From the NAB: Lifelong Friends and New Adventures

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By Lane Brown, Chair, National Alumni Board

Our summer vacation kicked off with my family relocating to Colorado for my husband’s new role as the executive director of Adventure Unlimited. A few weeks after our arrival at our new home in the Denver area, the four of us were at the A/U Ranches for the first session of summer Youth Camp. I was serving as a bunkhouse parent while both of our kids, ages 7 and 10, were together in Youth Camp for the first time. 

More than 20 years since I had been a counselor, I was back in the cabin supporting campers and staff (many of the latter children of friends from camp in the 1980s and 1990s). Memories flooded back as I watched kids on Chuckwagon lawn playing games and hanging out. Church in the loft remained just as I remembered, views of Mt. Princeton out the huge windows and the chorus of voices floating to the rafters.

 

Lane Brown volunteering as a bunkhouse parenting during Youth Camp this summer

 

My husband, Michael, and I met as chaperones for a teen DiscoveryBound (DB) Outreach event in Seattle almost 17 years ago, never imagining then what this summer would hold. Witnessing our children shape their own camp memories while remembering our journey as a family brought into sharp focus our growth in faith, building community and embracing adventure. 

All those qualities are paramount in the Adventure Unlimited experience. As I complete my third and final year as National Alumni Board (NAB) chair at the annual retreat October 13-15, my hope for all alumni is that the thread of their A/U Ranches and DB experiences binds them to lifelong friends, new adventures and a chance to grow their relationship with God. 

NAB working for you

Since my last update, the NAB has supported a few important initiatives, including collecting invaluable stories for this Zipline newsletter and keeping abreast of the latest activities and programs on the event calendar to share with fellow alumni and church friends.

We took a closer look at specific alumni populations to support and have launched outreach reconnecting alumni from multiple classes of the DB National Leadership Council (NLC). We’re focused on engaging adults in their 20s and 30s during the time when they’re striking out in the world to make their mark, perhaps starting their own families and investing in their communities. There are plans in the works for an NLC alumni reunion; more to come soon.

The blessings contributed by every member of our Adventure Unlimited community are rich and far-reaching. Earlier this year we lost our friend, fellow alum and NAB member Skip Franklin. Skip held a wealth of stories from his experiences that connected you to him immediately. We will miss his consummate calm demeanor in our meetings and his deep love for the entire Adventure Unlimited family.

We want to offer a special thank you to members who have rotated off the board over the last year – Jennifer Dale, Doug Moser, Brian Simpson and Holly Valentine. Each of these individuals has embodied a sense of service for others, and we can’t thank them enough. And we welcome our newest NAB member, Allison Abdelnour (read about her in Where Are They Now?). 

While I’m staying on the NAB, current vice-chair Glenn Grow will take on the chairmanship. Glenn has also been blessed to have served at camp and watched his own children thrive in Adventure Unlimited programs.

We invite all alumni to stay involved as best you can, be it through an upcoming service weekend, taking part in or hosting a DiscoveryBound Outreach event, sharing updates from us (don’t forget our Facebook and Instagram!) and joining any of our adult and family programs in the coming months. 

We cherish the feedback and stories from our community. If you have ideas for this newsletter, an interview you’d like to hear on our alumni podcast, or questions about how to become involved, please send us a note at [email protected].

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