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WinterFest Travel and Packing info

With WinterFest just a few days away, here are the details you need for travel and packing.

Travel information
This year we're not taking a charter bus to WinterFest, but are opting for a 15-passenger van and minivan. How awesome is that?!

We're meeting at church at 2:45 this Friday in order to pack and get on the road by 3.  We will be stopping for dinner on the way, so pack a sandwich or bring cash for that.

Sunday, we're shooting to be back to church between 5 and 6, depending on when the last worship session ends. We will stop for a meal during that trip as well, so bring cash for that.

Weather for the weekend looks to be in the low 40's, with possibly some snow on Saturday and rain on Sunday. Pack some good shoes and a winter coat that can handle rain, along with a hat and gloves. Layers are a good way to handle cold outside and warm in the chapel area.

Bring your own bedding, shower stuff, Bible, journal, and water bottle. And make sure you have cash for food on the drives and some extra for WinterFest gear if you want.

Feel free to bring games to play in the car or books to read.

Follow Along!
If you're not going on this retreat, you can still follow along! Find us on Instagram @ECCAyouth or on the web at

If you have questions, feel free to respond to this email or call my cell phone (email me if you would like my number). I'll have my phone on me the whole weekend for emergencies.

See you Friday!



WinterFest registration

WinterFest is only one short month away. That means we need to get registered now! Registration happens on Pilgrim Pines' website; click here to get there.

This High School retreat will be January 8-10, 2016. We'll meet at church that Friday afternoon, hop on bus, have a fantastic weekend, and then be back Sunday before dinner time. Detailed information will be out soon, so keep an eye out.

We do offer scholarships for families who need it. Please talk to Pastor Chris or send him an email for more information. Registration costs for the weekend go to Pilgrim Pines, but we will be collecting the bus cost ourselves. We'll have final cost for you soon.

It's going to be a great retreat! Get pumped!



Winterfest recap

Wow. This was my first WinterFest, and I was not disappointed. Every moment of the weekend, from the bus rides, to the speakers, to late-night chats, to many, many games of air hockey (and I mean a lot of air hockey), was steeped in fun and overflowing in God's presence.

Sometimes in church we can get stuck thinking that God only walks with us in the hard times of life, the tough times. But this retreat reminded me that the Holy Spirit can and does join us in our fun and laughter. And the opportunities for fun never seemed to run out at WinterFest! The game room was open both nights, with pool, foosball, pingpong, and, of course, air hockey. We spent time there just hanging out and playing games. During free time, we got to ride a zip line and the screamer swing (a huge, three person swing you get harnessed into!). And we can't forget the gym full of inflatable bounce castles!

The good times went deeper, too, as we dug into the message that Pastor Judy brought. She asked the question, "What are your 'therefores'?" When you encounter God, there is always a "therefore." I met God, therefore I will care for the poor. I met God, therefore I will befriend the friendless. I met God, therefore I can no longer continue a certain activity or habit or addiction. This idea spurred lots of conversations that we will continue through XL.

My first Winterfest will certainly be one to remember! Thanks to Kim and Heidi for volunteering their time and energy as leaders. After this wonderful weekend, I am pumped for the rest of the school year with our high school students, and am really looking forward to the Middle School retreat coming up in just a few weeks!