Our first full day of conference was incredibly busy. We were up before 6:00, and eating breakfast by 7:00. I was helping out with an “expo” (LOTS of booths of various topics of interest to GEMS Counselors) and so I worked on setting that up until our mass meeting started at 8:30. I had to use a helium balloon tank for the first time and almost lost my bouquet of balloons THREE TIMES! I squealed and caught the end of the string as it was going up each time. After the third time I decided I was done blowing up balloons and my 7-balloon bouquet was going to be enough for my booth.
Our morning mass meeting consisted of more praise & worship, (which is always meaningful at these large-scale events), and a theme-oriented talk by our executive director, Jan Boone. I spent the later morning and early afternoon at a couple of sectionals, which were great, and then spent the entire afternoon at the expo, working my booth and trying to catch a glimpse of other booths. The booth I worked at was for the Faithgirlz events which GEMS is putting on in conjunction with ZonderKidz. It’s an afternoon event for tween girls and their moms with speaker Nancy Rue and praise & worship team Colleen & Grace. We hope to have a Faithgirlz event here in our area in November! I am super-excited about having this event here in our town! God just has to open a couple more doors to make it happen and we’ll be good to go.
Friday evening we were introduced to the theme for our next GEMS year, which is “Feed the Fire” and is about being on fire for God and not being “lukewarm”. I helped out with this a little bit and we had a lot of fun learning and getting excited together about teaching our girls about this theme! I think we were finally finished on Friday night about 10:30 and my roomie and I headed back to our campus apartment which we shared with four other wonderful WA state GEMS Counselors. The six of us sat up until about 1:30 a.m. talking, I believe. It was so wonderful! We got to know each other a lot better, shared a lot, and bounced a lot of ideas off each other. I am so thankful to have four more sisters in Christ in those women. We were up again at 6:00 on Saturday morning, so as you can tell, this was the beginning of being very, very, tired.