Student Bios

I meant to send this in the final blog post. Here is the student bios for you to review once you find out your team tonight. BIG thanks to Jill Eston for exporting this and putting this together. Have a great day! -Nate

 

2018 SH Mission Trip Youth Information

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Politics & Mission Trips

SH Mission Trip Leadership Team!Are you ready? Are you excited? Are you nervous? I hope so. We are only 3 days away from another incredible week of serving Jesus, staying up way too late, eating like kings and queens and laughing until our sides hurt. I came across this letter I sent to all of you last year in advance of our trip to WV and I realized that unfortunately not much has changed in the political landscape of our country. I thought it would be a good idea to share this with you again as we set off across the country for another incredible adventure…..

We had our final SH of the year last night. A cookout on the back patio at the Buoy and a beautiful evening in NE Ohio. I was looking at all of these kids and one by one, in my head, thinking about this struggle, or that situation or what they are dealing with or how much they have going for them. I realized that one of the coolest things about youth ministry is that Jesus and his message of unconditional love, grace and peace cut across all socio-economic borders, all divisions of race, gender, sexuality and political affiliation. Each one of these kids has been drawn to Jesus and to youth group from vastly different backgrounds, but each of them are seeking something in common. It’s a common denominator that can only be found in the words and life of Jesus.

As I prayed for this trip and prepared and thought about all of the things that I hoped this week would be for each of us, I simultaneously have watched as our country has found itself agitated, entrenched, angry, bitter and unwilling to find any commonalities. It’s 100% win or 100% lose. I have found myself caught up in it and shaking my head and trying to understand how people can think a certain way or really believe in a certain policy or back such an obviously bad decision. I found myself becoming more partisan and less empathetic. It’s not a good feeling to be in that place. It’s lonely and filled with fear and resentment.

I realize that every last one of us on this trip has their opinions on the many challenges facing our country and a belief in what our country should look like, how it should handle this situation and what role our government should play in our lives. That’s awesome. It’s what made and what makes our country so special. The vast array of ideas and opinions that collectively have carried us the past 2 ½ centuries to where we are today.

I believe we have an opportunity this week to showcase what a group of people with vastly different opinions can accomplish when we look beyond our ideologies and our beliefs to simply serve those in need. Because I still believe that deep down inside each of us and each of our fellow countrymen and countrywomen there is an inherent tug to be the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

My challenge to you this week is to turn off the talking heads and twitter feeds and 24 hour news cycle that infect our brains and our beings and focus all of our energy on being present. Present in Cherryfield, ME. Present for each of these young people who have such a desire to learn and grow and to be heard. Present for whatever the Holy Spirit has in store for us. Present to have our life changed and present to change the lives of others.

Will politics come up at some point? Will a kid wear a Trump shirt to breakfast? Will kids in a van for sixteen hours inevitably say something about making America Great Again? Yeah…probably. Roll with it. We can’t ignore it. What we can do is talk about it, without calling each other names, without getting angry. We can model the love and grace that Jesus spoke of relentlessly throughout his ministry. We can show each other as a leadership team the grace and the respect that so many others don’t extend when these conversations emerge.

My prayer is that the politics of America don’t overshadow the miracles that we will be witnessing and creating for a week in the town of Cherryfield, Maine. My prayer is that each of us sees that life is so much more than the headlines and the controversies that surround us everyday. Thank you for saying yes to this adventure. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you for simply being you.  Ready to rock. -Nate

Final Leadership Team Stuff

Hey Everyone! Are you ready for this? We are only 3 days away from this year’s trip.  I sent out ONE GIGANTIC email out to the entire group today, but this blog post is a GIGANTIC pile of important information for all of you as members of our leadership team.

FRIDAY VAN PICK-UP:We will be picking up the vans on Friday at 5PM from Enterprise in Avon. Please note this is an hour later than our original plan. My apologies for the late change. I will meet all of you at church at 5PM.  I have the following people signed up to help with this:

Friday, June 8th, 2018                  5PM – 6PM

Van Pick-UP (10 vehicles, 2 drivers to take us to vehicles)

  1. Nate
  2. 2. Tom Coy
  3. Jill Eston
  4. 4. Regan Pore
  5. Marcia Coleman
  6. 6. Chris Spaetzel
  7. Ashley Forbes
  8. 8. Beth Gee
  9. Jana Peachman
  10. 10. Carolyn – driving drivers

FRIDAY BAG DROP-OFF: On Friday afternoon from 4PM – 5PM we are asking students to drop off their big bag at the Buoy. The girls bags will go on the rental box truck and the guys bags will go on Paul’s box truck. I have the following people signed up to help with this:

