Winter Celebration, the Virginia Synod youth event for 9th through 12th graders held its first-weekend last week, from January 20th to the 22nd. This coming weekend will be the second weekend for the event. Anticipation is mounting from participants and planners as the final Winter Celebration weekend approaches. Starting tomorrow even more high schoolers and their adult advisors will get to experience all the planning group’s hard work (and fun) that shapes this event from beginning to end.
The high school students that make up the planning team this year are Sammi Crittenden of St. Stephen Williamsburg, Hannah Girard of Salem Mount Sidney, Johnny Kiewer of St. Mark Charlottesville, Kelsey Welch of Good Shepherd Tidewater, Erin Watcher of Epiphany Richmond, and Karl Zimbauer of St. Stephen Williamsburg.
This planning group has spent months together in preparation before the participants from either week arrived at Eagle Eyrie, the site of both Winter Celebration weekends. In the months leading up to the event, the group worked to shape every aspect of Winter Celebration. From participant t-shirt designs to the scripture that centers both weekends- the group handles it all.
But planning the event isn’t their only responsibility. The planning group, along with their advisors and chaplain, strive to make sure the final assembly of the event goes well too. Setting up the stage, holding last minute rehearsals of their skits, assembling small group bags, and organizing t-shirts are a few of the ways this group makes sure the event goes off without a hitch. It all seems like a lot of work, given the stressful workload that comes with being a high school student too. For the planning group, it’s all worth it.
“What we’re doing is creating so much- and it takes so much energy, but it’s worth the workload. It’s a very special time, and I wish it could last forever,” Karl said of preparing the weekend event.
From their production, the group has been taking stock of how meaningful youth events have been in their life with their new roles. They know their efforts impact participants of Virginia Synod youth events. “When you come from a small church that doesn’t have a large youth group- you see at events how much you can grow in your faith and grow with others. There’s so much more to all this than I ever thought. Attending events can bring you closer to the church in ways that just attending church on Sunday might not be able to,” Sammi explained.
Hannah followed up on Sammi’s thoughts, stating, “Church can be really hard to grasp- it can be so focused towards adults. But Youth Events are geared towards us and how we think, and for me, it’s helped me connect to the church. I want to be more active and to be present in the church like I’m present at Youth Events.”
All their efforts will pay off once more in the final weekend of Winter Celebration. The event begins tomorrow evening, with over 290 participants and youth expected to attend.
Winter Celebration 2017 Week 1 Planning Group
Behind the scenes with the 2017 Winter Celebration Planning Group! All their hard work and fun came together to make an amazing week 1, and will be returning for week 2 January 27-29.