One more Western States Youth Gathering

By: Emma Kirchhoff, Youth Group Member

 

It was the summer before my freshman year when our youth group loaded into big white vans to trek down to Thousand Oaks. It was our first trip with our new youth leader, Sierra, and would be a learning experience for us all. Not only were we going to participate in service with over 5,000 other young adults, but we were also a relatively new group. 

 

Now, it’s time for us to embark again, and although four years may be between now and our last trip, it seems the situation is much the same. A fearless new youth leader, much like the last time we embarked on this journey, is leading us. Sarah, who has gotten to know us over the past few months, is going to be diving headfirst into our God Squad. 

our last trip, it seems the situation is much the same. A fearless new youth leader, much like the last time we embarked on this journey, is leading us. Sarah, who has gotten to know us over the past few months, is going to be diving headfirst into our God Squad. 

 

Luckily, our group of service trip veterans will be by her side and ready to experience it all again. The upperclassmen of our group, including myself, have many experiences with service trips, including the National Youth Gathering in Detroit and our most recent week long trip to Montana. Only our seniors were eligible to attend the last Western States, and are enthusiastic to be returning this summer. 

 

Western States Youth Gathering is impactful to say the least. Workshops are put together to teach us about our faith, what it means to be Lutheran and how we, as young adults, can have a profound influence on our community. 

 

A service day that bridges the gap between youth groups allows us to serve others outside of the comfort of our own community. And, of course, a day spent at Disneyland is bound to bring people together.

 

We have a wonderful week ahead of us, and we will be fortunate enough to spend it with some familiar faces. We are joining forces with the youth groups from Grace Lutheran and Bethel Lutheran, spending time not only with the other youth in our synod, but also youth from all across the western states. Friends made at the last Western States came from as far as Alaska and Montana to join in the fun! 

 

Even with our past experiences to guide us, we are ready and excited for what God has in store for our next, and for some of us our last, service trip!