It seems that there is an epidemic of “busyness” in our society and our family is no exception. My husband Ron and I both work outside of the home and are gone from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. Our girls are busy with dance, music lessons, taekwondo, and other extracurricular activities which keep our weekday evenings booked up. Add weekend hockey practices and games as well as my ongoing work on my graduate degree into the mix and our weekends are also pretty tightly scheduled. As you can imagine, when we have the opportunity to just sleep in and have a lazy morning at home together we try not to miss the opportunity! This is our crazy, busy, happy life and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. However, this frequently creates challenges in our ability to attend Sunday morning services, and we all miss the opportunity to be with others in our community in a way that nourishes spirituality within ourselves, our own little family, as well as with others.
We do always make time for camp during the summer and my girls both love everything about being out at Hills of Peace Campground and the friendships they have made there. However, camp is only one week a year and the months in between can be a long time to go without seeing their “camp community”. When our Pastor, Doug, shared his idea of Generation Now I was really excited about the prospect! This presented an opportunity for us to help our kids connect with the youth in our church community (as well as other friends) in a way that would still work with the rest of the priorities that our family juggles . . . AND it sounded super FUN!
I agreed to help organize the first event and immediately turned to my 9-year-old, Sophie, for ideas. She had recently been to a “horse party” for a friend’s birthday party and wondered if we could have a horse party for our Generation Now activity. I did a little research and found a local ranch that was more than happy to host a trail ride for a group of kids ages 8 and up, as well as pony rides for younger children.
On the day of the event we had a total of 20 youth and young adults who came out to participate as well as six parents who came along to chaperone/chauffeur. We had seen our first bit of snow for the season earlier in the week, but we were blessed on the day of our ride with a perfect autumn day. The sun was shining as the 11 older kids and four young adults headed off into the foothills for an hour long ride. The rest of the adults stayed back to visit and lead the five younger children on their ponies.
The giggles, teasing, and smiles were awesome to see as I watched the kids interact with each other not only at the ranch but also on the drive to and from. When I asked my twelve-year-old daughter, Abby, if she had a good time she gave me the typical elaborate tween response of “yep”. However, when I nagged her for more details, she finally confirmed what I suspected “the horse ride was fun but what I really liked was just getting to see everybody and hang out with my friends”.
Both of my kids are looking forward to the next event. Ron and I are also looking forward to joining them again as they get out and get active with this amazing group of kids that are part of our spiritual community!
Calgary Spark is a collection of stories told by members and friends of the church alike. Each person's story is helping to shape our community in new ways.