Hooray for Flashback Friday! Gonna be going back a few years for this one - way back to the year 2006! To give you some context I was a senior in high school then and one of the things I was most passionate about at that time was Happening. "What is Happening you ask?" - well Happening is a weekend retreat put on for teenagers by teenagers that takes place about 2 to 3 times per year at a place called Camp Weed in Live Oak, FL. (Yes, I know, we got a lot of grief for the name of the camp - it was named after a Bishop who's last name was Weed). The retreat serves as a kind of spiritual awakening for the candidates (first time Happeners) where the Bible and the Word are presented in a fun and comfortable setting by your peers. After you have been as a candidate you can return as a team member and help organize the next retreat for the next batch of candidates. My sister Allison was very involved before I was the correct age to attend my first Happening. She was even Rector for one weekend, who is the person elected to organize the entirety of one weekend retreat. Soon my parents got involved too and even attended a weekend as well. There is always a small Geritol Group made entirely of adults along with several small groups between the ages of 14-18. The photos above are from Happening #105, which was my 6th and last Happening. I was a candidate at Happening #99 and worked team for #100-103 and lastly #105, which was probably the most fun of all the Happenings I attended because I was the Head of Music for that weekend (endearingly referred to as HOM Boy). That position is part of the core team, being right under both the Rector and the Head Gofer. The Head Gofer is basically the second in command and the person working behind the scenes while the Rector has to be in the spotlight the entire time. I was actually Head Gofer for #103, but that is a story for another time. For #105 Karis Needham was the Rector and Teal Patterson was the Head Gofer and we made a very tight team. Between the three of us we spent the most time planning that particular weekend and had to work on it while balancing our high school work, all at the tender age of 17. I don't know about you but I don't think I was very balanced at 17, but somehow we pulled it off and put on a great weekend. Karis and Teal deserve the most thanks for that too since my only job was organizing the music - but I tackled that beast like no one's business. My music team (pictured above) was composed of Courtney Asker (guitar), Grace Richardson (guitar), James Seadale (bass), Me (electric guitar), and Ray Brown (drums). We organized, selected, and lead all the music that needed to be played that weekend, including arranging the theme song. The theme was More Awesome Than I Know and the song was Enough by Jeremy Camp. We must have played that song like a dozen times before the weekend was over and it was awesome every time. My music team and I were even able to mimic the guitar riff that plays at the start and end of the song and that became like a mini theme song in itself and I heard some candidates humming it throughout the weekend. Besides the music the weekend consisted of team building events, discussions on the Bible, group meals, camp fire stories, dance parties, and just an overwhelming sense of community in the Spirit. All in all it was a great experience and I will always have fond memories of my time spent at Camp Weed with all those crazy kids (and adults). What made me think of it today was that my friend and fellow Happener got married last Saturday at Camp Weed (see previous post) and it was my first time being back there in over 5 years. I could not help thinking back on all the times I spent at that camp and it felt only natural to put them into words. I hope you have enjoyed reading - and remember to Keep it REAL!