Thursday, 27 October 2011

Who Let The Girls Out!?

1 week.  60 girls.  Beautiful, Bountiful Banff.  0 boys.  Awww yeeee!

I could  tell right then and there, once I stepped out of the van after 15 hours of driving, breathing in the fresh aroma of a kindling fire and evergreen trees that this was gonna be an unforgettable week, and it was.
The week consisted of good food, lots of pictures, a 4 hour hike at Lake Lousie, shopping, laughing, walking on the Columbia Ice Fields glacier, a private night at the Hot Springs, shaking our booties at a Zumba class, deep conversations, worshipping, and learning.  Our speaker for the week was Sharon, who blessed us with her calming presence and knowledge.  The topic was how to Live Lifeful as women with God, in our own skin, in our relationships, our sexuality, and in our dreams.  It was really interesting and eye opening to learn more about what it truly means to live as women of God and in our sexuality.  I think most of the girls would agree it was an empowering, bonding, and super cool learning experience where we were able to discuss some taboo topics. 

And let’s be honest, you can’t have girl talk without talking about our favourite subject: boys!  We were actually given a sweet opportunity to any questions we had for them, and they did the same for us.   We swapped our questions with the boys and we both answered each other’s questions.  Then some male leader  representatives for the guys came over and presented us their answers.  It was pretty interesting to hear where their hearts were at, and how they also struggle with some of the same things we do.  It was so good to settle some super important issues like what a padded bra was and “that what!? Guys have feelings too!?”  All in all, I think it opened our eyes to see no matter how immature or stinky they may seem sometimes, deep down they really are super duper guys (which we all kinda had a feeling of already).

It’s funny, Sharon pointed out to us that the first things you usually notice in a group setting, especially all girls, are the differences between each other.  I think by the end of the week, when we all left Banff, we left our differences behind and carried a new sense of unity and strength as woman.

Written by: Becci

Banff scavenger hunt
Kaitlyn, Larissa, Sandy, Tausha, Alisha, Tobi, Coral, Carol, Lauren & Chloe

Larua, Lisa, Becci & Megan showing off their mad jumping skills
hiking the beautiful snow covered trails
Chloe half-way up
demonstrating how to drink tea with the queen

Tausha, Alisha, Rachel & Coral dancing at Bow Lake
Columbia Ice Fields

big wheels!

Laura: "Look! It's a glacier!"
Kaitly: "NO WAY!!"

group shot!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Special Report: Guys Week

Hello and welcome to a very special report on guy’s week!  It was a week of epic proportions.  Picture this: a group of thirty-some guys, living in close quarters challenged to get to know one another… Let the fun times begin to roll.

Hi, my name is Hugo and on behalf of all of the guys I would just like to say that Guy’s Week was probably the highlight from the trip so far.  Some of the manly activities we participated in were: a Canmore picture scavenger hunt (with loads of amazing, memorable pictures), learning sessions with our speakers Blaine and Steve (where we were given lots of good info on becoming men of God), a ‘Canmore Plunge’ (a day where we give back to the community of Canmore).  The Plunge was full of awesome ideas like: handing out roses to patients at the hospital, raking leaves, praying for people, handing out free water with encouraging notes and handing out roses with a pay it forward intention. 

The activities didn’t stop there.  Some of us hiked up a challenging mountain, while others took a swing at the intense Disc Golf Links.  The group hike up a mountain in Lake Louise and seeing the spectacular view from the top was a mind-blowing experience to be exact.  Last, but not least, was the night at the Banff Hot Springs in our vintage onesie bathing suits.  Use your imagination for that one. 

I obviously couldn’t blog about all of the bonding experiences we had so just think about all the fun and safe/responsible things thirty-some guys would do when put together in the same hotel…

And this is Hugo, saying stay safe Outtatown supporters and enjoy life.  Goodbye… for now! Muahaha!

