Trip to Idaho learning experience

Published 11:49 am Wednesday, June 20, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The annual Strawberry Festival was held Saturday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Sycamore Street, where strawberry shortcakes with ice cream and pork sandwiches put a smile on everyone's face.
This year's event was extra special for one group, though, as all monies raised form the event is going to 11 lucky youths, who are happily giving up a week of their summer vacation to work, play and attend Christian events at the Shoshone Base Camp Servant Event 2007 in Coeur D' Alene, Idaho.
The group, comprised of mostly teenagers from the church, is hoping that the Strawberry Festival, along with other fundraising events they've already held, will provide the funds needed for the trip.
"Every year we offer an event like this. It's a way for us to open up to the community and let people come in, enjoy some great food and talk with one another," Pastor Carl Bassett said Saturday morning. "Last year, we raised money to make care packages for our servicemen and women overseas. This year, we are raising the money to help our group go to Idaho for one week."
The goal of the Mission trip is to help rebuild homes for the disabled, as well as help repair anything that will be needed at the camp. Activities will include building trails, cutting firewood and teaming up with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for low-income areas. In addition, they will visit nursing home residents and attend daily Bible studies. The camp's facilities have been built from the ground up by young people so that the love of Christ can be shared with others.
"There will be a lot of other Lutheran kids from around the country gong to the same camp for the same reason. Every three years, we try to plan a big event for the kids. Whether locally or far away, we want them to learn what it means to be a servant," Bassett said.
The group has been hard at work for quit some time now, holding car washes, selling candy bars and hosting advent dinners. As of Saturday, the group was close to their goal and they are hoping the Strawberry Festival put them over the top.
"We are just glad to be able to do things like this for them. It gives them a sense of well-being knowing they can help others in need. It's also a good chance for them to see different parts of the country and get to know other Lutheran kids," Bassett added.