ICYC With a Plot Twist


Spending time with friends for a whole weekend in a hotel is pretty awesome and what most kids would love to do more often. Things to do with friends are playing card games, going out to eat, and just doing everything a typical teenager would do with friends in a hotel. What I did last weekend was all those but more. Not only did we have fun, get in trouble, and laugh until we peed our pants, but we also worshipped the Lord.

After Friday’s swim practice, I went to the church of First Baptist with Carley McCloskey, McKayla Thompson, Olivia Shaffer, Cole McCloskey, and a couple more people that attended their church. The drive was approximately an hour and half long and it was such a fun and exciting ride there. We played the whisper challenge and many other complicated games that I did not get until the end whereas everyone else understood the meaning of the game and made fun of me. We were on our way for a youth convention called ICYC: “Indiana Christian Youth Conference”. Once we reached to the hotel, we unloaded the bus and went to eat at Wendy’s right after. As soon as that was done, we went to the place where we would be singing songs and praising Jesus. We had one heck of a night and I still have songs stuck in my head from that. The songs were some really nice jams and we would jump as if it was a concert and not a christian youth convention. That night we watched movies in our own room and did what typical teenage girls would do in a hotel room. All four of us–Carley, Olivia, Mckayla, and I–had so much fun together and had a funny little adventure down at the vending machine that only us girls will know. We had cereal at around eleven and got some more junk food.

After that night, we went back to the place in the morning and sang more songs, listened to the preacher, heard jokes by a comedian, and attended little “workshops” we could go to and learn about different things. One workshop that we went to was titled “Love the unlovable” and we all truly needed that for we had someone we just could not connect with in our lives. The guy preaching was hilarious and really knew how to get our attention and keep it by the enthusiastic way he spoke and funny stories he would tell. We were all extremely tired so therefore we went back to the hotel instead of going to more workshops. We accidentally fell asleep in the other “workshop” we went to which was not very good but the nap was great.

Carley, Mckayla, and one of the youth leaders went to another event that was called “Flawless” which taught little girls that they were flawless in the eyes of God, and the rest of us did community service by collecting cans for the local food banks. We ate at Qdoba and it was amazing. After that, we went back and sang more songs and were told more jokes. We did lots of hands on activities and we played games as a whole big group. When we got back to the hotel, we decided to play card games and were told to quiet down because of how loud we were. Who doesn’t get intense during a game of Kimps?

The next morning, we went back to the place to yet again sing more songs and jam out. Then we listened to the preacher and we were just having the time of our lives. We had chances to look at our phones during or in between the sermon and that was when everything wasn’t very fun anymore. We had checked our phones plenty of times before and just talked to our other friends who didn’t go to the ICYC convention with us, but this time was different. A good guy friend of mine had asked if I heard about the accident and McKayla was asked the same question by one of her guy friends. We both gave each other a questioning and concerning look and then turned to our other friends with us, Carley and Olivia, to tell them what was happening. As soon as the big news hit, the tears were uncontrollable and I remember not being able to stop shaking. We went into ICYC thinking we would be having fun and making new memories, in which we did, but we also came out of it mourning one of our friend’s death. Haley Begley was a dear friend of everyone’s, a classmate, teammate, or just a companion. The youth leaders were there to console us and we had each other to lean on during such a difficult time. The ride home was definitely not the same as the ride there.

Overall, the experience was great and I would do it all again (except for the last part of course.) We most definitely had a great time and made awesome, fun memories but we also had unfortunate tears. The sermons were tremendous, songs were very catchy, and the games were hilariously fun to play. Of course, I miss Haley ever so dearly, but we learned at the ICYC and as a whole that this is a good time to be even stronger and more connected to the Lord. Everything happens for a reason and I am just relieved that Begs is in heaven now looking down at all of us. The laughs we had, tears we shared, and the memories we made is something I will always cherish in my heart and never forget.