Winter weekend brings students closer together

Winter+weekend+brings+students+closer+together+

By Chase Porter
Staff Writer
Video by John Mark Gosser

Lifting their hands and singing songs of praise, hundreds of Coppell High School students gathered at VRBC or Valley Ranch Baptist Church for the 11th annual Winter Weekend retreat.

The retreat, which was started in 2001, is a chance for not only members of the Valley Ranch Baptist Church but any student to grow in the Christian faith with friends and other students of the same age. Grade levels for the event start as young as sixth graders and the final year to participate are senior year.

This year’s retreat took place on the weekend of Jan. 20-22, starting on Friday night and ending on Sunday morning with the churches annual Sunday morning service. Throughout the weekend multiple worship services are held that include not only live bands and performers but also a guest speaker.

“My favorite part of the weekend is being able to share my faith with my peers and being able to talk to them about things that usually aren’t discussed at school or on the weekends,” senior Jared Watters said.

Valley Ranch Baptist youth pastor Rich Roush lead the weekend’s events and helped organize the performances and events. One event in particular that the students had to complete with their group of the same grade level and gender was the trading- scavenger hunt.

“On Saturday, we gave each group a paper clip and told them to go around the neighborhoods near the house they were staying in and ask people if they could trade the paper clip for something more valuable and keep trading until they had something of real value,” Roush said. “Not only is it a fun exercise but it is meant to show that with a little faith anything can be accomplished through God.”

Everything that was collected from the paper clip event was donated to charity. These items included bookshelves, TVs, dining room tables, lawn chairs and even an electric scooter.

“The paper clip trading game was blast and caught everyone in our group off guard when we started to trade for bigger and more valuable things,” junior Seth Slover said. “The game showed us that with a little faith anything can be accomplished.”

The weekend wasn’t just fun and games though because on Saturday night the lights were dimmed in the sanctuary and all of the students were given a time to worship in private or with friends.

“On Saturday night when we were all given time to pray and worship on our own you could really feel the emotions and the power in the room,” junior Elizabeth Bell said. “Even if you aren’t a Christian, being in the sanctuary on the Saturday night of Winter Weekend is a powerful experience because there are so many students coming together and praising God together.”

St. Ann Catholic Parish in Coppell also recently had its ROC (Right of Confirmation) retreat. In the coming weeks many of the churches in the local area will be holding youth ministries for their youth groups along with missions trips this spring and summer. Valley Ranch Baptist will be traveling to New Orleans this coming summer for their annual mission trip.