S: summer 2011
BC: summer 2011 made by Marissa
2: Of course, nothing always goes as planned. Our rented 15-passenger van came around 8:30 and we got on our way. We arrived at Brookside around 5:45, making us the last group. The three other groups, all from different parts of Ontario, Canada, were already there. After dinner, we all went outside and met our small groups to play games. We had some free time between the games and chapel, so us nine girls started to unpack our stuff into our small room in the basement. At chapel, we worshipped with the Adam Locker band, and met the speaker for the week, Joe Skillen. After chapel, we split up into our small groups that had been assigned by Brookside. The Crossroads girls were still on Iowa time, and we had yet to finish unpacking, so our 11:00 Lights Out turned into 11:45.
3: Day One: Saturday | 8:00 am- Leave from church Travel All Day! 4:30- Arrive at Brookside CRC in Grand Rapids, MI 6:00- Dinner 6:45- Welcome, games outside 8:45- Chapel in Upper Room 9:30- Small Groups 10:15- Free time and snack 11:00 pm- Lights out | our room
4: Day Two: Sunday | Beach Day
5: 7:00 am- Wake up 7:30- Short morning chapel in Upper Room 8:00- Host families take you home for breakfast & shower 10:30- Church starts (wear Serve shirts) 11:30- Group picture by sign 11:45- Home with host families for lunch 2:00- Back to Brookside 2:15- Leave for Beach (ride with group you came with) 3:00- Beach, Dinner, and small groups in Holland 9:30- Back at Brookside- free time 11:00 pm- Lights Out | We were split up into groups of 2-4 and assigned to a church family. Jessa, Morgan, and I met Rob and Shari, a young couple from church who had Panera Cinnamon Crunch bagels and fruit ready for us at their house. After breakfast, a shower, and some visiting, we headed off to church with them. We sat with the entire Serve group during the Brookside service. After a group picture, we went back to Rob and Shari's house where we had a delicious home-cooked meal and relaxed. Once we got back to church, we got our swimsuits and towels and got on the road for Tunnel Park. After a few hours at the beach, we drove a little while down the road to Harderwyk CRC's Youth House in Holland, MI. There we showered, had a BBQ, worshiped, chapel, and small groups. Our youth group had some free time so we went to Walmart before we headed back to Brookside. Since we didn't sleep so well the previous night, we bought eyemasks, earplugs, sweatshirts, and an air mattress because Morgan's deflated. We also stocked up on candy and snacks before heading back to Brookside. We improved on our lights out, only being 20 minutes late.
7: At Tunnel Park in Holland, some of the Canadian boys decided to bury themselves in a sand pit. After they were completely buried, they stuck a Canadian flag in the middle and sang Canada's national anthem.
8: 8:00 am- Breakfast available and make lunches 8:40- Morning Chapel in Upper Room 9:00- Leave for worksites 3:30- Pack up work site, head for showers @ Calvin 6:00- Dinner 6:45- Team Event Outside ("Gold Rush"- like Capture the Flag) 8:00- Chapel 9:15- Small Groups 10:00- Free time and snacks 11:00 pm- Lights Out | Day Three: Monday | My Small Group (Group 8): Colin and Lynda (leaders), Jake, Ben, Amanda, Megan, and me | Every morning we packed our lunches at breakfast with sandwich supplies, snacks, and drinks. We put them in our group cooler so we would have them at the worksites. Each day our small group was assigned a different worksite. | Our worksite for Monday was The DOCK (Discipling of Christ's Kids), a place where kids can come after school. They can play games, have a snack, do their homework, and listen to a Bible lesson. There we met Wayne, an awesome man of God who started and runs The Dock after getting the inspiration from God a few years ago. | We helped at the Dock by cutting up and removing a tree that had fallen in the parking lot, pulling weeds from the cracks between the pavement, and trimming trees.
9: In the morning when we first arrived, there wasn't much work that could be done. There was a Youth House by a church about 3 blocks away from the Dock that was going to be destroyed because the basement was full of mold. The church allowed the Dock to take any extra items from the house that they wanted. Wayne took Jake and I with him. I helped find things that would work for the Dock, and Jake helped with carrying things. We had fun looking around the house. We found many things for the Dock, including a large chalkboard, games, chairs, art supplies, and kitchen utensils. The basement (which smelled terrible because of the mold) had license plates all over the walls. Jake, being from Canada, hadn't seen many of the state plates before. Wayne said Jake could have as many plates as he wanted. I helped Jake pick a few of the best plates and take them off the walls. We also found a piano in the basement, but it was missing keys and horribly out of tune. We brought the things back to the Dock and helped the others with the yard work. Our group all played Apples to Apples together when we ate lunch. | before | after
10: Day Four: Tuesday | 8:00 am- Breakfast available & pack lunches 8:40- Morning Chapel 9:00- Leave for worksites 3:30- Pack up worksites, head for showers @ Calvin 5:00- Set up Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) 6:00- Run MFP 7:15- Dinner 8:30- Chapel 9:45- Small Groups 11:00 pm- Lights out | Emily, Rachel, Carly, and I worked at the Registration Table for the Mobile Food Pantry, checking in people as they came.
