Several months ago, I received a call from the Discovery Bound headquarters asking me to come speak and chaperon a weekend retreat for teenaged kids with a sports theme. The weekend would culminate with a mini triathlon (swim, kayak, run), so you know I was in!
Chaperons and 150 teenagers from across the country converged on LAX for a shuttle and then ferry ride to the Island. Unfortunately, 8-9 foot swells on the 26 mile channel between Marina Del Ray and Camp Emerald Bay canceled the ferry ride and left us doing mixers in the marina’s park and scrambling for sleeping accomodations. Fortunately, we were traveling to a Boy Scout camp and everyone was prepared with sleeping bags as we gratefully accepted floor space at 28th Church in Los Angeles, and the UCLA Christian Science Organization. After a 3:30am wake-up and rolling 5am ferry ride, we finally stepped out onto Catalina Island.
After whirlwind of discussion groups, speakers, activies (including soccer, volleyball, football, snorkling, kayaking, hiking), we closed the evening with a bonfire. It seemed like the ferry ride had been days before.
The next morning chaperons James and April, and I took a group of a dozen kids for a 3 mile sunrise run.Each one of these kids not only ran three miles that morning, but they also came back and did the triathlon that afternoon — 300m swim, kayak around the big rock (pictured) at the entrance to the bay, and then a 5k run. A formidable task for many adults, much less a bunch of teenagers, most of whom were not swimmers, runner or kayakers. They were awesome!
It was my great pleasure to share my ideas on how spirituality and sport interrelate. Their enthusiasm, input and curiosity were a breath of fresh air. I hope these fantastic young adults got half as much from me, as I got from them!