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BigStuf 2018

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BigStuf 2018

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“BigStuf” 2018 had been lingering in my mind for a few months. At OSM (Oakbrook Student Ministry), we had been watching videos about it since February. Each Sunday night I would become more skeptical, but even more excited. The arrival of the itinerary brought me lots of joy.


Although I became overjoyed when it arrived, I was also overwhelmed because I hadn’t started fundraising. The trip cost $500 in total which covered the bus ride down there, four nights in a hotel, and food. I quickly contacted a lot of my family members about this fundraiser. I even went to my church to get, hopefully, some donations. We were selling candles, which ended up being a great idea. I ended up selling a few to some church members and even getting donations on a GoFundMe page. I turned in the money a few days before we left. Slowly, I started preparing for the long trip down there.

 

I finally started packing about two hours before I was supposed to leave. Procrastinating at its best right? Anyway, I overpack whenever I go somewhere just in case I need extra clothes. I filled the suitcase to the brim and barely had enough room for my phone charger. I was already thinking of the beach, the sun, and the sand as I told my mom goodbye. In twelve long hours I would be having a blast on the beach with my small group. First, we boarded the bus and I sat next to one of my good friends Chapman, but everyone calls him Chap. We joked for a while, but finally decided to listen to music and watch tv. The bus driver made a bold decision to show the first season of Boy Meets Girl on its screens. Within a few hours everyone was falling asleep to the theme song.

 

My small group woke up to our alarms around 6 a.m. We made it to a McDonalds for breakfast and finally decided to head to a mall in Panama City Beach, Florida for a few hours. At 5 p.m. we checked in and unpacked quickly because we had a worship session at 7 p.m. We danced for an hour then ate dinner, but our night wasn’t over. Our small group wanted to go night swimming, and we succeeded in swimming at 11 o’clock that night. Around midnight we were exhausted to the point where we couldn’t keep our eyes open.

 

The next day followed a schedule that would recur until Thursday evening. The days went as follows: wake up, go to the beach, eat, go to session, eat, go to the beach to swim, eat, go to session, go night swimming. We rarely abandoned this, and if we did, it would be a short trip for ice cream or an extra session. I wanted to play in a volleyball tournament one afternoon. Along with that came the sun and an intense sunburn for my friends and me. We were pink by the third day and caking on aloe by the hour. Our last day was the best by far. We were up bright and early at 6 a.m. and finally went to bed at 2 a.m. That day we had two worship sessions and an extra session around 11 p.m. We were exhausted by the end of the day, but we knew we did everything we wanted to.

 

If any of this sounded interesting to you, another BigStuf camp is coming back next year. Trey McKnight, the camp director, helped celebrate the 30th anniversary this year. Our church decided to hype its anniversary up early, and they did an amazing job because everyone was excited. Panama City Beach certainly didn’t disappoint anyone as we all came back with a sunburn and big smiles on our faces. The early mornings always brought sunshine and a boost of energy to all the people there. Worship services and group talks had made it so everyone can come together and have a great time.

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “BigStuf 2018”

  1. Dixon on August 8th, 2018 7:56 am

    This experience definitely sounds like it was an experience to remember. I have never heard of “BigStuf,” but now I know what it is. I like how you explained your day to day schedule in detail each day. Great article!

  2. Hannah Plauschin on August 8th, 2018 8:08 am

    I really enjoyed reading this story. I liked how you talked about your preparations and fundraising before you were able to go and have fun at Florida. I, myself, have a hard time with procrastination and overpacking too! Great story Caleb!

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
BigStuf 2018