Monday, October 15, 2007

Man Venture

Man venture week started off on a rocky field just outside the lodge we were staying at. The leaders had a brilliant idea of playing a game of touch football, shirts vs. skins, on the most frigid day ever. I am on to say this because I was part of the skins team. This was fun for some of us. We moved on to a scavenger hunt in Canmore where we had the opportunity to earn points for answering questions. My team figured that it was just a game so we didn’t run too hard…or really run at all. So you can figure that we didn’t win. Then we played a game of paintball, which the guys quite enjoyed. We next went to a recreational centre in Calgary where we played basketball, sat in the hot tubs, and swam in the wave pool. I took the slide 11 times, which was a lot of fun. There was a fitness gym and a lot more stuff too. While in Calgary we caught a hockey game…Calgary Hitmen vs. Medicine Hat Tigers. As a group we all decided to cheer for the Tigers who got hammered 5-1. We had fun drowning out the Hitmen fans with our Tigers chants. The most entertaining part of the game was a dance-off in the second intermission between Johnny Fukumoto from Site 3 and another fan…Johnny won. Before going to the game, the guys from our site went to Tony Roma’s for supper. It was fun. The week was filled with fun things.

By: Dave Toews

Girls' Week

Picture this: 5 days. 60 girls. You would think it would be an estrogen overdose – but we came out alive! Tuesday was the start of our Girls Week in Calgary. We hugged our guys goodbye and wished them well on their “Man Venture!”

We were blessed to have three additions to our group for the week. Deanna Loeppky from the Outtatown Office came to hang out, Meghan Pierce led us in worship and Sharon Peters from Trinity Western University joined us as our speaker.

The insight and experiences Sharon talked about enabled us to grow and relate with one another; as well as in our relationship with God. Together we discussed what it means to be women of faith and character. The heart of what we learned focused around Self- Image and Sexuality; keeping in mind Psalm 139, Genesis 2 and the book “Real Sex” by Lauren Winner. One thing that both of us took away from girls week were words Sharon gave us on the first day – “I am loved. I am able.” It is so easy to get consumed with what other people think of you. It felt refreshing to take the time to remind ourselves that God thinks the world of us. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 2:31)

The two of us were also inspired by a question that was proposed during session - who is my co-author? It caused us to reflect on earthly things that have been significant in shaping and impacting our lives. While these things aren’t bad in themselves, if one is more dominant it can have an affect on how we rely on God.

A highlight for most of us was when we were given the opportunity to ask the guys questions about relationships and sexuality, and vice versa. Our top 15 questions were sent to the guys, where as a group, they discussed them. During one of our morning sessions, Steve (Site 3 Leader) & Simon joined us to relay the guys’ thoughts. Even though there were some answers that we thought we knew already, their honesty brought reassurance & it was definitely respected. We found it really valuable to talki openly about such things in a community like Outtatown. Through this experience we gained even more appreciation for the guys in our site!

While we weren’t in session our time was filled with awesomeness! Go-Karting, laser tag, mini-golf, random dance parties, worship night, dinner @ Melrose CafĂ© in Calgary, spa night, and hip hop lessons were a few of the killa events lead by our site leaders.

On Wednesday all three sites of girls hiked (what Lauren would classify as a “leisurely stroll”) through Johnston Canyon. As you will probably see from the thousands of pictures, it was gorgeous! Or as Reba Dookhie would put it, “I’m most definitely not a nature person… but this is BEAUTIFUL!” The afternoon hike was followed by dinner in Banff where we got to pick and choose what we wanted. (We made sure to leave room for our long awaited trip to the candy store.) Our night ended with a relaxing and rather eventful time at the Banff Hot Springs. Who knew God had such a sense of humor when He put four men’s volleyball teams right there with us… Where were they from Sarah? Norweiga? Or do you mean Norway? *Note: Mothers quiz your daughters on this one!!*

Our favorite day by far was our free day in Banff followed by a special surprise hosted by our site leaders. As our day began we split into our Peer Mentoring Groups (PMG’s are made up of three girls from our site - the goal being a support system for the year.) Our task for the day was to take the $20 given to us by our leaders and buy a Secret Santa gift for another PMG picked at random. After our day of exploring cute shops and buying gifts we met up with the other sites at the High Country Inn. Here we were welcomed with Christmas carols, decorations and goodies. Since it had been awhile since any of us had seen family, having a Christmas type setting made us all feel a bit more at home.

As the week came to a close it felt bitter sweet. On one hand we made a lot of new girlfriends and had a blast doing so. However I think all of us were more than excited to see our guys again. No offense to estrogen, but testosterone is awesome!

Peace Out - Lauren & Mei-Lin

We spent many hours in this confrence room listening to Sharon and discussing what it means to be women of character.

Meghan Pierce leading a time of worship.

The girls getting ready to hit the track.

Carla looking pretty pumped to be go-carting

Christine and Anita taking a break at the Calgary General Store.

Carrie and Miranda owned in laser tag...except for the time that Carrie ran into the wall...

Michelle playing mini-golf.

Johnson's Canyon

The girls taking in the beautiful view.

Mei-Lin becoming one with nature.

Amanda, Jen and Sarah looking pretty in the van.

Dinner out.

The girls looking comfy for the spa night.

Krystal, Jen and Michelle beautifying themselves.

Anita and Sabrina looking festive.

PMG Secret Santa gift exchange.

Michelle playing some Christmas carols.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Monday, October 1st 11:53:39am

ROADTRIP!!!! Sounds fun right? But being only 5 hours into it… we still have quite a ways to go. We departed from Winnipeg at 6:30am Monday morning, and our estimated time of arrival in Banff, Alberta is 10:30pm tonight… Oh boy.
We’ve made 2 pit stops so far, enjoyed a beautiful sunrise, witnessed Dave Attema taking well over a hundred pictures of the two lane highway we’ve been driving on, and we’ve crossed the border into Saskatchewan. The journey is underway… there’s no telling what will happen next.

By: Ben Pavey

Sabrina at the wheel

Students in the van

Dave taking photos for a photo journal of the highway...he honestly took ver 400 photos of the highway

The beautiful prairies

The vans driving into the sunset