A View From the Traveling Community
From Terry Bottemiller adult chaperon for the ELCA National Youth Gathering this July in Detroit
I'm Terry Bottelmiller... “sixteen”! Starting from the parking lot here to coming back into the airport at PDX, we all had a number and when Jordan would holler “West Linn count off” we needed to get from one to sixteen before we could go anywhere.
I've got to say that I wasn't involved in this trip until I was sitting next to Jordan at the Seder dinner this year. Jordan said they were an adult leader short for the Detroit trip and that I needed to go. At which point I said, no, not a chance. Come on. I'm a full generation removed from their
parents. What am I going to do in Detroit with all these fantastic young people? So at the end of the night I went home to pray about it and came back with a yes. If you can't find anybody else I'll do it. And from there my went into a "All right let's go". It was one of the best choices I have made in a very long time.
I was suppose to share what my favorite parts of my trip today. But I couldn’t just pick one. I was a kid in a candy store. Jordan commented that I may have had the best time or been most excited of anybody there. And I really do think that was the truth! I enjoyed everywhere I went and everything we did! My experiences included: worship with thirty two thousand people, the day working for the community, visiting the Heidelberg Project, using public transportation (walking to the bus and waiting for the bus), the music (I have never been around such fantastic music), great, great, speakers every night at Ford Field. And even being on the floor (both sitting on the floor and laying on the floor). This was the result of playing the goggle game (the goggle game means that every time someone “goggles” you (see
picture) and you happen to see them doing it, you have to drop down to the ground).
The other fantastic moments include: the Detroit people we met, the several river walks, and the pool.
I also want to share some quotes and memories.
And I just want to say that this group is so fantastic and you should all be extremely proud of the way that they represented themselves; West Linn Lutheran, Lutherans in general and people from Oregon they made us proud. Every moment. I will say that if our future is in young people like this we have a great future coming.