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FUN-tastic Festi-Fall 2009

Youth RoundTable, made up youth and adult advisors from each of the associations of the conference, covenant together to provide fun, faith based, service oriented, events and activities for the youth of the Southern California Nevada Conference United Church of Christ, had its first youth event of the program year:  Funtastic Festi-Fall (FFF) on October 17, 2009.

FFF, a yearly community service event for high school students from ninth to twelfth grade, is held every Fall. It is also, a way for Youth RoundTable to promote the other events throughout the year.  Finally, it is a way to bring youth from across the Southern California/Nevada Conference together in an ecumenical and prayerful time of fellowship and volunteering. 

Under the guidance of Neal Washburn, Interim Youth and Young Adult Ministries Coordinator, Funtastic Festi-Fall this year was a work trip to one of the Southern California/Nevada Conference’s outdoor ministry camps, Palomar Cedars.  I, Brenna Tucker (one of the two Youth Roundtable Co-moderators) and about 18 other members and volunteers helped June Boutwell and Anne Jeffery, Executive Director and Program Director respectively, of Palomar Cedar’s sister camp, Pilgrim Pines, and the Palomar Cedars Care-Takers from the Southern Association, close Palomar cedars for the Winter. Once everyone conquered the direction disaster of finding Palomar Cedars, we got to work.

In the four hours we worked at Palomar Cedars, we collected tinder and kindling — to clean and organize as well as ease the Palomar Cedar’s workers’ job lighting campfires next Summer.  We also cut and piled fallen tree branches for firewood. And, most importantly, each and every one of the youth tested the tire swing to make sure it was still in proper working order!  We worked for about two hours then, after a delicious lunch of peanut butter and jelly or turkey sandwiches, cookies, juice and soda prepared by the amazing Pilgrim Pines staff, went back to work. In that time we were able to both make a pile of firewood about six feet high and eleven feet wide and place multiple piles of kindling and tinder around the main campground.

Service and helpful hands-on activities provide youth a ministry that is dynamic, fun, and easy to see. Our FFF clearly was a hands-on ministry service project that not only was challenging, but also allowed for fellowship, spending time together, and enjoying the outdoors as God intended.

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