Of course, 16 teenagers had to learn first-hand that yes, the ocean is still cold on a warmer winter day. But this was just the beginning of all the learning and fun that our youth had on our annual youth retreat. This year, our theme was "Building at the Beach," a curriculum focused on identity. According to one youth, "it was a 10 out of 10. I loved connecting with my friends, being given the freedom to hang out, and have fun. And I learned that my identity is not something I need to have all figured out right now." -Brady, grade 6. "Two things I learned about during the youth retreat is, I am still learning my identity and the difference between acquired identity and inherited identity. An example of acquired identity would be a hobby you picked up. An example of inherited identity is your skin color. I enjoyed making sandcastles!" -Arianna.

From a sandcastle building competition, team taco making, to Emmy worthy skits, our youth truly enjoyed learning more about who they are, and that God loves them no matter what. A newer youth family said, "She hasn't stopped talking about it since she's been home!" -Flag family. "I truly enjoyed hearing our youth begin to use affirming language for one another & ask deep questions around how to help their friends who are also figuring this thing called life out." -Rev. Tara Gibbs. Special thanks to our youth families for snack donations, our chaperones for keeping our youth safe, and to the church for all of your support!

Tags: youth, retreat

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