Written by: Hugo Malan

Monday, 17 October 2011

Bird River: Round 3

During our last week at Bird River Bible Camp, excitement for the coming Thanksgiving weekend and for our travels that would follow was very apparent! But before it was time for turkey and stuffing, we had plenty to do yet at the camp we had come to call home. We were honored to have Gavin Hall join us this week to teach us about Theology. Now I’m going to be honest, with a title like Theology I wasn’t sure how interesting these classes could be. But contrary to the appeal of its title, Theology turned out to be extremely interesting and Gavin had the attention of the entire class. He gave us things to think about, form opinions about, and also just challenged us in our walk with God and journey through scripture.  After going deeper into the subject and actually learning what Theology was, I came out with a new appreciation for it and a greater curiosity to read and study the bible.

Lauren, Zach, Megan, Andrew & Mark pondering
Other than classes, our evenings held lots of entertaining and exciting things. For one, we had our first meeting of small groups! Well, second I guess if you count our meeting when we were all blind and belting out animal noises as seen previously on our blog--one of our brightest moments! But we spent an evening playing games and getting to know our small groups, and I would just like to put out there that my small group set an Outtatown record- our first meeting was about 5 hours! Another day we had a themed supper where we all had to find our twin (or for some, triplets and quadruplets). We had our ginger triplets (the “tringers”), and lumberjack triplets who blessed us with lovely songs. We had N’sync dance moves, gender switches, old grannies, beach babes, and also members of the Twins baseball team made an appearance! I was very impressed with our effort! Well done guys, well done.

Ryan & Luke

Emily & Coral
Matt & Stephen

Jonathan, Sam & Zach
The next night we had the chance to show off our talents (ha!) and, let me tell you, our site is overflowing with talent! Layla sang a beautiful song that she wrote, Sam awed everyone with his guitar and voice, and Carter joined him later on with his mandolin! We have decided that those two are going to be famous one day. We also had some entertainment, Steve’s mustache caught on fire, and then turned into a caterpillar, which eventually crawled off his face, Hugo and Zach found love, which ended in Hugo pregnant, and to wrap up our night of many talents, we decided to see who was the macho-ist of them all.  And, of course, macho men lead to dance parties on the deck, which then leads to jumping in the freezing cold river to cool off. And it sure did do its job, it got pretty nippy outside after that. But that concluded our final week in friendly Manitoba. Next up a province with a little more to look at! 

Written by: Rachel Parkinson

Below you can bask in the talent of Site 2. :)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

A visit to Purple City!!

Friday, September thirtieth and we were all at the camp
Sitting in class, we were learning like champs.
You could feel it in the air, one thought was the trend,
Why, it was all of the excitement for the Winnipeg Free Weekend!

We packed up our stuff while the boys yelled, “Van Crew!”
Then got in the vans and the time, it just flew!

Booth College was our home for those few short nights,
And we learned the members of our small groups without the use of sight!

We clucked and barked, mooed and giraffe-ed...
And by the end, all we could do was laugh-ed.
Then off on our own, we hit up the town
Visiting Purple City, and acting like clowns.

Larissa, Lisa, Jonathan, Coral, Emily, Sandy & Laura showing off their mad skills 
Welcome October, Saturday the first,
It was a day of celebration, the day of Coral’s birth!
The girls went shopping while the boys did their laundry,
I’m sure their mothers will be proud...something that rhymes with laundry.

Megan & the birthday girl
The events of that night caused people to plan,
A trip to Value Village had some laughing in the van.
Now Value Village always has treasures to be bought,
And those gems that we found we thought, “How can we not?”
Decked out in stripes, glitter and colours so bright,
We all went Roller Skating—I mean, what else do you do on a Saturday night?

Partying at Wheelies
Oh the fun we did have! The laughter and glee,
Some were quite natural, but others had a hurt knee.
We skated and danced until our feet we so sore,
But let me tell you, that the night was not a bore.

our snazzy leaders

Rachel rocking the old-school roller skates

On Sunday we went back to the place it all began,
CMU, where some of us could make a future educational plan.
It was the campus visit day and all the sites were in the land
And when we sat down to pray for supper, we were the only site holding hands!
That evening we all gathered as one collection,
For a night of worship and listening to a personal reflection.
The event was called the MUD cafe;
Mission Under Discussion, as they would say.

