I still can’t believe that I actually got to go to the debut YDubs conference in North Carolina last week. It was a dream come true. (If you don’t know what YDubs is, go here to check it out!
If I had to describe it in one word I’d say: SPLENDIFEROUS!
Everything about it was so inspiring, encouraging, and uplifting. For the first two days there was nothing but laughter and smiles (and lots of hugs). The last day included more laughing, smiling, and hugging, but also some tears.
But enough words, let’s have some pictures!
Day One: June 11
It took us 8.5 hours to drive down. Thankfully I had plenty of books to read and my laptop so I could write a bit. My brother and I watched “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”
As soon as I walked in, I was
attacked hugged by one of my best YDubber friends, Chloe!
Then I got to talk to Josiah DeGraaf, one of YDubs writing instructors and editor of Story Embers! I was really nervous, but managed to not make a fool of myself.
After playing an ice-breaker game, we all settled down for the conference.
After dinner, I stayed inside and tried to write. (I wound up watching two YDubbers both named Sam trying to get another YDubber’s little sister to play with them. XD) Meanwhile, the rest of the group was building a writer pyramid. (Photo credit: Leah)
Day Two: June 12
Wednesday was the only full day of the conference, and boy, was it a blast.
During the lunch break, Julia (violin), Maddie (flute), Parker (piano), and Sam (viola) had an impromptu concert. They played “In Christ Alone.” It was amazing!
Before we ate, Savannah and I explored the JAARS campus gift shop and I bought some handmade earrings from Uganda, a couple gourd animals from Mexico, and a couple postcards. I went back later and got a purse I had my eye on. 😀
During the dinner break, we had another concert and this time I got to play!
It started with Parker playing hymns on the piano. Ever so slowly, everyone in the auditorium gathered around, taking pictures and videos. He’s a phenomenal pianist.
When Sam and Julia got back from dinner, they got out their instruments and started to play. I asked Maddie if I could borrow her flute and she let me!
The four of us played “It Is Well” in the key of D by ear. I think we did pretty good for never having practiced together, plus no music!
The “concert” might be my favorite part of the conference. Music has a way of drawing people together.
It was raining, so we couldn’t take our group picture outside.
Day Three: June 13
While this day was as fun as the others, it was also very sad. I think we all would have gladly stayed another few days (or months) and kept writing, playing music, and laughing together.
The conference has been the highlight of my year so far and I really hope if there’s one next year that I can go again. It was so much fun and I made many wonderful memories. (And next time, I’ll bring my flute. XD)
So, I brought Glendale with me and he sat in my backpack during the entire conference. Did I remember to get him out and take a picture with him?
No. Of course not.
So here is Glendale, in the line for an Arby’s in West Virginia on the way home. (They gave us 22 ketchup packets for four sandwiches.)