Tim Desilets, Serve Vermont

At the July 28, 2016 meeting, our speaker was Tim Desilets, a youth pastor from King of Prussia, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.  Tim is leading a team of 55 young people (junior-high and high-school age) on a two-week service project in this part of Vermont.  The goal is to take "mall rats" (Tim's term) out of the suburbs and into rural and small-town Vermont, and to teach them to make a difference and make an impact in the communities.  The kids also build long-term lasting relationships. Tim has family roots in South Londonderry, and when he first began to take kids up to Vermont, they stayed at the Baptist and Congregational churches in Londonderry.  But when the South Londonderry Baptist Church burned down, they had to find other accommodations.  For a while, they stayed at the base lodge at Magic Mountain, but when that no longer worked out, they moved their base of operations to Chester.  Last year they stayed at the Baptist and Congregational churches her in Chester, but they found that they had outgrown these accommodations, so they worked with the Chester-Andover Elementary School to provide accommodations.  Between Chester Baptist and the Elementary School, they have found this new arrangement satisfactory. They have done a number of varied projects during their time in Vermont this year.  They helped lead Vacation Bible Camp at an area church.  They did odd jobs such as stacking wood and weeding, and also scraping and painting houses.   They had 25 projects in all, including 11 in Cavendish and Proctorsville. The kids raise their own money.  They are forbidden to bring any technology on the trip, such as cell phones. In case of emergency, Tim will allow a kid to use his own cell phone, but other than that, all technological devices are forbidden.  Tim finds that without the use of technology, kids develop closer personal relationships with each other and get to know each other as people. Tim's talk was quite interesting, and there were a number of questions.