And that’s the tale of our eventful weekend of fun.
Just ask any Outtatowner, they will be sad that it’s done!

Written by: Megan Sherk

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Silence, Snakes & Sliding

We spend the last week hanging out at Bird River Bible camp.  This past Sunday we had a half day of silence in which we couldn’t talk for 7 hours.  In this time we were encouraged to go off alone and just spend time journaling, praying, reading your bible, and allowing God to speak to you in the silence. Some of us found it very hard, I was one of them. I found it hard to sit down and focus, but as I went for a walk I started to realize just how much noise influences your life.  I realized how much I rely on other people to keep me entertained.  I actually found a little spot and talked to God and myself. I couldn’t just sit there and think it through, I had to be walking around talking. One thing I felt God trying to tell me during this half day of silence was just how much I need to start listening. I am talker, so I find it hard to listen without already planning the next thing I am going to say in my head.  I really felt God trying to tell me to start getting used to silence because it is such a beautiful thing. When I was just walking I was able to take in the nature around me like the beauty of the changing colors of the leaves and of the lake. It’s not something I would notice if I was talking with someone else, because I would be focusing on them.  If I was listening to my iPod or had something else on my mind I also would never notice how beautiful everything looks. Now when I go for walks I give myself more time to just stop and stare at the chicken chilling on the side of the road, or the wind blowing the leaves from the trees.  Now I won’t take my iPod so I can hear the sounds of nature that is usually blocked by the busyness of the world today.

early morning at Bird River
Later in the week we had a day off between speakers so we went to the Pinawa Dam and went body surfing. This was an awesome experience for two reasons for me. First off was the number of snakes at this park place. When we got to the Pinawa Dam and started walking on the grass there were snakes everywhere. Some of us were jumping and screaming, others were running and trying to catch snakes. 

Coral & her snake friend

So as we walked towards the dam you had to watch your step. Before we left some of the guys had a battle about who could catch and hold the most snakes, Goerz won I believe- when I passed him he had 8 snakes in his hands and was picking up his 9th snake. 

snake master!
Now saving the best for last the second part of the experience that was awesome was the actual body surfing. I have never body surfed before so in my head I was thinking of floating down an extremely fast flowing river as if you were superman flying through the sky basically on your tummy. So when we arrive we notice that the river is way lower than expected but that just means when surfing in some areas it’s almost like going down a water slide. So after the first brave people went first including Steve, Mark, Alisha and a few more others everyone else joined in and we had a blast.  There were 3 areas to surf down- an easy way where the rocks are basically like the water slide, then another where you slide then meet the rapids and go under a few times as the current pulls you, and the third one is like jumping into the rapids. 

Once we had all had our fill of body surfing, some people started a seaweed war, like a snowball fight but with the scum off the rocks. A very funny thing to watch as well as participate in, I’ve never done anything like that before but it was really wild.

Fire in the hole!
Written by: Jessica Davies

And now, for your viewing entertainment, a Day of Silence: Hugo Style

Video by: Carol McNaughton

Monday, 3 October 2011

Laundry: Outtatown Style

After a week in the bush during the canoe trip, all we had left were stanky clothes, a trip to the laundry mat was in order!


We loaded into the vans from Bird River, and sped off towards Lac Du Bonnet, a bustling town in the middle of the prairies that promised a good time. The laundry mat would then be our “home base” for the next 4 hours as we attempted to wash our stanky clothes. While washing our clothes we proved to be no match for facebook, taking time to connect with friends and family back home. Other rousing  activities in Lac Du Bonnet include visiting the bargain shop, eating at chicken chef, driving down the one way streets, or listening to saucy latin cd’s. Eventually all the clothes were washed and we had no reason to stay in that nifty little laundry mat with free wifi any longer. Piling back into the vans we departed back for Bird River, our bags smelling much sweeter than they had on the way in.

Putting the vans to good use

Written by: Andrew Letkeman