Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sneak Peek Weekend! Be prepared: this is a LONG post!

Okay, so I'm going to finally take a break from my homework (yeah, still not finished) and show some pictures of my weekend in Arlington . Sneak Peek weekend is a conference held in Arlington, VA by Campus Crusade for Christ where 2 students from each school in the Mid-Atlantic region (VA, WV, DE, Washington DC, MD, PA, and NJ) are welcome to stay at a Marriott hotel for free for 2 nights and learn about Cru's Christmas Conference: RADIATE. You get information, brainstorm on ideas for the conference and for ways to promote the conference on your campuses. You also get to meet a bunch of other students, interns and staff members and get a 'sneak peek' of what the conference itself will be like.We stayed at the Crystal City (or Crystal Gate???) Marriott hotel and it was beautiful!
Here are some pictures of my room. There were 4 people to a room, so this is before it got all messy with bags and clothes and hair products and cell phones and the things one finds in a room after a bunch of girls have been in there long enough. You can see my cell phone and jacket and yarn and bags on the bed already so multiply that by 4 and spread it around the room a little bit. You'll get the idea. :)
When I got there one of my room mates stuff was already in the room. She wasn't there though so I took a few minutes to take some photos before calling Adam to find out where he was. He was up in his room (, I'm not joking!) dropping off his stuff. We met up and went downstairs to the lobby.
This was just a teeny tiny corner in the main lobby. From there Adam called Mike (WV Campus Crusade's intern who came down for the event) and he met us down there along with 2 other girls from WV Wesleyan College. These girls got there later than we did and it turns out that they were 2 of my room mates! They were awesome! They were also from the only other campus in WV that sent people to Sneak Peek. Apparently there are 40 schools in WV, but we were one of the only ones who sent people to get information on RADIATE to take back to our schools. We're hoping that students from all over WV (and from the campuses in other states that didn't send students to Sneak Peek) will still come out for RADIATE.
(Adam, Tiffani and Lauren.)

At 7:30 all the students (about 70 for Sneak Peek, they are expecting between 800 and 1000 students for RADIATE) along with interns and staff met in the Alexandria room to start our meeting. We saw a promotional video for RADIATE 08 and went over the tentative schedule for our weekend as well as the tentative schedule for RADIATE in December. We did a mixer too so everyone would get up and meet new people.
Meet Mike. He is the WV intern. He was a lot of fun. A lot of the other interns were off doing their own thing, but Mike really stuck with the WV group and we all had a lot of fun together.
After our first meeting at Sneak Peek, all 70 of the students and the interns and the staff grabbed their sweatshirts and jackets and bags and we all met downstairs in the Marriott at about 9:30 pm. We were going into Georgetown. There is a metro station underneath the Marriott we stayed at, so we just went down to the station and hopped on the metro. Only it took about 20 minutes for a metro train to finally come by so it was almost 10:00 pm before we finally boarded the train to get to Georgetown. It was some of the students' first time in DC or on the metro. I've been to DC a few times and ridden the metro a few times, but never at 10 pm with a bunch of college students. It was fun. After being on the metro for awhile and doing a lot of walking we all got to Georgetown. Pretty much all the stores had shut down except for ice cream shops and coffee shops, so that's pretty much where we all hung out. We met a lot of the students including Erin (in the picture below). While all the students that were at Sneak Peek are going to college in the mid-Atlantic region, a lot of them are not originally from that region. Erin is from TX (yeehaw!) and is going to school in DC. We met another guy who is from Michigan (or Wisconsin maybe?) who is in school somewhere in the mid-Atlantic region.

The staff said they would be heading back to the hotel at 11:45 pm and anyone who wanted to go back with them at that time needed to meet at a certain point. I was exhausted and there was no way I was going to try and remember how to get back to the hotel by myself, and a lot of others felt the same way so most of us headed back to the hotel with the staff. However, a few of the students decided to stay out later, including one of my room mates, Kayleigh. She didn't get back to the room till 1:30 am. I She goes to school at Radford in Virginia. She was a very sweet girl. It was about 12:30 before we got back to our rooms. We were so tired. By the time everyone had showered and come in from DC it was past 1:30. We all woke up around 6 am.
(Adam, Mike and Erin releasing some energy during a session break.)

