This weekend Jacques and I spent in a hunting lodge in Vivian, SD. 

Not your idea of a good time?

How about if we add 5 Confirmation candidates, good food, liturgies with Fr. Castor (“Save the Liturgy, Save the World!”), a stuffed bear (or five) and setting things on fire?  Sounds like fun to me!  I have the pictures to prove it, too.


We’ve done this “fire making” activity at more retreats than I can count and no one has ever worked as hard or has been as determined as the Lyman county kids this weekend.  Kudos to them for their perseverance.  They also got pretty close to succeeding.  Above, Stetsen tries his hand at it.


We played A LOT of cards.  I took a little stroll down memory lane when they taught Jac how to play spoons – good times with Christian Crew on winter retreat.  This weekend there was some blood shed during the game but plenty of laughter to make up for it.  We also taught them (and got them completely hooked on!) Nertz.  Turns out Fr. Castor is a mean solitaire player – a serious asset for a solid Nertz team.


We were TIE- ERD.  We were up late getting things ready for the kids to be left at home and for the retreat and then up at 5 to get to Vivian on time.  Vivian happens to be in the Central time zone, so with the time change, we were up at 5 am our time again this morning.  We were/are slightly rummy.


The theme for the weekend was Fire & Ice – allow God to melt our hearts and stir into flame the fire we recieve at baptism.  This made for lots of fun games.  Here, Shae is victorious after being the first team to get a frozen t-shirt on.  He followed up this win by besting everyone in the popsicle eating contest – 4 in under 5 minutes.  Impressive!  (Not so impressive – the creepy sutffed Possum over his shoulder in the pic.)


Did someone metion fire?  Here we are moments away from setting their chain reaction structures on fire.  Jac and I have never seen these go up in flames quite so well.  Or burn for so long.  Or so intensely.  Hence the reason we have no photos of the actual fires – it got a little dicey.


It was a great group of kids – open and friendly and bright.  We wrapped up the day by having them be creative with the symbols of the rite of confirmation – they were great and hopefully they learned something!  We had Mass there in the hunting lodge and a prairie potluck with the parish and family members.  Did the youth share anything about the profound lessons they learned?  Not so much, but there was planty of talk about the games and craziness.


Then we came home to find this.  So sweet!  We left the kiddos at home with one of our youth alumni.  They were so excited to spend the weekend with Stefanie!  And no wonder – she took them to the library, did special art projects, made gifts, and played all sorts of fun things with them.  She’s amazing – thanks Stef! 

But you know what the best part of the whole thing is?  Being back home and knowing this week will be “normal” again.  Thank you, Jesus!