Work Camper Reach Workcamp `97 - Parsons, TN
                                        June 22-28
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For the second year in a row, I spent a week at a Reach Workcamp with my youth group from Matthews United Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC. This year we traveled to Parsons, Tennessee. The trip took us almost 11 hours, but we arrived safely at Riverside High School Sunday afternoon (June 22).

Monday morning we headed out to our worksites in and around Parsons. There were about 300 youth, counselors, troubleshooters, and Reach staff members. So we made up close to 40 seven-person work crews. Our tasks included painting, roofing, all kinds of repair work (siding, floors, doors, ceilings, etc.), and some new construction (decks and wheelchair ramps). We worked from 8am - 4pm, Monday through Friday (Wednesday only until noon and Friday until all the worksites were finished!).

Each night, we had an evening program that included singing, joke-telling -- ask anyone who went about the "Pink Ping Pong Ball" joke I told Thursday evening -- skits, games, slide shows, sharing time, and group devotions with our work crews. On Wednesday night, we held a talent show that produced some powerful moments for those performing and those in attendance. The nights were brought to a close with evening reflections in our own youth groups.

The theme for our devotions all week was "The Wall". Each day our devotions during lunch and the evening program talked about how we each build walls, barriers that keep us isolated from friends, family, and God. As the week progressed, we learned how to break down these walls, by carrying away the "stones" -- pride, self-pity, resentment, etc. -- one by one. By week's end, we could see the walls we had brought down in the Parsons community, in our work crews, and in our youth groups. We left the camp ready to return home and continue breaking down walls.

I had a great week at the camp. Be sure and check out the pictures and bible verses from my trip, as well as the official Reach Workcamps website!

The B-Man

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This page was last updated on July 11, 1997