The whole group met back downstairs in the lobby in the morning and went down into the basement of the hotel to get breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. In addition to having a metro station down there, there are also a bunch of restaurants and stores. There is pretty much a mall down there. After grabbing breakfast we met back in the Alexandria room for Bible study and brainstorming.
This is the poster for Radiate 08. Basically it is hearts (love) raining down on DC (not sure if you can see it on the poster). The theme this year is Radiate His Love. Around lunchtime we took a break and took a little tour of the Marriott. Radiate will be at the same Marriott that Sneak Peek was in. The staff took us all around and showed us the ballroom where the conference will be held. To get there from the Alexandria room we had to go through the gym (I would have taken pictures but there were people working out in there and I didn't want to annoy them) and down past the pool.
Here is the ballroom. It's really big. It has to be though in order to hold between 800 and 1000 students. That's not counting interns and staff. They will be having the seminars in this room.
They were setting up for a wedding in there while we were taking our tour.
We finally had lunch! The first bit of protein I had that weekend. When I go back for the conference I am bringing food with me for 2 reasons. 1. It's way cheaper. 2. It's way healthier. This was probably the most nutritious thing I ate that weekend. We had lunch at Potbelly. I'd never heard of it before. It was under the hotel in the mall and it is a sandwich shop. You go through and pick out what kind of sandwich you want and they're really good. And they have whole wheat options there too so that's cool.
The West Virginia people: Adam, Lauren, Mike, Tiffani, me. My other room mate, Kayleigh, took our picture for us. After lunch we went back to the Alexandria room and did more brainstorming and we also took an hour where we split into small groups to pray.
The conference ended at 5 pm on Saturday. Most of the students went back to school that night. Everyone from WV stayed the second night. Around 7:30 or so we all decided to meet downstairs in the lobby. We got coffee and sat in the seating area pictured above. We talked about our campuses, about Campus Crusade for Christ, about the conference, why we were in school, what we wanted to do after school and just got to know each other better. We ended up all going to Mike's room and did a devotional. I loved our WV group. I met a bunch of wonderful people at Sneak Peek. There were so many people who told us they would be praying for us and for our school. So many of them swapped email addresses with us and we are keeping in touch over the internet. But for some reason, I think that those of us who came from WV really bonded. In less than 48 hours, we felt like family. I am not trying to be cheesy here. I really can't wait to see them all again and meet more people at Radiate in December!
(Tiffani, Lauren, Kayleigh, me=best roomies at Sneak Peek.)

We ended up getting to bed late again and were up early again. I think I only got about 8 hours of sleep the entire weekend. I spent this whole week getting over exhaustion and a cold. It was totally worth it though. I'd go back in a minute. We left around 9 am on Sunday morning. Now I totally can't wait to go back in December. We will be there for 4 nights instead of 2. One of the days we are there we will be going back to Georgetown as a group to talk to people about salvation. We are supposed to learn a lot about sharing the gospel at the conference. I am SO excited!

I have a bunch more pictures of people I met there, including students from other community colleges! It was a really encouraging weekend, and I could really feel a lot of love from the people at Sneak Peek. It encouraged me to be more loving towards the students at my school and to be praying for them. I was also encouraged to trust God to make our ministry at school an effective one and to trust Him with everything in my life right now. If I wrote down everything that happened and everyone I met at Sneak Peek, I'd probably never finish this post.

Okay, I'm going back to finish my speech homework. I have another speech this week (blah) but once that's over I have an exciting weekend to look forward to. Cheryl is coming to visit us this Friday and I can't wait to see her again!

1 comment:

Jacqueline said...

your pictures are wonderful - i'm so glad you had such a great weekend. it makes me wish i were still in college! (well, only kinda/sort-of...) radiate looks like it will be fun!