This is a long story. Please be patient and read it through. This is a story about our youth from the Eastern Conference, including Madeline Goussios, Hanna Hunt, Christopher and Corinne McCrimmon, Brycen Prasky, and Alexis and Taylor Stredney.
We have just returned from our Camp Frederick Servant Week. There were thirty of us. I and three other adult leaders planned and prepared the projects that we completed throughout the week. A few of our youth took charge of those projects and the rest of the youth responded as a well-disciplined team to get as much work done as possible.
It was a challenging week for me as three of our key adult leaders were not available to come and lead this year. Due to the lack of experience and the lack of transportation to move our youth to sites in Rogers and Youngstown, we decided to do work only at Camp Frederick. Initially, this was disappointing to our experienced youth because we want to make a difference in our communities. However, the work that needed to be done at the camp was crucial for sustaining a safe and beautiful place for the campers who come after us. Our youth understood the purpose of our tasks and they adopted that purpose as their own.
We scraped, primed, and painted the two foot bridges that are constructed of steel pipe. Because they bridge streams of water, we had to be vigilant to not pollute the streams with paint flakes and paint. It would have cost thousands of dollars to set up proper tarps to catch these elements if we were to sandblast the pipe then spray paint the pipe. However, by hand scraping and painting the pipe we could suspend tarps under our project and limit the area that the flakes would fly.
Think about this: scraping and painting two bridges, the constant transitions in laborers needed, skill sets required, changes in weather, and tools to be supplied. This required forethought and it required constant anticipation of changes. Seth Ackwright, from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, took charge of the larger foot bridge. Seth just completed his sophomore year in high school. Camp Frederick staff and Board did not believe that we would even start this bridge. It is now 80% scraped to bare steel, 75% primed, and 20% painted. The first foot bridge, which is only half the length of the larger bridge, is completely done. One bridge is 62 feet long; the second bridge is 132 feet long.
Although my focus was on the first bridge, because it has the most traffic, I had to constantly assess all other projects, coordinate shifting the youth from project to project, and ensure the leaders had the right tools and products. So Seth’s brother, David, and his friend, Ben (both also from Prince of Peace), co-led the first bridge. They just completed eighth grade. Lexi Stredney painted half this bridge. I highly recommend Lexi for paint jobs if you have them. She is amazing. I never saw anyone get paint all over themselves but never get it on something else but the bridge! Her green fingernails were done at no extra cost. In contrast, Taylor Stredney was our priming expert and she only got a few spots on herself and no spots on anything but the bridge. Taylor painted her own bedroom a year or so ago.
Meanwhile, a team of four led by Terry Wentworth from Emmanuel Lutheran Church painted the new cabin. Madeline Goussios and Hanna Hunt worked to complete this in the first two days. They were clearing trails the third day. Clearing trails is very physically demanding. Just ask them!
Pastor Paul Bailie from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Conneaut, Ohio, led a group that pressure washed and stained 24 picnic tables plus the deck of the Nature Center. This required the muscles of about 12 youth to carry the tables to the basketball court, flip them over, set them up, paint them the next day, flip them again to stain the underside, and finally carry them back to the various locations at the camp. Brycen Prasky, Christopher and Corinne McCrimmon did their fair share of getting this done as they bounced between several projects. Christopher and Brycen also learned how to dig with a pickmatix and to rake with the pickmatix. Oh yes, and they cleaned gutters on three buildings with their bare hands! ☺
In between the big jobs, we repaired the roof on the Adult Center, cleaned up debris, helped the counselors practice and prepare their devotions, skits, worship, and games for the summer.
So, did anyone notice what our youth accomplished? The answer is YES! The little children at Day Camp were ecstatic as they walked across the freshly painted cedar green foot bridge. They shouted, “This bridge is AWESOME!” Parents came to pick up their children and were amazed. Visitors stopped by the camp to see what Camp Frederick was and discovered our youth making a difference in the lives of everyone who would come to this camp.
For me, I witnessed our young people take risks to do things they never did before because they care about others. I witnessed youth dedicated to complete a job as a team, informed by their faith, faithful to one another, and faithful to God. They started this work a bit skeptical that anyone would notice, but trusted that God needed them and was using them to do His will. I witnessed God reveal to them the joy they bring to others.
And this changes everything!
Finance Chairperson Vacancy…If you would be interested in or willing to fill the Finance Chairperson vacancy, please contact Pastor Bill and he can discuss the position with you.
Church Information…Please remember that you can obtain church information from the monthly Lamplighter Newsletter, the Constant Contact emails you receive, on the church website (www.lllc.org), on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Living-Lord-Lutheran-Church-493806727349110/), and postings on the church bulletin board. Church Council Meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board and sent out via Constant Contact. We would like to see a better “open rate” when we send information to you via Constant Contact so that we know you are being informed of the activities that are occurring at the church. If you have any other suggestions on how best to reach out to our parishioners, please see a Council member.