18 South Summer in Review

What a whirlwind the past few months have been! Earlier this year I put a lot of pressure on myself to make this summer one that the teens who frequent 18 South Youth Center would never forget. I’m still a bit of a novice youth center director with only one year and counting under my belt, but last summer I had no idea what I was doing and so nothing super fun really happened. Let’s be honest, I still didn’t know what I was doing this summer, but I asked God to pour it out and He definitely responded.

We kicked off the summer celebrations at the end of June by tagging along with Pleasant View Church in Red Lion to Creation Festival for five days of fun, music, teachings, dancing, learning, bonding, food, and so much more. I was incredibly nervous to attend Creation for the very first time with six teens in tow, so what a blessing it was to have Pleasant View show us the ropes and take care of us above and beyond my wildest imagination. We were truly blessed. I also had spent a lot of time fretting over who to invite on the trip and whether any of them would get anything substantial out of the experience. We became a tight-knit family that week, and I will never forget the way we opened our hearts to one another. I thank God for this life-changing opportunity and pray that the seeds that were planted out there in the wilderness produce much fruit in the future.

July was a little more laid back with a Friday night Snowball Party, courtesy of Sno-Tastics Snowballs in Red Lion; an afternoon at Fairmount Park in Red Lion to attend a Graffiti Class presented by Kaltreider-Benfer Library and taught by Ramon TreviƱo, who is responsible for the beautiful graffiti artwork in the basement of 18 South; and a trip to Action Impact in Elverson, Pa., to attend the Youth Centers Network Picnic. These events may seem less significant than the trip to Creation, but it’s important to realize that they lay the ground work for creating the relationships that lead to experiences like Creation. I used to take our fun time for granted, but it is truly impossible to do what God has called us to do without these memory-building opportunities.

With August came the blessing of a Summer Pool Party thanks to some new volunteers from First Baptist Church of York. Ten teens joined my husband and myself at Paul & Kim Brozovic’s home in Red Lion to enjoy their beautiful back yard with a huge spread of food for dinner, a lovely pool, and a fire pit for s’mores to wrap up the night. We had a blast!

And now the school year has begun again, and I won’t be able to call up a random teen friend during a week day anymore to tag along while I run errands or to attend some random event with me. But I’m beyond pumped for what God has in store for 18 South this school year as I plan out our event schedule…it’s going to be a wonderful year!

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18 South Youth Ministries
P.O. Box 472
Red Lion, PA 17356

18 South Youth Ministries

18 South Youth Ministries strives to create opportunities for caring, responsible adults with Christian values to build authentic relationships with youth. The nonprofit operates 18 South Youth Center in Red Lion, Pa., which has reached more than 1,000 teens since it opened in November 2007.