11: First we went to Women at Risk- WAR (we met the representative at a factory that took quite some time to find). WAR helps refugee women and women caught in sex trade in foreign countries. The original plan was to help unpack boxes with Christmas ornaments for their program that sends ornaments at Christmas to women and their children, The shipment had not arrived yet, so we helped with updating a mailing bulletin. We placed stickers over the old address with a new one. We did several thousand of these. We ate lunch there. Next we went to Veteran's Park in Downtown Grand Rapids to hand out free lemonade to people at the park. It was a very hot and humid day, so it was much appreciated. There were many different types of people at the park: from homeless people, to mothers with children, to business people making their way through. Many people questioned that it was free and that opened up the conversation about why we were there. We (especially Jake and Collin) went around and talked to the people around, some just small talk and others sharing their life stories. We offered to pray with each of them, and many accepted. As we were about to leave, one woman who we had talked to wanted to show us something. She brought us over to a sign that said, " When the love of power is overcome by the power of love, there will be peace." This was definitely a God thing, as our theme for the week was Peace No Matter What and our group was challenging each other to find true peace. | Back at Brookside, we helped with a Mobile Food Pantry. A monthly occasion at Brookside, a food truck comes and people can come and get an allotted amount of food per family member. | Collin goofing off as usual
12: Day Five: Wednesday | 8:00 am- Breakfast available & make lunches 8:40- Morning Chapel 9:00- Leave for worksites 3:30- Pack up worksites, head for showers @ Calvin 6:00- Dinner 8:00- Chapel 9:15- Small Groups 10:00- Free time and snacks 11:00 pm- Lights Out | Goofing off, secret handshakes, and some pretty tall trees
13: Our worksite was Westwood Middle School for Wednesday. We helped out Bob, an older grounds worker for the public school district, because Grand Rapids cut so much funding for workers. We spread out mulch whenever a truckload came (there was only one truck that had to bring mulch all over the district). We had lots of free time to play games, climb the trees, and just sit and talk with our group and Bob. We had another God thing when we saw the sign in by the entrance to the school: "May Peace Prevail On Earth" (in four different languages, one on each side). Because it was Lynda's birthday, we went out to eat at B.C. Pizza for lunch, where we had tons of great food, thanks to Collin. Since we had still packed lunches, but didn't need them, we decided to bring them to Veteran's Park (when we had been yesterday) and give them to anyone who wanted them. After we finished working, we headed to the park, where our lunches were gone in a matter of minutes. We all wished we would have had more for all the people who wanted them. We went swimming at a church member's house for about an hour before we headed off to Calvin for showers. Being a very close group, our small group went late once again (as it did every night) and Group 8 missed lights out.
14: our group
15: During the week, we all had a "mailbox" where people could leave notes and candy. Winona, the lady who ran the Mobile Food Pantry for Brookside, left us all notes of thanks for working at the Registration Table. | my nametag and our small groups
16: Day Six: Thursday | 8:30 am- Breakfast and make lunches (optional: bring lunch along or buy there with your own $$) 9:10- Morning Chapel 9:30- Depart for Michigan's Adventure- ride with your small group, bring swim suit, sun block, shower stuff, etc. 4:30- Showers at Michigan's Adventure 5:15- Depart for GR 6:30- Dinner 8:00- Chapel 9:15- Small Group 10:00- Free time and snacks 11:00 pm- Lights out | Day Away at Michigan's Adventure
17: Day Seven: Friday Last Day | 8:00 am- Breakfast available & make lunches 8:40- Morning chapel 9:00- Leave for worksites 3:30- Pack up work site, head for showers at Calvin 6:00- Dinner 8:00- Chapel 9:15- Small Groups 10:00- Free time and snacks 11:00 pm- Lights out | On Friday, my group was assigned to go to the Bridge Street House of Prayer (B-Shop) and help them with their annual "Day of Jubilee", where they would give out items to needy members of the community. They described it to us as a "free garage sale" and people could buy a certain number of each time of item. We organized the things that people brought (like clothes and books) and helped during the "sale". During lunch, we went across the street to the house of the young couple who owned the B-Shop We ate our sack lunches on their living room floor and then played Apples to Apples. They told us how they called Brookside around 10:00 Thursday night, trying to find volunteers. They told us how much of a blessing and miracle we were to them. They were definitely a blessing to us. Another fun memory: trying on old dresses and t-shirts with Amanda and Megan and finding Christmas tights for Jake and Ben :) | I realized it didn't put enough sunscreen on Thursday at Michigan's Adventure! Amanda and Megan noticed halfway through the day that I had a huge sun blister and burn on my shoulder. We put a bandage on it to protect it (as seen in the picture). Angie helped me with it later at Brookside.
18: The owners of the B-Shop said we were free to take anything we wanted after the sale. We took a Goosebumps book to read on the way to Brookside. After we left the B-Shop, Amanda treated us to ice cream. We all sat around a picnic table and ate ice cream while reading Goosebumps, with each person reading a paragraph at a time. On the way to Calvin for showers, we tried to find all the endings to the story. | Top: Our group telling about our day Middle (left to right): Telling more about our day, Kyle singing karaoke Bottom (left to right): The band for the week, our speaker for the week (Joe Skillen). worship with the band | Friday Night Chapel
19: After a sad last small group, we said our goodbyes and took group pictures.
20: I <3 Jesus Fan Club | Brookside didn't enforce the Lights Out so we all stayed up until Uncle Dan came and picked Kyle and I up around 12:30.
22: On Sunday night, Kyle and I went to Hoffmaster State Park with Uncle Dan, Janelle, and Lexi. We had fun writing in the sand and running up the dunes.
23: "Kyle, can you make handprints in the sand for me?"
27: Running in the sand
29: After a few days with the Veldhuizens, Kyle and I headed off to Holland, MI to spend a few days with Uncle Bob and Aunt Rosalie. We had a great time with them and enjoyed relaxing. On Wednesday evening, Dad, Mom, and Jacob picked us up to head to Grand Haven with the Van Kootens.
31: Steve :)
38: oh, the places you'll go