Alive and Learning: Going With the Flow

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This summer, our Student Ministry program made the trek to Canal Fulton, Ohio for Alive 2009. Alive is a 4-day “Christian Music” Festival that involves popular CCM musicians and bands, speakers, workshops, seminars, camping, swimming and the opportunity to purchase nearly any popular “Christian Media” you could desire. This post is part of a series aimed at sharing my experiences during the week and what I learned through the process so that you might learn from our successes and failures.

Have a Plan B – Anytime you are planning a trip with teenagers that heads into nature, you will want to come up with aAlive Blog Images copy plan “B.” For any eventuality. For us, that would have included boots, rain gear, and perhaps a small ark or submarine. Yep. Over the course of 4 days, we were rained on for 3 of them. And when it rained, it poured! I am including a few pics in this post for you to get a feel for what we experienced (click on the thumbnail to enlarge it), but it really just doesn’t do it justice. (But you can check out a few videos on my Qik page. Nose around. You’ll see them). Make sure you check the weather, and adopt the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared.” We were fairly prepared, with tarps, canopies, and the expectations of some water. But very few of us took along proper rain gear, boots, etc. In fact, the first night several of our troop had to sleep in the van since their tents became flooded! So plan for any weather. Remember, it’s better to be too prepared, than not prepared enough…

Be Prepared for Conversations – One of the reasons that we do these types of events is for the conversations that can rise up in the midst of everything. Our first night at Alive I sat by the campfire and had a rather deep conversation with one of our teens who almost never talks to me. Of course, the rest of the week he was a clam, but that night gave me the opportunity to really get a peek inside his head. Throughout the rest of the week there were other teens who fell into great conversations with me, and I was able to really get to know several of our group a lot better than if I had just been texting them (or even talking back home!). Look for opportunities to start conversations. Think of questions you can ask that spark conversation. Attend the concerts and seminars that they do and ask them what they thought. If you miss out on conversations, you miss out on virtually the entire experience…

Other Posts in This Series:
Alive & Learning: Connecting With Parents
Alive & Learning: Connecting With Students
Alive & Learning: Schedules & Discipline
Alive & Learning: Isn’t Everyone Here a Christian?
Alive & Learning: Touching Base With Your Group
Alive & Learning: If You’re Not Offended Yet…
Alive & Learning: Bringing It All Home