  1. Amy Nasr
  2. Hannah Oehlstrom
  3. Katie Schulz
  4. Deanna Walther
  5. Zoe Cummings

SATURDAY’S CHECK-IN:We will be opening check-in at the Buoy starting at 8AM. I would greatly appreciate it if you all were there by 7:30AM. We will have coffee and Panera for all of you on the Buoy back deck. Some of you have volunteered to help in specific areas:

BUOY DOOR: Ben Branco, Ashley

MEDS TABLE: Lisa, Beth

CHECK-IN TABLE: Regan, Carolyn

T-SHIRT, GUIDE BOOK TABLE: Amy, Marcia, Deanna

VAN LOADERS: Everyone else

We are going to need everyones help to get everything done that we need to get done in an hour. If you are not assigned something specific, please pitch in and help where ever you can. Our plans is to finish check-in by 8:45AM, get a group photo, Rev. Kelly is going send us off with a prayer and we hope to hit the road by 9:02AM. There is a large event happening at the church at 9AM and I have told them we would be gone as close to 9AM as possible.

CARAVAN ETIQUETTE:It is difficult to caravan. Let’s start there. Some of us like to drive like we are in the Indy 500 and some of us are terrified of the highway. I would like to remind you of a few things and then offer some caravan guidelines and etiquette. We are traveling with vans full of kids, 66 of the most important things in the world to 66 sets of parents. It is a great responsibility we are undertaking and in driving these MIT’s, we need to be mindful of that. So with that being said, I would like to offer these guidelines:

  1. We are going to attempt and continue to attempt and work at trying to stay together as much as possible with all 11 of our vehicles. This will not be easy, this won’t always be realistic, but we are going to constantly work at it. This is number one for safety. And safety of these kids and of each of you is and always will be my number one priority.
  2. I am going to ask Van #1 to lead the caravan and set the pace. The pace doesn’t have to be 60mph but it shouldn’t be 85mph either. We are going to obey speed limits and all traffic laws.
  3. Please try to stay with at least one other vehicle. We WILL get separated. Please rendezvous at the planned stops. We will all meet at the planned stops.
  4. We are not in a race. Maine is not going anywhere. We will get there when we get there. Sit back and relax. Please.
  5. Drive like you were transporting your own kids. I can still remember driving Max home from the hospital and how cautious and how slow and how nervous I was. I hope you all use that same caution and treat our travels on this trip with the same respect.
  6. Know when to say when. Put your ego aside. If you are exhausted or not focused or not up for driving. Let us know. We are a team and we will have someone else drive in order to ensure we are always putting safety first.

MISSION TRIP SHIRTS:Our mission trip shirts are in. Please stop by and pick yours up this week. I am going to ask that everyone on our adult team wears there mission trip shirt on Sunday so we are easily identifiable for students and parents. We are planning on wearing them on Friday, but we will find a Laundromat in Cherryfield and will get them washed for all of you during the week.

ARRIVAL IN CHERRYFIELD: When we arrive at Maine it could very well be a hot mess. My hope is to control that hot mess as much as possible. The folks from Seacoast will be leading us in an orientation on Monday morning. Katie and Greg are arriving ahead of us on Sunday evening. My hope is to have everyone take a few minutes to get settled, find a bunk and then I am going to ask our student leadership team to help with unloading the big box truck.
Everyone can assist in getting the kids luggage out of the vans and holding down the fort until we are ready to let the kids in the facilities.

Once we allow the kids in the dorms to get settled in, we will reevaluate what time it is, how dinner is coming along and what time we need to be where.

Two words….Semper Gumby.

 VAN COMMUNICATIONS:We have learned our lesson with walkie-talkies and long van rides. We will be bringing the walkies for use in Maine during our shower & dinner shuttle services. During our travel I am encouraging all of us to use the WhatsApp. Please use it sparingly and for important things. I trust most of us know what should be deemed “important”.

TOLLS:We will encounter a lot of toll roads on this trip. Tim has already done all of the calculations. Each vehicle will have an EZ pass. If you are letting us borrow YOUR EZ pass please bring it to the church and have your name on it. We will place it in a vehicle with everything else that needs to go in each vehicle. When we get back in town, please print your statement for the time we traveled and we will submit them for reimbursement.

GAS: In each of your vans you will find an envelope for gas receipts. If you are comfortable putting your gas expenses on your personal credit card, we would appreciate it. Again, when we return home, please turn in this envelope with your name marked on each receipt and we will submit them for reimbursement.

DAY BAG:Everyone needs to have a day bag. To take to the job site each day, but as well as for Saturday when we stay overnight in NY. You will also want this bag for our hiking trip in Acadia.

