enjoy 'Fun in the Son'
What does a beautiful sunny day, water balloons, a volleyball net, music, 28 gathered people and lots of laughter represent? It represents our annual Tri-Parish Catholic “Fun in the Son” retreat at Keuterville.
In the afternoon of June 28th we began our retreat by putting up tents and preparing the sprinklers and water balloons for some playful hours in the sun. Have you ever had 20 kids with water balloons at war? (Clark was definitely the head leader, as he was ready at any time or anywhere to share his gift of ammo)! It’s definitely something you should put on your bucket list for a fun adventure. The afternoon was also spent playing a few heated games of volleyball until the net collapsed from exhaustion. I think it was tired and hot too. After the volleyball game the youth gathered to prepare for the midnight talent show. I couldn’t wait to see what they would come up with. You just never know what talents are out there. We ended the afternoon with some quiet time to reflect and praise God for the greatness before us. We sat on the ground in a circle and sang praise to our God who so graciously provides us with gifts that we often forget to see. It was good to stop and reflect on the beauty of creation, the greatness of family, the gift of friendship, and joy of the Lord. Scripture says, Rejoice, again I say rejoice”. It was a perfect time and place to do just that!
The evening brought it a trip to Grangeville. We all loaded into our cars, even our dear priest, Father Paul was rocking out to teen music with 4 kids in his car. He joined the caravan and off we went. Our destination was the movie theater to watch, “The Man of Steel”. Have you ever taken 28 people to the movies? Again, I will say it was an adventure, but one filled with delight and joy. I was like a proud mother making sure all my chicks were taken care of and had all of their food supplies before the movies. The movie was great and from there we went to Subway and picked up our late dinner and headed to the city park. We spent an hour at the park playing, swinging, climbing, talking, and doing more swinging and then finally at 11:00 p.m. we headed back to Keuterville. At midnight we began our talent show, which brought tears to my eyes. The courage it takes to get in front of your peers to show them your giftedness is scary, but we had a lot of youth come forward with their acts. We had broomstick tricks, interpretive dance, piano playing, singing, lip-syncing and more. The acts were voted on and the winner received a beach ball sprinkler, candy, goggles, batman sunglasses, and gum. This prize was well worth competing for. The winners were Beth Dinning and Becca Degode from Lewiston. It was a great ending to a perfect day. After the talent show we closed the night with a prayer of thanksgiving and the youth headed off their outside oasis for a good night of sleep. Actually, it was so warm outside it was really difficult to go to sleep because of the beauty of the night. The stars were huge and Keuterville reflects everything the retreat stood for, greatness, awe, serenity, and joy. The rain entered this beautiful environment about 4:30 a.m., thus causing kids to scramble, traps and sleeping bags to be gathered and laughter to begin again.
The morning brought with it pancakes, breakfast casserole, cinnamon roles, juice, and a group of tired kids. (Thank you Maureen Munger, Chris Uptmor, Diana Didier, and Stacie Dinning for the yummy food). We ate and just hung around the hall most of the morning in our pajamas. It was like we were gathered at home with family and not in a hurry to go anywhere. It made me smile to see how comfortable everyone was and how just being together was the perfect sign of God’s presence. Finally it was time to tear down, clean up, and say our good byes. I watched as kids hugged each other! The retreat did just what I had planned, it helped them stop, see, and embrace. “Rejoice again I say rejoice”. We definitely had “Fun in the Son”.
With great gratitude,
Fun in the Son retreatants are shown. Front from left are Katarina Tillinghast, Patty Bruegeman, Kyle Tillinghast, Becca Degode, Kevin Tillinghast, Harley Morgan, Amanda Dinning, Emily McHugh and Chaye Uptmor. Standing from left are Faith Uhlenkott, Jennifer VonBargen, Darlene Gehring, Clark Bruno, Beth Dinning, Savannah Hoene, Harry Clark, Matthew Degode, Marisa Lustig, Sarah Seubert, Nicole Poxleitner and Jackie Uhling. Not pictured are Maria Munger, Krista Hess, Jason VonBargen, Father Paul, Chelsey Telles and Debbie Chicane. Photo provided by Debbie Chicane.