Youth Group: News, Music, and Lengthiness
by Cameron Gray-Lee

IMG 0807Breaking News! The youths have now begun to plan their worship service! There was an extensive brainstorming session, in which many ideas for themes were discussed via Zoom and Google Jamboard, whilst being intensely watched by a variety of a variety of sideways text faces fabricated out of hyphens, colons, braces, and parentheses.             ({:-{0)    

At the next worship meeting, there was a greater number of youth present, so they all collectively conducted an extensive voting process over google forms to solidify a theme. There was a somewhat fierce debate as to what was the best voting system to use in order to elect one out of the five possible themes. A weird Frankenstein’s monster of rank choice and elimination voting was eventually decided upon, though Edric Suttone was still very frustrated that his idea of an Electoral College on the basis of Youth Group seniority was not implemented*. The virtual ballots were ceremoniously cast, and Alice Wanamaker read the results to a resonant drum roll. It was astoundingly close; of the many, many votes cast, there was only a one vote difference (“many, many” being subjective; 8 people voted). So now, they have a theme! Huzzah! Cameron would love to tell y'all what theme they picked, he really would, but he sadly won't, for risk of dying a horribly gruesome death at the hand of the Youth Group mafia*. He will, however do three relatively harmless things:

He will say that one of the following themes was a finalist: The Organization of the Google Jamboard, The Greater Importance of Zoom Cloud Meetings, The Impact of the Pandemic on Email Communication, or The Meaning Behind Exploration of the Bing Search Browser
He will say that the latter was not a finalist, due to the fact that literally no one uses Bing. In fact, one of the most searched items on Bing is, any guesses? It’s “google”! Sorry, Bing!
He will encode the chosen theme here for all you cryptographers out there (It’s called the Da Youthi Code. No, that’s bad. Just keep it at the “Da Y” Code [that may or may not be a hint]): yyysruhtsruhtyirfynomysruhtynusnusirfyirfirfirfnomynomysendewyseutsendewyysruhtynusnusnusyrutasrutasrutasynusseutynusnusynusyynusnussendewynusnusirfseutynomyrutasirfnusynomynusnomrutasyirfirfirfirfyrutassendewysruhtsruhtsruhtseutysruhtnomyyy

Aside from the worship service stuff, the youths enjoyed discussing their composting project, playing Beyond Balderdash (the best board game), and choosing Gravity Falls quotes as the opening words. Music is ever-present in Youth Group, Madeleine Kruckemeyer is the Official Youth Group Snack Break DJ, Edric Suttone showed the Youth Group his incredible World Record collection of electric kazoos*, and “Yakity Yak” became the official song of YAC. Cameron apologizes for this article's long and lengthy, uh, length. Alas, a good night’s sleep means that Cameron has more energy to spend time forcing the materialization of all of the little words and letters onto the bland-looking Google Doc that houses whatever it is that you are reading right now.

*Fine Print: A surprisingly well-rested Cameron (this will be short-lived; don’t get used to it) decided that it would be a good idea not learn from his mistakes and to continue to incorporate into this article artistic license, aka outside-of-the-courtroom perjury, aka blatant mistruthing. To put it nicely, he delighted in utilizing a wee bit of sarcasm. Sorry to all sarcasm-destesting readers out there. Sarcasm will not be used again in future entries.

Youth Group: Presents and Pleasantries

By Cameron Gray-Lee

alice hatDuring the holidays, the youths had a very fun time talking and exchanging secret snowflake gifts. The gifts varied tremendously, some of which were: baked goods, bead art, baked goods, drawings, paper airplanes, baked goods, and a hand-made Transylvanian hat as tall as some typical Romanian chapeaus. Edric even did the classic “present inside a present inside a present etc.” to reveal an adorable, little, wooden withe*. However, the star of the show was still Madeleine’s hat, which was given to Alice.

The past two meetings consisted of YAC, and touch groups. Both meetings had limited people, but it was still pleasant to see everyone. Cameron’s iPad died 4 minutes before touch groups ended, so he unfortunately missed one of the adults reciting the entirety of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to the tune of “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov*! In 3 minutes! Total bummer!

In a couple weeks the Youth Group will have its second ever virtual lock in! Woo-hoo! The first one was an amazing success; every one ate, and baked, and bridged in Maura Shackelford, Eleanor Herbert, Cameron Gray-Lee, and Edric Suttone. Important Note: Although Maura, Cameron, Edric, and Eleanor were bridged in, they were not eaten or baked. In hindsight, that sentence likely could have been worded a bit better. Cameron probably shouldn’t have written this at 11:30 pm on a Monday. C’est la vie!

*Fine Print: A severely sleep deprived Cameron was out of ideas for humor in this entry, therefore he started improvising; aka recommending that the reader take the statements marked by an asterisk with a grain of salt; aka shamelessly downright lying. To put it nicely, he delighted in utilizing a wee bit of sarcasm. Sorry to all sarcasm-destesting readers out there. Sarcasm will not be used again in future entries.