Monday, August 16, 2010

Cleveland Mission Trip: Day 6

A Perfect Day at Cedar Point!
Day 6 consisted of us waking up, packing our stuff, and heading off to Camp Sandusky.  Once we arrived at the camp ground we got settled into the cabins that we would be spending the night in.  And then once all was situated, we headed off to Cedar Point!  And boy did we have the absolutely perfect day for Cedar Point.  It was a little warm but not bad.  It was so much fun to take a large group of teens of whom, many have never been to CP.  I promised them that if we could all stay together, I would take them on a roller coaster tour de force.  We had a few coaster-haters with us.  When we got to the Maverick I dragged one of them in line with me convincing her that this was an easy ride.  Of course, I have never been on this ride since it was relatively new but I knew that it didn’t break any records for being the tallest or fastest.  But once we road it, it ended up being a lot more intense of a ride then I ever expected.  In fact, this became the one ride that we went back a second time before we left the park that night.  We hit them all throughout the course of the day: Mantis, Raptor, Magnum, Millennium, Gemini, Maverick, Skyhawk, Dragster.  We had such a fun time together. 

            After our time at Cedar Point, we headed back to Camp Sandusky, crashed for the night, and then made our trip back home!  Overall, this trip was a huge success.  We had many teens go for the first time with our youth group.  So this was a significant trip to help bond a new group of teens for the new school year.  I missed several of my Seniors whom I have had several mission trip experiences in the past with but I knew that most of them were just busy transitioning into the next stage of life and it’s time for a leadership shift in our youth group.  This trip helped us to achieve just that. 

Things that we learned from this trip:

1.  Once again, I really need more adult guys to come on these trips.  I was the only guy on this trip.  I thought I had another coming with me but it was at the last minute that he was unable to come due to unforeseen reasons.  But unfortunately I did not have a Plan B.  For the health of our team and the diversity of leadership we need more adults to attend these trips.

2.  A mixture of experiences was a very good thing.  We had days that involved hard work and others that involved relationally connecting with people.  Having a variety like that helped all the teens to discover what type of service really got them excited.

3.  I loved having more control over the design and implementation of the trip.  For the teens to take an active role in making decisions, crafting worship, and putting together devotionals I think helped grow them spiritually.  We could have gone with a mission organization that had all of that together for us already with a higher quality of preparedness, but I believe that giving teens, especially Senior Highers, the opportunity to lead themselves actually has a greater impact on them.

4.  Experiencing the culture and interacting with specific people are a big part of any mission trip.  It was exciting for me to introduce them to some of the culture of Cleveland and to meet specific people who have been heavily involved in ministry to that area or have been ministered to through these important ministries that we supported. 

5.  The greater the challenge, the more our teens would rise to the occasion.  Easy jobs were always completed quickly and efficiently.  But if you give our teens a job that was challenging they would always work hard to accomplish it. 

6.  Cedar Point was the perfect way to end a mission trip!  I loved taking the team there. 

7.  With maturity, comes rewards.  Our Senior Highers are very, very trustworthy.  When teens come across this way it is so easy for me to trust them with greater responsibility and reward them for their hard work. 

8.  It is always fun to see what happens with teenagers when left alone in a spiritually challenging and friendly environment.  Many good conversation, spontaneous worship, group counseling, and depth to friendships occur on these kinds of trips.  

What an awesome week!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading of the trip. I'm a Cedar Point executive that tracks blogs on the park. Also one who has led mission trips from an east side Cleveland Methodist Church. You taught me some things about my city. Thanks. Clark (Let me know if you bring a group back to Cedar Point.)