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A Letter From Nikki and Danielle

Congrats New Staffer!

You're in STRONG! We are so excited that you have joined this team and are now getting ready to staff your first retreat!  As you embark on this fun and faithful adventure, we want to provide you with some words of wisdom and encouragement.  Even with attending meetings, workshops, and our staff retreat, you may still not know what to expect or how to do a good job. Nervous? Don’t worry; be happy!  You WILL do a good job.

Know that God loves you unconditionally and that whatever happens, God will be with you.  As it says in the Bible, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:13.  Members of STRONG play an integral part in the lives of the retreatants they serve by being awesome role models close to their age.  In joining STRONG, you are being an example to inspire, uplift, encourage, comfort, and bond with the youth of the diocese.  How cool is that?!

But remember, have fun with it! We are an important organization, but also an organization that likes to have a good time. Remember, if we're having fun, the retreatants are having fun. But at the same time, in order for them to get the most out of the retreat, we need to know when to have fun and when to be serious. At times, the retreatants may need to be reminded of this so it is important that we ourselves know this. Sometimes, you’ll have to discipline.  We trust you’ll know when and how to do this—usually you’ll have to tell a retreatant not to use curse words, to put away a cell phone, not to talk, or not to rough house.  If a disciplinary problem seems out of your control, go to the youth minister or come to us.  The retreatants are usually very well behaved, but we have to make sure they know STRONG is in charge—because we want everyone to have an awesome retreat experience.

As you prepare for a retreat, we ask that you join us in praying for the smooth running of the retreat, for the staffers, and, of course, the retreatants, that they may apply the messages that we bring to their lives. It's important to know that going into the retreat in close union with God helps the retreatants to see that we not only preach our faith, but also live it. 

As the president and vice president, we don't want you to think of us as scary authoritative figures, but as friends and fellow members of STRONG. We have been in your shoes and can help you with any concerns that you may have throughout your journey sharing the rewards of knowing God. We also hope that staffing retreats will make you love youth ministry as much as we love it and keep you coming back for more meetings and memorable retreats. We promise that you'll have a great time and feel like you'll be doing something worthwhile. Please let us know what we can do for you to make you feel ready for any upcoming retreats.  Welcome to the STRONG family!

Hook 'em and God bless Texas, 

Nikki Hogan and Danielle Duplechain

2013-2014 Prez and VP