TRIP LEADER PACKETS:When you arrive on Saturday, I have packets of information for each of you along with a guide book. Please bring your three ring binder with you and place these papers in that binder. You will need this information throughout the week.

LEADERSHIP TEAM MEETINGS:We will meet briefly EVERY day right after dinner. This will be a chance to touch base, go over the next days schedule, discuss any potential problems, etc.

SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS IN MAINE:  All 91 of us will be squeezed into two big rooms. My expectation is that besides our food crew, ALL adults are spread out and sleeping among the kids. I don’t care if you snore like a grizzly bear or have night terrors or if you sleep walk. We need adults in among the masses to ensure some semblance of order.

#embracetheawkwardness

WEDNESDAY GAMEPLAN: On Wednesday we will be working in the morning and returning to our sleeping facilities by noon to change into our hiking clothes. Our lunches will have been packed that morning and we will be heading to Acadia National Park. Each team should have selected a hike prior to arriving at Acadia. Our hope is to squeeze everyone into 8 vehicles. Tim will have National Park passes for each vehicle. Everyone will hike and then we rendezvous at Cadillac Mountain for a picture. Cell communications will be spotty. Being there by the prearranged time will be key. From there we will go into downtown Bar Harbor and give everyone an hour to explore. We need to be at Ruth & Wimpy’s Restaurant by 7:30PM that evening. It’s an approximately 30 minute drive. Here is the address:

Ruth & Wimpy’s

729 US-1

Hancock, ME 04640

207.422.3723

Once we get back to Cherryfield, we will adjust our schedule for worship and small groups.

ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES & REALITIES:Please review this sheet a couple of times. Prepare yourself for the week ahead by knowing what¹s being asked of you and what the realities are. You will have a much more enjoyable experience if you do so.

VAN DROP OFF:  On Sunday evening we will need to drop the vans off at Enterprise. We will be leaving the church as soon as everyone is unloaded and the vans are ready to go back. The following people have signed up to assist with this:

  1. Nate
  2. Tom Coy
  3. Regan
  4. Carolyn Coy
  5. Lisa Paflas
  6.  T.J. Frie
  7. Mark Spaetzel
  8. Chris Spaetzel

202 HOURS:We have 202 hours together. It sounds like a lot, but it goes really, really freaking fast. What are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish in that time? How are you going to impact the lives of the kids on this trip through your leadership, your words, your example? Don¹t wait until the 201st hour to realize how incredible this experience is or what an opportunity we all have to impact the lives of the people in Maine and the lives of the young people on this trip. This is not it, but it is all that I can think of right now. I¹ll say it a thousand times, but I can¹t possibly begin to thank each of you enough for being a part of this adventure. It¹s going to be incredible and I can’t wait! If you have any questions, between now and Saturday, please call me!

I love all of you and can¹t wait to see you on Saturday! -Nate

 

FORMS

Good morning. I hope you are enjoying the snow. This message is simply to ask those of you who have not completed your forms to do so before May 1st. Tracking down forms is a nightmare. Your assistance is this process is greatly appreciated. So here we go…

2018 SH Mission Trip Leaders Questionnaire & Covenant The following people still need to complete this form: Greg Arebaugh, Ben Branco, Marcia Coleman, Carolyn Coy, Zoe Cummings, Jill Eston, Steve Fazio, Beth Gee, Amy Nasr, Hannah Oehlstrom, Lisa Paflas, Paul Ruben, Katie Schulz, Tim Schulz, Deanna Walther & Dave Witzigreuter.

2018 Waypoint YM Adult Registration Form The following people still need to complete this form: Greg Arebaugh, Ben Branco, Marcia Coleman, Carolyn Coy, Zoe Cummings, Jill Eston, Steve Fazio, Beth Gee, Amy Nasr, Hannah Oehlstrom, Lisa Paflas, Paul Ruben, Katie Schulz, Tim Schulz, Deanna Walther & Dave Witzigreuter.

Seacoast Mission Volunteer Permission Form: Greg Arebaugh, Ben Branco, Zoe Cummings, Jill Eston, Steve Fazio, Hannah Oehlstrom, Lisa Paflas, Katie Schulz, Tim Schulz. NOTE: You will need to print, fill out and return to me.

Seacoast Mission Volunteer Liability Form: Greg Arebaugh, Ben Branco, Zoe Cummings, Jill Eston, Steve Fazio, Hannah Oehlstrom, Lisa Paflas, Katie Schulz, Tim Schulz. NOTE: You will need to print, fill out and return to me.

