Ten years ago, I got to spend the summer completely out of my element. And it was amazing!

One of my college friends convinced me to apply for a Leadership Training program put on by campus churches from across the midwest and east coast. About 200 students total would participate, living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for ten weeks.

I was extremely skeptical -- the program had us working regular jobs 40 hours/week, going to training sessions 3-4 times/week, and spending an entire day/week doing personal growth, bonding, and community outreach. We'd live in beach houses with up to 7 people per bathroom and 12 people per house. There wouldn't be any televisions, home internet, or long-distance phones (remember before everyone had a cellphone?). That all seemed ridiculous to me!

In the end, I figured if worse came to worst, I'd live on the beach for most of the summer. So I went. :)

On the 10th anniversary of that summer, I thought I'd reminisce a little with a picture slideshow of my "project"; the 25 fellow "LTers" that I spent all of my time with. When I got there, I knew maybe 4 or 5 of these people. By the end of the summer, they were my family.

I feel very lucky to have been a part of this program when I was. We were in that weird stage of life between being a child and being an adult, with most of us "living on our own" for the first time. We learned so much about ourselves and took care of each other, but we still got to play like kids.

That summer certainly had its share of ups and downs for all of us, but we spent the majority of it smiling and laughing. It was just so fun. And everyone was so silly! We'd jump in the ocean at night with all of our clothes on. We'd do velociraptor impressions. We'd carpool to work and pack strawberry applesauce in our lunches. We'd play pranks. We'd stay up late hanging with our roommates. We'd eat a TON of hot dogs. We'd try to one-up each other with how hilarious we could be. And we genuinely cared about one another.

Oh, and the chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches flowed like a river! ;)

For those readers who were there - Happy 10 Years of Friendship! And for those who weren't, I hope you can still enjoy the pictures!

Thinking of that summer reminds me of how taking chances can have such potential for awesomeness. I need more adventures in my life these days. I'm taking suggestions!

Hope you're all having memorable summers so far!


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