Youth Group Work Crew Reunion

A week ago, we had an unusual gathering at Shady Acres.  Eldest Daughter and some of her friends had been talking about getting a reunion together for all the people who had gone on a work crew with Law Mennonite Youth group.  Certain Man had organized these trips for a number of years, and the memories that he has of them are priceless.  So they agreed upon a date, and tried to notify everyone who had ever participated.  I didn’t have alot to do except make the ice cream fixin’s and Certain Man grilled the hamburgers and hot dogs.  Oh, yes.  I took lots of pictures.  Have a look at the evening.

Vern Miller and Kent Garthwaite crash in the sun room while they await the arrival of other guests.

Other guests did arrive, bringing food.  Here Blaise and Kathleen (Shank) Maurice arrive. 
Just a few days later, Kathleen would give birth to their new son, Amani Blaise. 
Brave girl for coming out in the heat.

Kathleen’s husband, Blaise and Jesse solve world problems.


Kathy Sharp, April Garthwaite, little Victoria Garthwaite, Abi Bontrager and Kent Garthwaite.

Joel Bontrager, Dwight Miller, Joanna and Mary Beth Sharp. 
In the background is Vern Miller and Caleb Bontrager.

Joanna Sharp.  Just a few days away from getting her wisdom teeth taken out.


Mary Beth Sharp, Rachel Yutzy and Jesse Bontrager

Gary bought a digital Camera with his birthday money (see one of my previous posts).
  Joel, our resident expert on cameras, is helping him learn how to use it.

I didn’t get to see the pictures he took, but he seemed pleased with his progress.


Here everyone is still waiting for supper to start.  The girlie on the right (who hasn’t been identified before) is Bethany.  She comes to church with Calvin and Kathy Sharp and was welcome to come along with them that night.


Rachel and Abby discussing — well, I’m sure they were discussing something.
(I just don’t know what!)


The Jones Express is always a big hit.

It wasn’t often that it was sitting emptly like this.


Certain Man did his usual wonderful job with the grilling.

He must have just taken everything over to the table.


The girlie on the left probably came the farthest to attend the picnic
Rebecca Miller Hochstetler came all the way from Curtiss, Wisconsin, with her three young children.
Here she talks with Dave and Ruby Donophan.
(She stopped in Indiana and picked up her plucky Mama to help her along the way.)

Here Rebecca’s Mom, Karen Sue (Yoder) Miller, helps Rebecca’s middle child, Patrick, with a drink.
All three of Karen’s children are delightful little people.  They, as well as the other children that came, were a joy to have.


It was hot.  We went through a lot of drink.

 (Like 15 gallons of tea and lemonade and lots of ice water!)


Visiting, but texting someone else.  Maybe?  Maybe not!
Kanina Miller and Kathleen are old friends.


Kathleen, Abi, our Deborah and Kanina

Christina, Sara and April look at the old photo albums that April put together.

Kent looks like he is asking “How long do you think it will be till supper?”
  In reality, he is probably trying to figure out what one of his children is up to now.


This beautiful creature showed up in the course of the evening.
He was already dead, but someone picked him up
and put him on a picninc table to see what could be found out about it.

Charis and Her Mommy enjoyed the festivities.


Of course there were times when it took two of us to keep her from leaping off the table.



And her Daddy watched over her, too.


Beebs talks with her long gone friend, Kanina.


Gabe Miller got to come with Grandpa and Grandma Miller.
He and his sisters, Abby and Grace, were being babysat by Robert and Loretta.
Kurtis and Leslie were on a date, celebrating their anniversary.


Matt Rowan talkes to Sara Halttunnen. 

In the line to get food. 
Little girlie, Hannah Garthwaite is followed by Emily Sharp. 
Rachel and Mary Beth are on the other side of the table.

Blaise and Kathleen talk to the Rowan sisters, Jennifer and Sarah, who are looking over the old scrapbooks.


At almost every picnic at Shady Acres, We churn ice cream.
Strong arms and willing arms work hard to make the mix into the cool stuff.
Thanks, everyone for your great help. 
Certain Man’s old Rotator cuff injury has been troubling him some but he refuses to ask for help.
I know that I sometimes sound insistent when I ask for people to help. 
But pain keeps him awake at night way too often these days,
and I hate to see him work at cranking ice cream when there are people around who can help. 
So THANKS again.  I appreciate it for his sake.

(He is still the authority on when it is DONE!  Here he checks how hard it is to turn the crank.)

Our Precious Hannah Garthwaite with the evidence of her grand time all over her pretty face.


While the ice cream is being cranked, there is time for another ride on the Jones Express.
In the first car is the oldest of Rebecca’s children, Derrick.  In the next car is Hannah, and in the last car is the oldest of Kurtis and Leslie’s, Abby.

Kurtis and Leslie’s Gabe in the first car,  and the same in the next ones, then standing in the background is Rebecca holding her little red-haired girlie, Meghan.  Gary Burlingame is back there aiming his camera at something.


Daniel Garthwaite, Grace Miller, Emily Sharp, etc.


Choo-choo, chug-alug–

Good-bye, good-bye!
Please come back again!!!




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4 responses to “Youth Group Work Crew Reunion

  1. I love seeing people get together for fun and fellowship.  Looks like a good time had by all!I think of you and sweet mama, often.  Enjoy your day!

  2. What a huge and lively gathering.  I could just imagine the chatter and laughs.  You certainly did a great job recording the festivities.

  3. It was great to see all the old friends together.  I didn’t know everyone, but I think I visited often enough during that period that I knew a lot of them.  Were there any movies or video of the work projects?  Thanks for hosting.

  4. Very nice post, I can almost feel like I was there also! Looks like a large crowd.

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