over the past weekend, i was volunteering (as a photographer) at Our Lady of Lourdes' 2017 Youth Day. it was a faith-filled weekend w games, music, food, talks, & entertainment.
check out the video my friend Ben made about this year's youth day:
so youth day is an annual event & this year, the theme was "focus on your innergram"
what is your "innergram"? that's a good question. i wasn't really listening when the speakers talked about it (oops) but i think it's kind of obvious- it's right there in the theme: focus on your INNERgram
kids these days are so obsessed w their technology & w social media (not gonna lie, i am one of these people) & their online image. they can't put their phones down, they try to make themselves look a certain way & project a certain image/look online on instagram, blogs, snapchat, tumblr, etc. & sometimes, they don't even realize that they're doing it. during one of the talks, the speaker (a nun) mentioned how kids see a commercial for a product & may be influenced to buy this product. the media (television, ads, commercials, the internet) subliminally influences us. & the speaker said they do this for money, they don't really care about us. & that's so true- the media does not care about us. they care about selling things, even if it's bad for us. so how does this relate to our innergram?
well, one thing that the media sells is an image, an idea, a look. this look tells girls that they'll never be skinny enough; it tells boys that they need to have abs & big muscles. it tells us that we have to do certain things to be "cool" like smoking or drinking or having sex, etc. it tells us to be everything but ourselves, so that others can see us as cool & like us. should we be doing things just to get people to like us though? NO. so why do we focus so much on the image that we project on social media?
why don't we focus on the image that we project on our innergram? why don't we make ourselves beautiful on the inside? why do we think that we are ugly when God created us in his own perfect image? why don't we do things that will make us the best versions of ourselves for our innergram?
so that's the idea right? to make our innergrams look as good as we want our instagrams to look. to make ourselves as beautiful on the inside as God sees us on the outside. & instead of focusing on getting likes & getting people to share our posts, we should like/love ourselves (& others) & share that love, share the gifts & talents that God gave us w the world. #likeandshare
|group photo of the participants (blue shirts) & volunteers (pink shirts)|
so, along w focusing on our innergrams, we focused on God through adoration & praise & worship- my favorite part of the weekend. with the live band- gifting us w the talents that God gave them, & the enthusiasm of the kids- singing & dancing along, how could i not feel God's love?
youth day isn't just ALL about God & praying & worshipping though; after adoration, the older kids had more praise & worship while the little kids did smores. then they swapped & the older kids did smores while the little kids did arts & crafts. i went around taking many many pictures
we also had sports & games. the kids were split up into groups (the younger kids & the older kids) & had their own activities. the kids had t-shirt relay races, "quidditch," tug-of-war, hula hoop games, & many more
the older kids had interesting games (i forget the names) such as trying to get a ping pong ball from one soda can onto another, trying to pick up & carry skittles using a straw, trying to knock over cans w rubberbands & other obscure- but entertaining- activities
after a hot day outside in the sun, the kids had lunch, then free time where they would be free to go on waterslides, get ice cream, cotton candy, etc. then they got dinner & cleaned up before going to mass. after mass, there was a variety show w a couple of performances, including one from TNTT called "Broken Vessels" (which my sister is a part of). & after the whole day & a half of sleep-deprivation, it still wasn't over
the youth ministry's band ended the night by holding another praise & worship event for the remaining kids (mostly the older ones who have been confirmed or are getting ready to be confirmed)
honestly, i had about 4 hours of sleep from that friday evening til saturday night but it was worth it