Encounter (a Teens Encounter Christ Movement weekend) changed my life in many different ways and I would recommend it for any young person between the ages of 15 and 17. Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) has happened for a number of years in NSPEI, but lots of changes were made this year, so it was a whole new experience. If you had asked me three weeks ago about going to Encounter I would have laughed and told you “It’s not my thing” or “ I don’t want to.” I have never been more wrong.
For anybody reading this who is considering doing their Encounter weekend next year, or if you know someone who is the right age, it is worth taking the risk. By the time you end your weekend you will never want to leave, you will want to spend your whole life in the TEC community you’ve created with your fellow candidates and the team.
I entered Encounter nervous and a bit intimidated because I didn't know any of my fellow candidates well and I was worried that I wouldn’t make any friends. When everyone showed up I realized that I knew the majority of the candidates and things started to feel a bit more normal, or at least as normal as throwing cheezies at whipped cream plopped onto someone’s head can feel. Everything was so well organized that we didn’t have to worry about anything, the wonderful team had divided us into groups and assigned us all to a table with a matching color and assigned table leaders. What started as a table filled with awkward teens who wouldn’t talk to each other soon became a table full of cute clay figures, well drawn sharks and booming laughter, we became a community inside of another, larger TEC community.
The relationships formed over such a short period of time are so strong they are practically unbreakable. I know that no matter what hour of day I can reach out to anyone I met and they will welcome me with open arms no matter the circumstances. The dynamics of the weekend are so extraordinary that you can meet a shy kind for the first time on Friday night and you can call him Jesus Fish by the third day and his head will turn when you yell it across a crowded room. The family you create here will be so supportive
Encounter is truly an inspiring, unforgettable experience, and I urge anyone considering attending next year to go for it! One weekend can truly change your life!