Archive for Background

Fundraising Craft Sale

Friday, September 15th was our first fundraising event for COYLI (Colorado Youth Leadership Initiative). The church was putting on a craft sale to raise money for for Grace’s Kitchen. Grace’s Kitchen serves meals three days a week to anyone in the community who needs a meal. We decided join them with our own table and sell the crafts we all worked so hard on. Gigi Baxstrom, and Annika Lewis, two very good friends of mine, sat up and ran our table for the night. I was very excited and nervous for the event, but I was mostly sad because I had a cross country meet in Durango that night, so I wasn’t able to be at the crafts sale.

I was excited to talk to them about how the event went. Gigi told me that a lot of people had bought most of the crafts, I was shocked, but I was also so happy and proud of us. We all put in so much effort. Gigi and Annika made time, even though they both had busy schedules, to sell our crafts. Gigi said that she was both excited and nervous, just like I was. I asked her how many people stopped by their table, both to look, and to buy. She said she estimated about twenty five to thirty people stopped by their table. That might not seem like a lot, but to us, that’s a great start, and hopefully that gets us closer to Haiti.

I asked her what she was most proud of during the craft sale. She said that she was very proud that they sold almost everything, and she was really happy that a lot of people liked the cards that she made, and were really sad when they sold out. I asked her if she would like to give a thank you, or a little shout out to the congregation. Gigi said, ‘I would like to say thank you for all your donations and support and thank you for just being there. I am really happy and proud to be part of such an amazing body of Christ.’ I would like to say thank you as well. I am so happy, and feel so blessed to be part of the St. Barnabas congregation. I am also happy to be a part of the community of Cortez, Colorado. 

What is the Purpose of COYLI, and what are the obstacles?

The purpose of COYLI is to teach kids and young adults the meaning of leadership, as well as how to work as a team. The program is also about getting young adults closer to God, and overcoming your fears.

When we were at Cathedral Ridge, we had to do a high ropes course, also know as ‘The Tower’, as the people who worked there called it. I won’t put their names in unless I have their permission. We had yellow cords, that were attached to ‘Lobster Claws’, and they attached to the metal line that stretched all the way around The Tower. The first obstacle was three to four long, metal poles that were attached to two pieces of the metal line. One above, and one on the bottom. To get across, you had to move the, ‘Lobster Claws’, and grab onto the poles. My legs were shaking, and with the shaking, came the unsteadiness of the obstacle. The poles kept leaning from side to side, and I was scared that I would fall off. Everyone on the  ground kept telling me that the Lobster Claws would hold me, but that didn’t help my fear. I was about like, 50 ft off of the ground, maybe 100, for Pete’s sake! When I had gotten all the way across, I wanted to cry. I had almost cried when I was crossing the second obstacle which were three to four logs attached by the metal string, and only two had the metal string going through it, as things to hold onto. When I got to the platform where I would zip-line off, I wanted to cry. I was so happy to be okay, and to know that I could trust the people who built this structure.

Later on through the week, we had to do the leap of faith. The leap of faith was a telephone pole that was cut in the middle, giving a platform just big enough for your feet to stand on. Just about 3 or 4 feet away, was a large trapeze that you had to jump off of the telephone and catch. There were large staples that were put into the telephone pole, and a latter that that was attached by combat rope, tied by a firefighter. We had to put a harness on that wen across our chest, and a rope was attached to it. The rope was strong enough to hold at least 800 lb. Spotters were on the other side, waiting for you to jump. If you decided to jump, someone would lock the string, so you didn’t go straight down, and then they would unlock it, and gradually let you down slowly.

When I went up, I was already on the verge of crying, because I was scared. When I climbed up the latter, it moved, and I held on for dear life, but I kept on climbing. When I got to the top, tears were already falling, and, I let them fall. I wanted to get down, and so I called out,

“I think I want to get down.” I let go of the telephone pole, and when I got to to the ground, I cried my eyes out. I was very disappointed in myself for not jumping, but at least I had made it to the top. Still, to this day, I imagine myself jumping and trying to reach for the trapeze.

Sharing my Experiences

Cathedral RidgeAs I said in the ‘short’ bio, my name is Maya LaMunyon, and I am 16 years old. I wanted to share in more detail what my experience was at Cathedral Ridge. When I first got to Cathedral Ridge, my mom, and my best friend, also a participant, stayed up at the lodges that the counselors for the camp stayed at. My first thoughts were, oh this is going to be a benefit for me, I am going to be able to go to Haiti and Spain, haha, take that Evan! But, as the weeks progressed, I soon realized that this was not all just about me, it was about everyone. When the week came to an end, everyone was crying because they didn’t want to leave. I was crying as well. Being in this program, I feel like I have gotten stronger both physically, emotionally, and mentally. We had to overcome our different fears. Some were the same, others were different. And when someone was down, or sad, everyone in the group helped them to get through it, they never left anyone alone, or struggling by themselves. With the second year on the rise, I hope to spread my experiences with the world, and I hope to bring the leadership that I learned to Haiti, and to the Camino de Santiago trail. We will add a link to Facebook so that everyone will know when we post something new, and we will add a link to a website where you can give donations for our cause if you wish to.

Welcome to Our New Blog

Maya LaMunyonMy name is Maya LaMunyon and I am one of ten teens who were chosen for COYLI and one of the three girls from Cortez, Colorado that were chosen.

This blog is a site where readers can, well, read about our experiences during COYLI. There will be two more who will be writing on this blog, and their names are Annika Lewis and Gigi Baxstrom. They are the two others that got chosen for the program.

Soon, this blog will be connected to Facebook, where everyone will know when a new post is up, you all will not be kept waiting. I look forward to seeing how many people decide to help us fundraise.

I will try to post pictures, and Gigi and Annika will write some about their experiences when they get the time.

For now, please think about helping us in our fundraising for us to go to Haiti where we will help kids in a school. We will also go to Spain, where we will walk the Camino De Santiago.