Email nate@avonlakeucc.org a picture of yourself SOMEWHERE in Cleveland: Greg Arebaugh, Ben Branco, Jill Camp, Marcia Coleman, Carolyn Coy, Tom Coy, Zoe Cummings, Steve Fazio, Ashley Forbes, TJ Frie, Beth Gee, Jim Kotora, Hannah Oehlstrom, Lisa Paflas, Regan Pore, Paul Ruben, Katie Schulz, Tim Schulz, Mark Spaetzel, Chris Spaetzel, Dave Witzigreuter.

If you have any questions, please let me know! I appreciate your timely assistance with all of this. 53 days until take-off! Let  that sink in. Have a great day! -Nate

Updates

Good afternoon! Go Tribe. I hope you are all having a great week. I wanted to send over a few updates, reminders and some other tidbits regarding our trip this June….which by the way is only 64 days away. Wow.

Well first of all I should tell you that it was only yesterday in a conversation with Scott Shaw at Seacoast Mission that we first discovered that we are in fact, NOT, staying or working in Bar Harbor, Maine. Seacoast Mission is located in Bar Harbor. Seacoast Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Program in based in Cherryfield, Maine. Or about 90 minutes northeast of Bar Harbor. This changes some things like the fact we will not be looking at the Ocean everyday. Other than that it doesn’t affect our travel time or anything else that deals directly with our week. But….the fact is we are going to be in Cherryfield and NOT Bar Harbor. Please make note.

We currently have 62 kids signed up for the trip. Here is the breakdown:

9th grade males: 9     9th grade girls: 10

10th grade males: 7   10th grade girls: 13

11th grade males: 5   11th grade girls: 8

12th grade males: 7   12th grade females: 3

Of the 46 students who went on last year’s trip that were still old enough to go on this year’s trip, 31 of them have signed up. That is a retention rate of 67%. Our retention rate was 56% in 2017 and 74% in 2016.

Of the 62 kids going on the trip this summer, 28 of them are first timers. That equates to 45% of the kids on the trip have NEVER been on one of our high school trips before. Compare that to 41% in 2017 and 46% in 2016.

We have a lot going on in the next two months before we leave. Next Saturday, April 14th is our first of two skill sessions in the Buoy from 9AM – 11AM. The following Saturday, April 21st is our church clean-up from 8AM – 12PM.

In May we have our Skill Session on Saturday, May 5th, Car Wash on Sunday, May 20th, FULL TEAM Meeting on Wednesday, May 23rd and Leadership Team Meeting on Wednesday, May 30th.

I think that is all for now. I’ll be in touch with sign-up needs for Clean-Up Day, Car Wash, etc. Please don’t forget to send me your profile pic for the guidebook. A pic of you somewhere in Cleveland. Email those to nate@avonlakeucc.org.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you again for saying yes to this adventure. It’s going to be incredible!

All the best, Nate

Leaders Meeting Recap

OMG. I am loud. I enjoy my fair dosage of loud. But last night…..wow. I would like to thank each of you for not only showing up for our meeting, but staying and listening and I hope none of you have actual hearing damage. My initial vision of having this meeting at Bdubs was a quiet, relaxed atmosphere where we could carry out the work of our team and you could enjoy a beer if you chose, or a pile of wings or even a glass of water for you Daniel Planners. But that vision was destroyed by a mob of JH CYO Basketball players and their families. Oh well. It was really, really good to see all of you.

We didn’t get through every thing I had hoped to last night, but we got enough done to keep this thing moving forward. I wanted to simply remind all of you to kindly take a few minutes this weekend to complete your online paperwork and reach out to friends or family who have teenagers that need to join us on this trip. As promised here is the current list of kids signed up:

John Plow, Margo Lence, Logan Cummings, Hector Cummings, Zach Rudduck, Joey Carson, Madison McHugh, Emma Bell, Lauren Skaggs, Julie Eston, Nick Foley, Sarah Gee, Matt Furrer, Mackenzie Blosser, Kylee Collins, Sara Steinman, Kaeli Bush, Alison Peachman, Nathan Peachman, Melanie Carr, Stephanie Carr, Carter Good, Ava Kramhoeller, Katlelynn Klunder, Eddie Papp, Elizabeth Lendal, Bella Harris, Jacob Nasr, Madison Kennedy.

Your help in spreading the word and pointing people to http://www.avonlakeucc.org/shmissiontrip/ is greatly appreciated.

A quick note about this blog. This is new. We are going to try it and see how it works. I will post news and updates here and I ENCOURAGE you to offer you comments, feedback and questions. It should be a place for us to discuss and engage. More blog, less meetings.

That’s all…..for now. I have so much more to say…..so much more.

Have a great weekend!

Semper Gumby! -Nate