Gilpin teens build relationships at snowy mountain retreat

Sponsored by Christ the King Community Church

By David Josselyn

  On the snowy weekend of October 5th and 6th, eight Gilpin County teenagers and three adults traveled to Grand County for games, hot cocoa, and to learn more about their faith. The teenagers are part of a youth group that meets at Christ the King church, 971 Highway 46, across from the Community Center.

About the group

  Leaders of Christ the King recognized a need for a program for teenagers where they can gather together in a safe environment to have some fun and learn more about the Creator of this universe. David and Jenni Josselyn stepped up to lead the program and, with the help of Stewart Garrett, began meeting last July. “We want to give the teens a safe place to hang out and be themselves,” indicated Jenni. The CTK Youth Group meets Sunday evenings from 6 – 8 p.m. and is open to all youth in middle school and high school.

The Retreat

  The eight youth and adult leaders met early on Saturday morning with a cold wind whipping through the air and drove two hours to a secluded location in northern Grand County and within walking distance of the Continental Divide and Rocky Mountain National Park. The event was held at the family cabins owned by one of the leader’s family, with the closest neighbor three miles up a forest road and the second closest, more than twice that far. At least a foot of snow greeted the group on arrival, but that didn’t prevent them from having some fun. The teens were soon competing against each other in a snow sculpture challenge. Having been divided into three teams; three unique designs began to emerge from the frozen white fluff. A snowball chucking contest followed the sculpture challenge. The teens enjoyed making their own pizzas that were cooked in a wood stove that evening and of course, toasting marshmallows and making S’mores for dessert. A talent show revealed some unusual dance moves, singing ability, and odd human tricks. Several skits and jokes added to the night’s frivolity. A rousing game of Spoons ended the evening. The following morning brought air band worship, a lesson on the Tower of Babel by one of the students (complete with babbling examples), and a message covering the importance of confession of sins and the good news of what Jesus did for all mankind. The teens were instructed to write their sins (anything we think, say, or do that displeases God) down on paper and then throw them in the fire to burn. This was a visual representation of what happens to our sins when we confess them to God.

Home again

  During the weekend, the teenagers were assigned chores that rotated with each meal. Some had never helped with meals before, but most had helped with dishes and chopping and gathering wood. The students took home with them some great memories of fun in the snow, working together as a team to create works of art, and lead a worship song. They also have a reminder that we all do things wrong from time to time; hurting others, hurting ourselves, and displeasing God. However, the Bible teaches us in First John, 1:9 that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

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