Wow what a spring break. I love having time off to be able to travel and visit with people. This year's spring break started in New Lexington, OH then took me to Cincy for a day then I was off to Marion, IN and a whirlwind tour of Illinois.
The majority of my time was spent in Illinois where I got to do a bunch of sweet stuff. I spent the first few days hanging out at the ACA Midstates Conference taking in some awesome keynote speakers and tons of educational sessions all on one of my favoritest topics - CAMP! Yeah, I chose to spend my spring break in a bunch of lectures and presentations, but it was fun to be surrounded by so many camp people from so many different places and I definitely got some good networking in. The keynote speakers were great, especially Scott Arizala. I also went to one of his smaller sessions as well as a session with Michael Brandwein and one with Jim Cain all of which were incredibly valuable learning opportunities. It was also really good to see ACA from a different perspective than being at camp when it just seems like ACA is a lot of rules. Now I definitely see it more as people and as a growing organization with lots of room to grow and expand the ministry of camp. Which is especially exciting for me, someone who is just getting started in the field. I like that it seems like there are places to go :)
During my time at the conference I stayed with my Uncle Joe, Aunt Judy and cousins Jon, Matt and Zach. I haven't seen them since I was in 6th grade. I was worried at first that that might make it awkward, but it was totally great. I felt right at home and have discovered that my dad and my Uncle Joe are practically the same person. It was a fantastic visit and I'm so glad that they offered to let me stay with them. Hopefully we won't wait another 6 years before hanging out again.
After the ACA conference I headed into actual Chicago (all of the above was in the western 'burbs) to visit my friend Emily who just moved there. It was a super short visit but it was well worth having to drive through Chicago traffic to get there. We didn't really do much of anything, but it was good.
Then finally on my way home to Cincinnati yesterday I went to Champaign for about 2 hours to take a walk and visit with my friend Amy. She's from the youth group I was in way back in the day and she and her husband have been living in Champaign for about 5 years. This was the first I've made it out there. Amy was an integral part of my spiritual formation growing up (she's got about 5 years on me) and being able to talk and relate as adults was fun. Plus I love the fact that she understands the importance of talking or having a meal or taking a walk when you get together instead of just going out to a movie or watching t.v. We had some good chats and then I was off again.
All in all I would say it was an incredibly successful spring break and I feel refreshed and relaxed and ready to take on my next challenge: my internship - starting tomorrow!! :)