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What actually happens at a Young Life meeting?

Riverside Brookfield Young Life has been growing in popularity in recent years.  What's the appeal?  What draws RB students to church for regular weeknight meetings?  Clarion tagged along and found out.

Riverside Brookfield Young Life has been growing in popularity in recent years. What's the appeal? What draws RB students to church for regular weeknight meetings? Clarion tagged along and found out.

Cameron Bolton, Staff Reporter

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Even though Young Life is not an officially sanctioned club at RB and is not sponsored by the school, it still plays a significant role in many students’ lives.  So what exactly happens at one of their meetings?

Officially, meetings occur every Wednesday at 86 Woodside Road at 8 p.m. and are run by Area Director Jonathon Gorny.  Gorny volunteered with Young Life from 2004-07 in Toledo, Ohio before becoming a full-time staff member in 2007.

“The goal for Club is to provide a safe welcoming place that kids can come, celebrate one another and their relationships, and begin to process life and God and how the two dance together,” Gorny said.

Wednesday’s meeting began with everyone signing in and hanging out in the space available to them.  After several minutes, participants proceeded downstairs where they spent the next several minutes blasting loud music and dancing.  Even when the sound system occasionally stopped working properly, no one missed a beat and everyone kept singing along.  The music and dancing were occasionally interrupted by groups of students performing skits, mostly just for entertainment.

Eventually things became more serious as Gorny came out to continue the discussions that the ground had been having during previous meetings, talking about what God intends for life versus what students’ lives are actually like.  Along with this, Gorny showed the audience a music video, this time not for fun put to emphasize a point.  The video showed how clothes, cash and material possessions are all things people chase but in reality are things people choose instead of God.  During the discussion, Gorny brought out a tree branch that he had cut from a tree and commented on how it looked green and fine at the moment and would for a few days, but eventually would turn brown, wilt, and die without a life source.  He finished the discussion by reassuring his audience that they were not the tree branch and that God’s intended life would chase them whether they chased it or not.

After the discussion had ended, club members broke into smaller groups, ate refreshments, and just spent time together until the end of the meeting.

Sophomore Remy Doornebos, who attended the meeting, said, “I thought it was fun and it certainly showed how many opportunities for things [Young Life] exposes you to.  That’s what the club is trying to get at.”

Sophomore Kristin Picard, who joined this year, also ended up at Young Life because of her friends.

“Several of my friends suggested that I go.  I found out it was very fun,” she said.  Picard’s favorite memory so far has been Fall Weekend, which included a big camp out that many in the club attended.

Senior Olivia Novak, who joined Young Life during her freshman year, also talked about how Young Life was more than just a place to hang out.

“I joined because it was the cool thing to do,” Novak said.  “But I realized it was more to me.”  Novak’s favorite Young Life memory was going to Timberwolf Lake, a Young Life summer camp.

“It was the most valuable and life changing week of my life,” she said.

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
What actually happens at a Young Life meeting?