Friday, September 7, 2018

Sharing about International Youth Forum (IYF) and Spectacular (SPEC) by RJ Strozyk and Logan Strozyk

By RJ Strozyk

IYF/SPEC is great because I got to know people better not just in my delegation, but also others from around the world. This is my second year at SPEC, and it was a blast to see old friends that had returned from last year.

One of my favorite events at SPEC are the week-long sports events. I loved playing soccer because I don’t have the opportunity to play that at our high school. While at SPEC it is such a great time because people are so nice and take the time to teach you.

I also thought that it was great to see the world church. I really enjoyed being at the temple with other youth and having the opportunity to interact with them. During our time at the temple, I walked into the sanctuary and saw youth from all over the world playing numerous types of instruments. This was my favorite part of IYF and a God moment for me because of the opportunity to observe the unity.

Another neat experience at SPEC was the campfire we had one night where we sang songs from all over the world. Anyone could jump up and start a song in their own language and the rest of camp, whether they understood the language or not, began to follow along. Even though I didn’t understand most of the songs, it was still interesting to listen to everyone follow along.

I think SPEC is a perfect opportunity for senior high kids. I had a great time there and highly recommend other senior high kids to go. Not only is it just a regular church camp, but there are also a lot of sports that are extremely fun to play with a bunch of other kind-hearted people. I am excited to see what experiences my final SPEC will bring in 2019!                
By Logan Strozyk

SPEC was a blast! I liked the sports, meeting new people, and that everybody was open and wanted to get to know you.

I had a lot of fun doing group activities and adventure classes such as stone carving, ring making, and glass fusion. During those adventure classes I met a lot of friends that weren’t from my delegation and it was interesting to learn about their life stories and how unique they were from every other person. I also enjoyed trying new sports like soccer and volleyball, which I have never tried competitively before.

I was a little scared at first because going into the camp I only knew my brother, but after mixers it was fun to get to know the members in my delegation and soon people in other delegations from around the world.

One thing I loved about SPEC was how accepting everybody was to somebody they had just met. I felt accepted just for being myself and not having to worry about being judged. 

One God experience that I had was that one of my delegation members decided to baptized, again, into our church this time. One evening during IYF our delegation gathered around a pool in the Stone Church and watched the member get baptized. I was feeling joy that he decided to be a part of this family of God.

I would recommend IYF/SPEC to someone else because it is an excellent experience to meet amazing, diverse group of people. In just a short 10 days I was able to make great friends, enjoyed the sports and competing against other people, fun classes and unlimited times to feel God’s presence.