Thanks to a few last-minute folks and a couple of no-shows, our actual head count was a bit hard to pin down, but it ranged from 50-55 people throughout the weekend. We finished out with people from 13 US states; 2 people from Ontario, Canada; and one world traveler from Melbourne, Australia! (The chap in the suit, top row – we knew you were going to ask.)
We had a certified pastry chef on-site running our kitchen, which was a big help to the YAGermeister, and the menu worked so nicely we’ll probably do a repeat next year! Lots of happy faces in the buffet line Friday night.
Saturday was a busy day start-to-finish, with a High Mass in the morning, breakfast, and then a convoy of vehicles heading out to Chateau Laroche, popularly known as the Loveland Castle. It turned out to be a bit muggy in the river valley, but not unbearable, and we were able to take advantage of the terraced garden for our group photo. (The YAG Alumni Association thinks it is the best YAG group shot ever, but time will tell?) The sub sandwiches disappeared at an alarming rate at our picnic lunch beside the river.
Then it was back to the church for some badminton, volleyball, cornhole, frisbee, and assorted word games until dinner, where we enjoyed pulled pork from Dickey’s BBQ and local parishioners joined us for a potluck.
The square dancing was a major hit this year, with Helfta Hall filled near to capacity and choruses of dissent when the move outside for the bonfire was announced. Parishioners big and small joined in with a will and several YAG gentlemen gallantly did their best to accommodate partners half their size from time to time. No toes were seriously squashed in this endeavor.
Fr. McKenna blessed the bonfire for us and explained the significance of the St. John’s Eve festivities – held on one of the longest days of the year, the lighting of the bonfire represents St. John’s role as the precursor to our Lord’s coming on Christmas, guiding us through the darkening days of autumn and winter. (Hint: study that so you can sound really smart next year!)
After the Rosary many marshmallows were roasted and s’mores eaten, accompanied by some live music provided by a band of assorted Ohioans and Michiganders.
Out-of-towners were treated to a Solemn Pontifical High Mass on Sunday, a sight that’s rather rare these days, and after a bit of breakfast in the social hall and some card games we headed over to Fairfield Lanes for a few hours of bowling and a more substantial lunch. Parishioners bound for Kentucky then kindly gave rides to people headed for the airport, and the official YAG activities came to a close, although those who didn’t have to return immediately spent a lot of time hanging out with friends locally.
It was a great time and we hope to see you all next year! (Even the cleanup crew had fun, and that’s saying something!)
The YAG staff would like to specially thank those who helped in any way:
- Mr. & Mrs. Charles Simpson for letting WAY more YAGers than anyone should have to deal with at one time hang out at their house.
- Mrs. Mary Rake and family for housing YAGers.
- Mr. & Mrs. Billy Young and Miss Annie Young for taking in YAGers.
- Leanne Arlinghaus, Katia Holbrook, Joseph Simpson, and Joe McGill for picking up and dropping off people at the airport.
- Theresa Simpson, for handling lots and lots of $$$$$$$$ and flowerpots.
- Christina Eldracher, for managing lots and lots of food – her new job title is “Die Essenmeister.”
- Juliana Andreski, for running around taking lots and lots of photos.
- Mr. Richard VandeRyte for lending us his sound system.
- Justin Eldracher for tech assistance and web domain management.
- Fr. Stephen McKenna for giving great sermons on Friday and Saturday, and all the priests who visited with the YAG crowd and made them feel welcome.
- Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Henry for their generosity – thank you!
- All those who helped with setup and takedown: Collin Adkisson, Jacinta Simpson, Angela Robbins, Cecilia Simpson, Christina Eldracher, Theresa Simpson, Annie Young, Juliana Andreski, Gloria Sandberg, Katie Zarlengo, Steve Simske, Paul Wesner, Peter Eldracher, Alexander Arthur, Justin Eldracher, Vincent Eldracher, Paddy Omlor – did we forget anybody?