later post as well! I went to bed feeling very good, but very tired after a great beginning!