Adventures in Alaska- Part 2

Alaska, adventure, trip, travelThe day we got to the camp, the Hope Youth Corps leader told us that we had 5 days until we had to actually run a church camp. There were 30 kids from 2nd to 10th grade coming to stay with us for 3 days, and we were totally in charge. (Obviously, there was adult supervision, don’t worry, but we called the shots.) 22 teenagers were supposed to be the counselors, lead lessons and activities, feed the kids, and we had to plan all of this on our own while doing the 8-hour-a-day blue-collar labor. This was our big second task. Kids.

We thought it was impossible. At least, I did. I was shocked that they were giving all these responsibilities to us. We had just gotten to know each other, now we were expected to run a camp? We were just teenagers!

But we had no choice. We had to pull off this camp for the kids. We each thought of our experiences with church camp and wanted to give someone else that great experience. I was so surprised at what we were capable of. I think the world has such low expectations of teenagers sometimes, and things like this reminded me of how much of an impact we can make with God and each other.

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We had a blast those three days. It was great. It felt like one big play date. We got to know each kid and spend time with them, play with them, teach them, talk to them. It felt like a big family at the end of it.

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Yes, there were smores. What else would we do in the woods in Alaska?

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On one of the weekends when we drove down to Anchorage, we got to climb Flat Top. Being from mountain-less Texas, I had never climbed a mountain before. (The picture above was taken probably when we were a third of the way up. ) I’m not going to lie, it was super hard. But I’m glad I did it. I’ll spare you a cheesy mountain analogy.

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What’s a mountain adventure without a motivational speech? This is my friend, Nathan, giving the best mountain speech I’ve ever heard. Yes, he was very intense.

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Here’s my friend Lizzy doing one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

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And here’s Peter wearing my backpack. Real men carry Vera Bradley.

Here’s a few of my favorite random pictures from my amazing trip. (Click to view full image)

Thanks for being great, Alaska. ‘Till next time.

Adventures in Alaska- Part 1

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Recently, I participated in a mission trip with my church called “Hope Youth Corps”, specifically the Alaska chapter. I flew to the largest state in the US with two of my close friends.

We were trying to take a selfie on the plane, and someone decided to join. I don’t know him. We called him Jorge. Guess he couldn’t stay away from the camera. Anyway…

One thing is for sure, Alaska didn’t disappoint when it came to scenery. Pictures will never do it justice. That didn’t stop me from snapping away, though.

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I had no idea what Alaska had in store. I didn’t know it was going to be two of the best weeks ever.IMG_9628 IMG_9786These are some of the 22 volunteers (aged 15-21) that became my family for two weeks. We lived together in cabins two hours away from Anchorage and all civilization pretty much.

No showers, no electricity, no running water, no heaters or air conditioning. We only saw bathrooms on the weekends when we drove down to Anchorage. You know it’s true friendship when they still love you after you haven’t taken a shower in a week. Camping, Alaska, Talkeetna, Youth Corps

Two Weeks in Alaska

Two Weeks in Alaska

We worked hard. The first week, we served with manual labor, building and improving a camp for kids. Blood, sweat and tears was an accurate way to describe my experience. But it felt good. I didn’t realize what I was capable of until I was pushed to my limits, lifting wood and shoveling rocks from 9 to 6. I ached all over but loved it. volunteer, alaska IMG_0252

It felt good to do something had for a good cause. We built beds and tables, dug 7-foot-deep outhouse holes, maintained gardens and cleared trails in the woods, built a shed, moved rocks and gravel, and more. And that was only the first week.

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The camp we worked on became very dear to my heart. It was a privilege to contribute to it during that first week.

Posting about the second week soon! Stay tuned, thanks for reading!!!!

I wasn’t the only blogger on the trip. Check out my good friends Hannah and Lorena’s blogs! They put up some killer stuff!

Lorena (blogger) : Le Unexpected Traveler

Hannah (vlogger): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUVEShNYzk6aS-aJMQ3QPRQ

How my Artwork Came to Hang at my Congressman’s Office

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Hey everyone! Wow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I don’t think I really posted anything in maybe a year… Whoops! I’ve been mainly focusing on my instagram account, @artsyrosebud, which now has over 1400 awesome followers (link in the menu bar!). I decided to see how my wordpress blog was doing since I haven’t gone on it in a while, and was surprised to discover people have been looking at it. So I figured, why not start posting again? Anyway, back to business. If you can call it that.

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This happened a few months ago, but I figured I’d tell ya’ll about it anyway. I entered my drawing- the one with the girl in a sunflower field- in Congressman Sam Johnson’s Congressional Art Competition. The pieces entered were displayed in the McKinney, Texas city hall art gallery. There were 84 pieces in the show by students from all over Collin County.

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I didn’t win. I got second place. The first place winner got tickets to Washington, D.C., and her work is being displayed at the US Capitol for a year. I’m trying again next year, but for now second place is great. I got a fancy certificate, a fancy US flag that had been flown over the US Capitol in my honor, and like I said, my work will be hanging at the Congressman’s fancy office for a year. One of my friends joked that I got second because the Congressman liked my work the best and wanted to keep it to himself.

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See? Fancy.

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I read up on Congressman Sam Johnson, and found out he is one of the few members of Congress who fought in combat. During his 29 years in the US Air Force, he survived 7 years as a Prisoner of War, and 42 months in solitary confinement. He is 84 years old.

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All in all, it was pretty successful I’d say. It was a fun night, some of my best friends and my family came to support me. They’re pretty awesome.