Fall Break and 412 Youth Retreat

October 20, 2009Katie

By Katie

Canvas 09

So, I’ve been silently absent from the blog for several days this week and not done a bit of cooking.  

It’s been glorious.

You see, we spent our fall break last week on a youth retreat with 130 screaming kids at Sky Ranch near Miami, Oklahoma.

We slept in bunk beds.


We stayed up until 1 A.M. listening to giggles, boys having dance parties, and ate camp food full of starch and sugar.

We absolutely loved it.

We had amazing services filled with annointed inspirational worship.


The kids praised like rockstars.


They freely loved Jesus as if no one was watching.

The services were amazing.  The speakers (and painter) touched hearts.  Pastorcollage2

The altar calls changed many hearts and were blessed.  Sorry, no pictures of that.  That was alone time with God.

We spent most of our time outdoors.  Mr. Wonderful did the Zipline.


It’s the longest zipline in the United States.  He zipped almost 2000 feet or 1/2 mile.

Here’s a shocker. Kayla ziplined also!


This from the girl who sleeps with her closet light and her tv on.  This was a BIG step for her.  And she did it with attitude and hot pink gloves.  I could see her coming 1/2 mile away cuz of those gloves.


Here’s how the zipline works.  A covered wagon drops you off to a trek uphill to conquer this massive tower.


You slowly ascend this tower to the top, where you then step up on a box (line attached of course) and have to jump off.



That girl in the hot pink jacket is one of our youth leaders -Stacy.  Stacy is terrified of heights and about the time they asked her to step on that box, her legs gave out.  She asked the man working the top of the tower to pray for her.

And he did.  That’s just the way things operate at Sky Ranch.  I love the place.

Here she is as the wagon is taking her to the hill.


Needless to say, Stacy isn’t a happy camper at this point.  But she did it…and conquered her fear.

Other things  happened on the trip.

The girls bonded.

The girls

Oh did the girls bond…


Like until 3 a.m. they bonded.


The guys bonded as well.


And got away from their X-Boxes.  It was a beautiful thing.

The older boys mentored the younger ones.  I loved it.


That’s my son Conner.  He had a sports injury on his shoulder, so he couldn’t paintball, or zipline.

But for some reason, he thought he could do this.  football

In fact, the boys spent a lot of time doing this.  FOOTBALL!

There was one evening activity that got me hooked.



I know, I know…but unless you play it? 

Do NOT judge me!

You have no idea how highly addictive it is.  I’ve been thinking since returning home about having a weekly group just to play it again.  And before you knock it? Think about this? Teens using their minds…

It’s a beautiful thing.

All in all, I think we left our mark at Sky Ranch. 

Our rock

It was a life changing experience for many.  I was glad to be a part of it.



  • Fran J

    October 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Oh those courageous girls on the zipline. I believe my legs would have left me and climbed down the ladder by themselves. looks like all the kids had a fun time along with the adults.
  • Cheryl

    October 20, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    How cool!!!!! what an experience!
  • Christy Johnson

    October 20, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Katie, How awesome are you to put this together and capture the memories for the retreat. And...to allow us parents who didn't go the opportunity to get a peak into last weekend! Thank you so much for all that you and Dennis deposit into our youth! You guys are amazing examples!

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