Having just typed this title, I have just reminded myself that I have not yet wrote anything about what I learnt at Summer School! But I'll get on with what happened at MAD 9.
We had 16 booked up to go on the trip, which was 4 more than last year, and an additional person from Bannside who worked at the event this year. However we had 2 boys booked to go, one decided a day or so before we left that he didn't want to go due to lack of other boys and the boy who was left wanted to go home on the Saturday - I drove him to Ballymena, his parents picked him up there. This was such a shame cos i know these two boys would have really enjoyed the whole thing and got loads out of it. However on a more positive note, we had a few girls come along with us who've only recently started going to the youth fellowship. They've always been part of the GB so it's great to have them growing deeper in their faith and joining us for that adventure.
This year the weekend was great. The choices of seminars and afternoon workshops and co-ordination of all that was so much better than last year. Having most of it all planned for you or pretty much set in stone made it much easier from a leaders point of view and saved much of the hustle and bustle of people fighting for stickers to get into the various workshops - so much smoother this year from that perspective.
Marko was a fantastic speaker - keeping the message very clear and very simple but also very powerful and also keeping the attention of everybody. I'd never heard him speak before but I've been inspired and encouraged by all he did and said.
Andy Flan lead worship this year. Quite well I thought, but maybe not as good as it could have been. There were a few occassions during the praise where I felt he didn't really lead the young people that well and went in his own direction - I dunno I could be wrong, but I've felt that way before about times when he's led. However I do like Andy and I love how he tries new and creative things with songs to give them a new lease of life. Some of our girls loved the worship, and for one reason in particular - the lead guitarist - apparently he's "hawt". This all made me laugh cos he's someone I went to school with.
Food - the cooked meal we had was a huge improvement on last year. However on the whole i felt it could all be healthier. We had packed lunches on saturday and sunday consisting of a sandwich, can of coke, packet of crisps and a chocolate bar after which I felt so fat and heavy, but this may be due to me having cut down on chocolate and crisps etc - but would it not be possible to have fruit, yoghurt and juice with the sandwich?
Sleeping in the church hall - last year the girls were very fortunate as we ended up with our own room in the church we stayed in so sleeping was much easier. This year we arrived at the church and were told all the girls were going in the main hall and the leaders were going upstairs, however we decided as leaders to stay in with the girls and had agreed a time for lights out and lights on with all the other groups. It was an interesting experience - they all got quiet quickly but got up really early to wash their hair in the sinks and put their make up on etc.... need to remember to pack ear plugs for next year lol.
On the whole a great weekend I'd give it a 9/10 just hope for MAD 10 it's a 10/10.