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Breakaway Summer Voyage

My blog has been sadly neglected… too many things going on! A little over a week ago we completed our summer day camp, Breakaway Summer Voyage, complete with yellow submarine! The highlight — 45 kids made decisions for Christ! Woohoo!!!!!

July 14-18, 2014: Breakaway is my favorite thing to do all year. It melds my passions of outreach, creativity, organization, teamwork, and empowering people to use their gifts. It is so amazing to see how everyone works together makes this event come together.

We had 475 kids (96 were not part of a church) and over 300 volunteers. I wrote up a little blurb for our bulletin/program that gave some behind-the-scenes info:

Breakaway was truly an all-church effort and a visible way to show our community God’s love!

• 30 Leadership Team leaders (almost double from last year!)
• 84 small group leaders
• 308 volunteers, 67 of them junior high assistant leaders
• Over 210 pull-tag donations given as well as generous monetary gifts
• Decorations team started months in advance, and teenage and adult volunteers came to the church every day for two weeks to work on decorations
• Dozens of hours of volunteer labor went into prepping activities and curriculum
• People stayed at church until past midnight the weekend before Breakaway started to get the campus ready for the event
• Many people behind the scenes cooked, shopped, cut paper, worked at the church, entered data, prayed for the event, and countless other tasks.

Thanks to all involved for your role in making Breakaway possible!

But pictures are worth a thousand words, so here are some!

Bill, our amazing construction volunteer and general inventor, and an amazing team of volunteers put together the submarine facade, complete with a rotating propellor! I’ll write about the decor part in another post.

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Danielle and Ashley spent months working on decor. I loved it!!! My favorite was the jellyfish stairwell.

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Even the large inflatable slide out back had an ocean theme.

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They built a submarine on our stage too. The first day the dancers danced on it but after all the bouncing, there was an observation that the periscope was precariously perched and might fall over. So after that they went on the floor.

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The dancers were awesome. Their dances were creative but not overly complicated so that the kids could follow along. They even created instructional videos for the kids to dance to. Karen and team rocked it!

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The drama was fun. I ended up rewriting like 90% of the drama and scrapping the entire last few days. It was my first stint at creative writing since high school! Matt and team took it to the next level, adding all sorts of visual and line gags. The story was about three kids who were selected for a submarine mission. The captain is a father-figure for them, and the second-in-command (right) ends up being a double-agent/villain who hijacks the submarine

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There were so many fun things they added, like busting out dance moves.

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The drama ended on a cliffhanger every day and the common phrase was, “What are we going to dooooo? Oooooo?” The kids would echo back. It was awesome!

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Their mission was to find the Octoshark. We had an inflatable shark that had a motorized tail swimming around the worship center. It looked quite real!

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In the process, they learn about trusting God as well as the character-building themes such as self-control, respect, and faith.

Every day a storyteller would tell the Bible story. Theron is one of our super-awesome storytellers. He always adds all sorts of fun elements. One day he did a sink-or-float contest and the kids had to guess what would happen to objects like a can of olives and a Lego man. He tied this into learning trust.

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There were surprise moments, too!

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Doug was another storyteller. One day he told the story of David and Goliath and demonstrated Goliath’s strength. But he was beaten by our young leader and he showed how sometimes the little guy wins — with God’s help!

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Glen had all sorts of hats just for the event… the squid hat…

 

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The shark hat…

 

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The fish hat… Glen is a man who wears many hats.

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Sherry did such an amazing job with the Media Team. Not only did she recruit a bunch of young guys (leaders in the making!), but she also had checklists, timetables, deadlines, instructions, training…I could go on! We had 27 team leaders like Sherry, each one doing a superb job in their own areas. I totally love how everyone really was top-notch in their areas and all their effort was what made this event fly!

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Once the initial craziness settled down, I got to go around and take pictures when there weren’t issues to be handled. Of all the teams, I identify the most with the Media Team since I am always lugging around cameras…

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…or taking shots.

 

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Here’s me with my Co-Director, Glen, as well as Kim, who was the original VBS Director and now directs the preschool area (and does an outstanding job, I might add). I am so blessed to work with these people!

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Daniel also was part of Breakaway, as the stage manager directing the tech crew from above. That’s him that’s a blur in the middle, with a headset on. It was his first time as the person calling the show — he did a good job!

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Someone took a panoramic shot, a glimpse of what our worship center looked like during the week.

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I could go on forever, but this post would be way too long. I would love to talk about…

  • the pre-admin helpers who secretly took projects home and brought them back all completed. Sometimes I didn’t even know who they were… the project kits would just disappear!
  • Grace and the food team… she has developed so many community relationships with businesses that our kids and volunteers were so well fed. I’m so thankful to be in a community that cares about kids and donates generously!
  • The laughter, fun, energy, spiritual conversations with kids, and the work God did!

Too much to tell!

Here’s an article that tells more… Jim Shield’s photograph made it on the front page!

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