The Summer is over!!! School is starting, or has already start, parents are more then excited to bring back a little routine to life, and all of the great summer events are done! As we look back at the summer, it seemed like it just started! However, there were a lot of great events and a ton of relationship that were created this summer!
We kicked the summer off by welcoming all of the incoming freshmen into Refuge! The Freshmen Welcome night was a great way to get all of the incoming freshmen plugged into Refuge and invited to spend the summer getting to know all of the current students. The event itself was a bit hectic, but it served it's purpose. The freshmen were welcomed and the summer could officially begin!
From there, our first official summer event was The Luau! A Refuge favorite, the Luau features lots of Hawaiian food (including the most delicious and moist pulled pork sandwiches) as well as tropical fruit and a plethora of fresh fruit smoothie! The night was warm, the students were enjoying the festive atmosphere, and most of all, the incoming freshmen were starting to feel like they were are part of Refuge! A night of great food, fellowship, swimming, and volleyball was concluded with an epic relay (which didn't go well, but was still entertaining) and the most clasic of all Luau activities. The LIMBO! When everyone was full, tired of each other, and mostly done with ukuleles playing in the background, it was time to call it a night!
The summer would continue with a few Summer in the Tent's, which was our attempt to help develop relationships and at the same time keep it at a familiar place. The first one, which was supposed to be a water day, but the only water we saw was coming out of the sky. It was cold, wet, and nasty outside! However, we compensated by getting a warm fire going, playing a never ending game of dodgeball in the tent, and just enjoying each others company! After a few more weeks of Summer in the Tent, we took a week away from the Sacramento area and headed to Oregon for High School Summer Camp!!
The week was absolutely life changing! God worked in powerful ways and students responded in powerful ways! (If you haven't read it yet, you can check out the complete Summer Camp Recap). It was a week full of great memories, powerful worship, incredibly life changing truth, cold rivers, a little rain and a little sun, and long periods of time in the car. Once we returned from camp we were on the down hill side of summer.
The following week we showed one of the best movies of all time "How To Train Your Dragon" on a 12ft x 7ft screen for our annual Outdoor Movie Night! The weather was perfect, the students filled up the grassy area outside Evers, and we all enjoyed the popcorn making skills of one Michael Rogers. The night was perfect.
Several weeks later, we all took a treck down the river and hung out to enjoy (I use this term loosely because not everyone actually enjoys baseball) a wonderful game of baseball. It wasn't even as much about baseball as it was about just spending time building relationships, laughing at the crowd control lady that crossed her arms and scowled at us, and consumed some crazy overpriced food. It was a beautiful night, capped by an 8-6 Rivercat's victory, and a very long trip back to the church!
A few more weeks of freedom lapsed before we got ready to close out the summer with a BBQ at Beal's Point on Lake Folsom! While the mood was a bit depressed by an imminent return to school and loss of freedom, it was bolstered by the sun, hot dogs and burgers, friends, warm water, volleyball, kan jam, and getting violently thrown off inner tubes! It was the perfect way to end summer and conclude a few months of fun activities, life changing events, and great opportunities to build new relationships.
From the beginning of summer, the biggest thing we wanted to do this year was build intentional relationships through fun events and intentionally help the freshmen get plugged into Refuge. I would have to say that we accomplished both!! The students did a great job of intentionally connecting with each other and we have an incredible group of students who are all ready to start the fall! It may mean that school is in session, but we can always look forward to Tuesday nights, Sunday mornings, Life Groups, and so many more great opportunities to connect with each other!
If you have any memories from the summer, good, bad, or ugly, then share them below by clicking the "post a comment" button!