Summer is upon us and our long-awaited trips are beginning this month. Our new “Kairos Adventure Guides” begins June 13. This program is for college-aged people who wish to serve as staff on Christian adventure trips.
For our first year, CJ and David will be paving the way for our future Guides. In between trips, they will be living in household with other men and receiving training. They will be staffing all four boys’ trips, serving in a “big brother” role for the boys and as models of Christian men. They will be joining our veteran leaders Brian LaLonde and Stan Mathay, along with other adult volunteers.
Another first this year is our “Kairos Summit” in June, being held outside of Atlanta, Georgia. This long weekend retreat/adventure is for juniors & seniors in high school. They will hear presentations from University Christian Outreach and Saint Paul’s Outreach, be given talks about vision for living their lives in fellowship with other Christians, and how to discern what the Lord might want to do with their lives post high school. Another goal is to equip our youth to engage the “world” intellectually by looking at some main “thinkers” throughout history. There will also be day adventures and service projects. We currently have 18 youth signed up for this first-ever event.
From the end of June into July, the 8th grade boys’ “Adirondack Adventure” will happen in upstate New York. This is our second year doing this trip, which took the place of our annual Algonquin canoe trip. It worked really well last year, as Covid restrictions meant we could not travel from the U.S. into Canada. This new trip includes both canoeing and backpacking. We have 20 youth registered from six states, which means we have to split the trip into three groups to respect the wilderness environment.
New this year is our 7th grade girls trip also from the end of June into July. This trip is dubbed “Allegheny Assent.” As of this writing, 14 girls are participating. We will stay at one location for sleeping and hold day hikes. An important goal for the trip is that the girls meet and get to know other Christian middle schoolers. We hope they will form relationships that will help build for their future YES retreats. Elements of the trip will also include prayer together, scripture meditations, and personal sharing. Two GAP alumni are running the trip, along with Kairos staffer Molly Kilpatrick and other staff volunteers from five states.
In the middle of July, we have a canoe adventure for 8th – 9th grade girls; they will travel to Minnesota to canoe the beautiful Boundary Waters. This trip is led by veteran Sandy Buchner. We will also be splitting the group in three to respect the fragile environment of the north country. Currently, 13 girls are going to embrace adventure and Christian fellowship.
Concurrently, another trip we have long held in July is the 9th grade boys “Rocky Mountain Jamboree.” This is our most rugged trip, wilderness hiking in the Rocky Mountains. We currently have around 20 guys attending from eight states.
Finally, at the end of July, we have our classic 7th grade boys Virginia trip: Appalachian Rendezvous. On this trip, we are bound to encounter both rain and cool wildlife (including wild ponies). We have many pictures of boys hiking in rain ponchos as well as welcoming ponies into their campsites!
This is the first summer we have nearly 100 youth participating. Next year, we plan to expand further and add a couple of trips; we are especially planning for high school girls. Our 9th & 10th grade girls’ program will begin next year.
The two Kairos vans will see lots of use. Even with two vans, we will be renting more to meet our needs. This is a great problem to have; the Lord has been good to us!
We are very excited to be able to hold youth trips that seemed out of reach a year ago. Thanks so much for your support in our efforts of reaching youth via these high impact trips. Having these “stretching” adventures with other Christian youth and with phenomenal staff is life changing. Young people remember these trips and the impact they had for their whole lives. Thanks again!
Your brother in the Lord’s service,