Registration for Global Vision and all other 2018 Conference Youth Events is open at https://nccumc.org/youth/events/register/
A MESSAGE FROM YOUR 2017-18 YOUTH LEADERSHIP
Hello, my name is Anna Blount and I serve as a member of the CYC (Conference Youth Committee).
I have never experienced a bond like the bond conference kids share. I have been going to NCCUMC Youth events since I was in sixth grade. Every Event I go to, whether it be Pilgrimage, Breakaway, ACS, or Global Vision, I have a blast. At the conclusion of each event, I look back and see what I have learned and what I am going to do to continue strengthening my relationship with the Lord. Although all of the events are amazing, Global Vision 2017 had the biggest impact on my life. I never thought riding on a bus for eight hours was going to be fun but looking back, it was one of the highlights of the trip. Being squashed on a bus did not stop us from having a great time. I made so many new friends just on the ride up to New York City and bonded with my previous Conference friends. Six kids from my town Clinton, including myself, went to Global Vision so I went thinking I was going to hang around with them the whole time but that quickly changed. Myself, my closest friend, my brother and his three close friends, and all my conference friends made the trip up there and back super fun. Global Vision 2017 was the first time I had ever been to New York City and was looking forward to arriving in the city. I was amazed at what I saw, despite the construction and the loads of people. The city was so beautiful!
I have never been too concerned with the United States prison system until I attended Global Vision, where our theme was focused on learning about the prison systems in the United States. No one in my family has been convicted of a crime so I never really had a reason to learn about the prison system. Throughout the sessions provided by the United Methodist Women, I learned so many things about the judicial system, its problems, its good attributes, and what those imprisoned do after they are released back into society. Our group went to sessions daily and even traveled to a business that was reflecting what we were learning about, called the “Exodus Project”. Traveling to the “Exodus Project” and learning about what they do was very special. I never really realized how returning citizens suffer after they are released and traveling to the “Exodus Project” opened my eyes. I felt very touched after attending the business and I immediately wanted to do something in my town to help those who were looking to get back on their feet after imprisonment.
My favorite session was when representatives, two adult ladies and two teenagers, from Community Connections For Youth, came to talk to the group about their organization. The two youth had been in jail for different crimes but were now out and doing better and were happy to share their stories with us. They seemed so happy, even though they had gone through so much at such a young age. Having a criminal background set them apart from everyone else when it came to looking for jobs and how they were treated. This program was in place to help guide youth on the path to success and keep them out of prison. The teenagers we met were not much older than me so I could relate to them. I was really touched by their attitudes and how happy and grateful they were, regardless of their circumstances.
Having never been to New York City, I stayed close to the chaperones and talked to them as we walked around the city. This reminded me how amazing our adult leadership is in our conference! These chaperones took a week off form work to come hang out with a bunch of crazy teenagers. They were amazing. We walked pretty much everywhere but also took the subway which was super fun. We only got lost once which was surprising to me.
I learned so much about New York. I had previously been to Washington DC but touring there was just as much fun. I began to get so close to all that were on the trip the last couple days which made the ride back home fun. Although we were all super tired from the great time we had, we hung out, told stories, played games, and more.
The sessions took most of the day but at night exploring the city was super fun. I bought 18 dollars of M&Ms from the M&M store and shared them with the group. With some help, I ate an entire two-pound pack of sour patch kids. After a long day, we met with our small groups, called survival groups, to discuss what we learned and enjoyed from each day. My group had such a hard time picking out a name but when we found one we definitely lived up to it. We were so crazy and had so much fun in our group each night that I didn’t even think about how tired I was after walking most of the day. I enjoyed the time I spent with my group as it brought me closer to each of them and to God.
The bonds I made over the course of this trip is a bond that cannot be broken. I am looking forward to next year. Every event means something and changes me for good, but Global Vision had such a big impact on my life. This was my older brother’s last conference event before he graduated so I cherished the time we spent together. I got closer to my friends from Clinton, but also made new friends from the Conference, and I certainly grew closer to God. I will never forget the memories I made on the trip and all the crazy thing we did.
If you have never been to Global Vision, I highly recommend it and I can tell you so many crazy stories from the trip. I am so thankful for the NCCUMC and all that they do. God is certainly doing work in our nation through the youth in the Conference. I am very thankful that God gave me these people to call on in times of need. I hope you attend Global Vision in the future and have as much fun as I did!