This week I'll be blogging my experiences as a staff member at NYWC. My hope is to push past pure content sharing and provide a behind the scenes look at the convention that goes beyond the details to reveal some of the heart of YS.
Hosting convention in San Diego is special for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, we are a San Diego-based company. We love bringing youth workers to our hometown, showing off things we love about San Diego, and supporting our local economy. Selfishly, its great to leave for convention at 7:30 AM on Tuesday morning and arrive at the hotel by 8:00 AM. While our team stays on site all week and doesn't go home, its easy enough for our spouses and kids to drop by so we don't have to go a week completely away from home.
Second, we get to celebrate a wonderful and long-standing relationship with the Town & Country Hotel where the convention is held. In a world of corporate properties the Town & Country has survived and thrived as a family-run business. As our staffs mingled this morning for a pre-convention meeting, we were all impressed at how many of their employees have worked on this property 20+ years. That means they've hosted several NYWC's and are still happy to see us! What stood out in that meeting was that the hotel staff “got it” in what we were trying to provide this weekend. They love our tribe and understand our needs. For us that is invaluable.
Last, this is a great location for a convention. Most of our delegates will stay on the hotel property which leads to a very close-knit feel. You can leave Big Room and go to your room within five minutes. You can check out the pools. You can walk over to the mall behind the hotel and see fellow delegates at Rubio's. You can sleep in way late and still manage to make it to an early seminar.
Tuesday for our events team is special for another reason.
We get to see so many friends! We have a number of our YouthWorks co-workers who have flown out for the week– so it's great to see them. (They've co-labored with us through the whole process this year. My first NYWC meeting was back in late-December!) A bunch of our production staff, like Rolly from Outside the Box, arrive on site. And while it's a busy day of logistics and preparations for the heavy lifting of tomorrow, it's just fantastic to connect with people we work with from afar and see them in person.
In the end, Pre-Con day in San Diego was mostly joyful and relatively uneventful. That's a good sign. That tells us that we have most of the myriad of big things worked out and we are at the point in the plan where it's all about executing on the plan and handling the details that pop up.
What is notable today is the level of excitement. Our team has worked and prayed like crazy for this weekend! As we've heard from delegates coming we know full well that God is up to something.
We are now just on the cusp of seeing God bring it all together. While the convention is, in many ways, the culmination of months of our hard work. And our team is rightfully proud of the craftsmanship and sweat equity we've poured into making NYWC great, it is also a chance for God to show off His masterpiece. He has things planned for this weekend we could never dream of.
As we look forward to tomorrow we are left with no other choice but to offer our labor as a brush in the beautiful painting God will paint this weekend in the lives of thousands of youth workers.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.