Last fall at our annual teacher's convention, I won a free trip to Camp Eden for one of my classes. I took my sr. high choir up there yesterday to give them some extra time to polish up their songs before our state competition next month---and to have some fun up in the mountains, too. I asked Mr. Ed Massey to be our guest conductor for the day. He lives in the Denver area and used to teach choir on different levels for many years. Now, he has his own business, but still helps choirs and choir directors (a newbie like me!) from time to time.
After our hour and a half drive, we began by doing some breathing exercises and had a devotional time. Mr. Massey talked to the students about the importance of words and how we must praise the Lord with what we say. Following that time, we had a choir practice, girls' ensemble practice (free time for the guys), and lunch. After lunch, we had another choir practice! A few of my students were not able to attend due to illness, but I know that the ones who were able to come benefited greatly from all the choir practices.
It was amazing for me to see some of the things that Mr. Massey was teaching the students and hearing them sing. It was also encouraging for me to know that I was doing some of the same things at school--and here they were hearing it again from a different person. He had me do some of the conducting and even taught me a couple new things.
For a couple hours in the afternoon, there were some activities available for the teens to do. The first thing they did was do a hike up Judson's hill. Here are a few of my guys smiling at the camera with the wonderful view in the background. My husband went up with them and said it was quite windy up there. They all had a great time together hiking and seeing God's creation.
After the hike, we all went to the activity center and played ball games, card games, or played the piano like Sarah and Brooke did. Another thing that they were able to do all day was to write encouraging notes to one another. Next week, we are making a poster full of pictures of the day and will put these notes on there. It will be a neat thing for them to see and for their classmates to see as well.
Before we left, we had this group photo taken. Next to me is one of my good friends, Shelly, who came to play the piano for us. A couple of the teen ladies help play the piano for class, but I wanted them to benefit more with what we wanted to accomplish vocally.
We had such a great time together and I'm so glad we were able to do this. The folks at Camp Eden did a wonderful job helping put this special day together, and we were thankful for Mr. Massey who came to be an encouragement to us. Right before we left, we had a praise and testimony time. Some of the students shared that they were excited for all they had learned and were excited about our competition in a couple weeks. On the drive home, my heart was blessed as I continued to hear great things from the mouths of these teens. I believe that God used this day to encourage us all to sing our best for Him and not to hide our talents. I hope and pray that the students will be such a positive impact to the others at school.
And...we all can't wait to perform at the competition and do well with our scores! I'll keep you all posted on how we do.:)