October 25th, 2009


Another busy Sunday

Church was good this morning. Very good. It was made better by the attendance of one of my former Venturers, Sarah, who is now pursuing a Masters in Library Science at IU. She's going to help me pull off my 20-miler this weekend. I have four Scouts ready to hit the road from Wilderstead to Lost Bridge and back. The trip will start and finish in the dark and may include a stream crossing. Oughta be a hoot.

Meanwhile, this afternoon the Venturers banged on some more lap quilts. Then, we had pizza and launched into our first-ever meetings of Officers and Crew Committee. The youth made some important decisions, including the decision to meet more frequently. These guys want this group to go. I'm pleased. The Committee also had a good meeting. I think we'll see some movement finally on putting down serious money and commitment for Philmont next year. That's good.

There aren't a whole lot of Venturers in our Crew, but I think there'll be more. Of course, Crews tend to stay small-to-medium in size. High adventure is actually an intimate experience, very different from the mass bivouac style of most Boy Scout Troops. And I can't help but contrast the eagerness of these few Venturers with the difficulty of getting our church's "official" youth group to get up and go.

I love 'em all, but our youth are very, very busy, and youth programming (other than our annual mission trip) is not very high on their list of priorities. In the end, one is not better than the other: both are youth ministry, though catering to different audiences. I was very reluctant to launch a Crew at this time -- at least, at first. But the energy the Venturers have, and the possibilities for ministry and building up the church that are present in that group, make it very worth my while to push myself a bit on their behalf. And I find that their energy rubs off on me and makes me more eager for other ministry.

One consequence of doing all this with the Venturers is, of course, doing less with the Boy Scouts. I didn't have a whole lot of time for camping with them, and it just got less. Plus, once I get this last bunch of Scouts through Hiking Merit Badge, I'm not starting a new group. Over the last two years, I've led ten ten-mile hikes and a twenty-miler. I've got one more twenty-miler and at least one more ten-miler to go, and I'll have all the boys who've shown they want to finish through the MB.

In the next three weeks, we do our annual stewardship program, then Charge Conference (annual business meeting). I'm also getting ready to launch a new confirmation class. All together now: aaaaaaaaah!