Thursday, January 19, 2006

World Impact Winter 2006

Last weekend I volunteered to help out at the World Impact Winter 2006 retreat. World Impact is an organization that reaches out to inner city kids and this retreat was a chance for these kids to get away from their everyday environment. Even though I've live in large cities my whole life (Taipei, Toronto, Los Angeles), the only experience with the "inner city" was attending USC. Even then, I avoided the surrounding neighborhoods. The retreat went from Saturday morning to Monday afternoon; I only stayed until Sunday night since I had to work Monday. The camp was called The Oaks and was located about 40 minutes north of Magic Mountain. The first part of the drive was fine, however when we got off the exit, there was 23 miles of twisty mountain roads to drive, and it was raining pretty heavily on the way up.

I guess a couple of people on the NewSong worship team has helped out in the past but this time they wanted some production people to come along. The auditorium we were in was really nice with lots of new equipment. I think the hall only seats about 250 people but they had 10 2400 watt QSC amplifiers driving 4 subwoofers and 8 other speakers... crazy! Their sound board was a Midas Venice, the exact one we have at NewSong NOC so that was good. I ended up being the video guy since another sound tech from NewSong Irvine took care of sound. The other two people on the production team worked the lights and did lyrics/graphics. I think all of us brought our laptops so we had five computers on this little table and we used all of them. We ended up working the entire weekend since there were programs in the morning and the evening along with practice times. Sunday night was the craziest. First we had to set up for the worship team. Then during a 20 minute break, we had to tear down the entire setup and replace it with the remaining program which was Stomp, two rap groups, and a high school punk band. Two things I remember the most: me fanning the smoke coming out of the fog machine we rented, and the high school band's bass player asking me over and over whether "they" will hear him out there. I kept reminding him that we had 10,000 watts across 4 subwoofers; people down in LA will hear him!

Overall, it was a fairly positive experience. The accomodations were pretty nice as well. I brought a sleeping bag expecting the worst but didn't need to use it. The food was not too good but typical for camp. It got really cold at night; my car was covered with ice when I left Sunday night at 11pm. I think the kids had fun as well and many accepted Christ during Sunday night's service. Since they used my computer to run photo slide shows, I have a lot of pictures on the computer. I'll post some below before I delete them off my PC.

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