Monday, June 24, 2019

2019 Tour - Day 7 THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

It’s our final day of tour. Kids are bringing their luggage to the bus, searching for misplaced wallets and phone chargers, lost room keys and water bottles. Kind of a typical morning. Once again, I can’t say enough good things about our dedicated luggage crew. They are climbing inside of the hatch below the bus to get all of the suitcases stacked inside. They remind me of cave dwellers. I love those boys!

Our choir is singing in the Sunday morning worship service at Cross Lanes UMC. After our rocking concert last night, they wanted us back for the morning service too. I took my spot in the balcony where I could take birds-eye group photos. One of the audiovisual helpers approached me. He told me how impressed he was with our youth choir last night and how awesome they were. When he asked me to send him all of my photos, I had to smile. (He doesn’t know that I take hundreds of pictures!) Instead I directed him to our Blog where there are plenty to choose from. He wants to post them, along with some videos of our group singing. He was ready, cell phone in hand, to record them.

They didn’t disappoint. In spite of many of them being up late last night (of their own doing), they rose to the occasion and sang their hearts out. If that wasn’t enough, we found out that their church organist had broken her foot and they asked our own organ genius Steve Kalnoske if he would substitute. It was his turn to shine too, with his own style of hymn-sing ruffles and flourishes. The best of both worlds! Do you know how proud we are of our youth? These are some of the comments we have heard throughout the week:

You don’t see youth choirs like this anymore!
I can’t believe the large number of boys with fabulous voices who are singing in a choir!
I am amazed at the sound quality and harmony of their singing!
This group has given me hope for the future of our country!
My faith has been renewed just listening to them!
Their singing brought tears to my eyes.
My heart has been so touched. I believe that God directed me here tonight, so I would be encouraged by the words in these songs.

Yes, we are very proud of our youth.

The ladies in the kitchen had a nice lunch waiting for us after the service. Connor Shifflett’s grandmother was there at the church and so was Connor Dennie’s parents.  After they ate, the kids changed into their traveling clothes and we headed home. We had two sets of Greeters this morning because Tom and Polly wanted everyone to have a chance to greet on this last day. The Greeters were Taylor Cappeluti & Troy Moskowitz and Charlie Bratburd & Maxwell Donaldson. Our large group of boys have jokingly called themselves the Frat Tour Team this week. They actually DO seem like a fraternity to me.

Yesterday we didn’t have time to present Matt Miante his fork award, so we had the presentation ceremony today. His fork had purple ribbons and said “peace” on it. I’d like to think it is because he has such a peaceful spirit about him. Or perhaps he can now have peace in the bathroom when he goes home without someone switching the sign on him?  Karalee taught us our new rural word for the day: skedaddle, which means to depart quickly as in, "The concert is about to start so you’d better skedaddle!”

During our bus ride home, Helena Colborn of the Sunshine Committee gave out Tour Awards. She spent a lot of thoughtful time coming up with the perfect award to match the personality and character of the recipient. I’m not going to list them all, but here are a few of them: Loveliest Smile Award; the Strong & Silent Award; Having the Warmest Heart Award; Hoopster Award; the Brother We All Love Award; the Living Sitcom Award and Best Bromance Award. You can see pictures of the awards on the blog.

We stopped for a break when we reached Maryland. Most kids made a beeline for a Cinnabon stand that was there and the bus had a delicious cinnamon smell the rest of the way home. Our final Greeters of the 2019 CWS Tour was Arthur Hulcher and Stephanie Greer. I’ll have to tell you that Arthur’s award was the Living Encyclopedia award because he is so knowledgeable about so many different things and always has fun facts to share. Stephanie’s award was Everyone’s Best Friend Award because she is so friendly to everyone.

The last leg of our drive home was spent watching Teen Titans on the bus monitor, courtesy of Calista Kibak. The best thing about pulling up into the DUMC parking lot were the happy faces of parents and siblings (even dogs) and Mama (Deborah) Bowe standing there with a large poster that said, “Welcome Home Charles Wesley Singers!”  She doesn’t even have any kids who were on tour this year! How awesome and supportive is that?!!!

Tomorrow night is the Welcome Home Concert. It is always the best of all to be singing for the home crowd. Be prepared to be amazed and blessed! Give them the best reception they have had all week, because YOU are the ones that really matter to them!

I’m going to leave you with these words from Karalee:

 Since we’re fixn’ to return home, we will recall a few trip highlights:
·         Lollygagging around Audra State Park
·         Being fearful of drawing back a nub if we visited that insane asylum in Buckhannon
·         Vigorously mashing the elevator buttons at DePauw and various hotels, in between concerts and the Slugger Museum
Good Lord Willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will see everyone at the Welcome Home concert before we skedaddle on over to the pool party!


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