By: Chris “Topher” Aderhold
With contributions from “Mo-T” Wilks
When I was in high school, I oftentimes would join my Parish’s youth group for mission trips, or weekend rallies, or other types of faith formation bonanzas. These types of experiences were invaluable for me as an impressionable teen. They get lots of credit for forming me into the person of faith I strive to be every day, and they’re responsible for quite a bit of encouragement to go against the grain of our confused world. In short, these experiences had a crucial role in the development of my faith life.
I was recently reminiscing about these types of youth gatherings – led by energetic and fun keynote speakers and musicians – because this past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend such a gathering; the annual Resurrection Rally at the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. The “Res Rally,” as it’s known, is a High School Catholic Youth Rally for the greater Madison area. Highlights include: celebrating the Sacraments, being with hundreds of other young Catholics, having time for prayer, taking part in awesome workshops, and being big kids in Chula Vista’s sweet indoor water-park. However, as it’s been many years since my high school graduation, this past weekend I was not in attendance as a student. Nay, I was asked, along with fellow Camp Grayers, Bill & Mo-T, to be the Keynotes for the annual “Res Rally.” That the Lord would use our words and music to inspire the many that were in attendance is very humbling. It was also a beautiful surprise that the inspiration was mutual. That is, not only did the Lord use our words and music to inspire kids, but He also managed to inspire us through the kids and their excitement. I’m not sure which aspect of this is more surprising — the Lord using my stumbling babble to move others, or the fact that high schoolers have a lot to teach me.
I left the Rally on Sunday, so thankful to be a part of such a life-giving event. I couldn’t help but think about how thankful I am to be a part of a place like Camp Gray; a place that, like Resurrection Rally, so goes against the grain of our society. A place where prayer is not only welcomed, it’s encouraged. A place where teenagers will stand in line for over an hour to go to Confession. A place where those same teens will sit in Adoration for that long because they understand their friends need to go to Confession, as well. A place where faith goes hand in hand with friends and fun. A place like Camp Gray where, through the power of the Holy Spirit, these phenomena occur on a daily basis.
I am humbled and proud to be a part of both Camp Gray and Resurrection Rally. I pray that the youth who experience both continue to be led to Christ in the same way that I was and continue to be. Thanks to all those that were a part of last weekend’s Resurrection Rally!
Speaking of awesome high school kids, tune in to next week’s ‘Tuesday’s with Topher,” to learn about the awesomeness of Camp Gray’s Explorer Program!
Thanks for tuning in, friends! Questions for the quarterly Tuesday’s with Topher mailbag? Email! Thanks to those that have already emailed over questions!