Tuesday, May 8, 2012

EFY Void.

So it's that time of year.
Well...it's normally that time of year.
You know...that time of year where I'm doing online trainings, meeting with my Area Administrator and Session Directors, emailing like crazy, and getting myself SO pumped for the best part of my summer year.

Have you guessed it yet?
Here I'll give you a clue.
It's a little acronym that goes like this...

I'm just itching to get in those bright colored polos and pin on my name tag.
It's so weird thinking I won't be a part of EFY this year!  EFY has been a part of my summer for basically half of my life.

1999; age 12.  Participant in Atlanta, GA.  "A Season for Courage"
2000; age 13.  Stopped letting 12-13 yr olds go.
2001; age 14.  Participant in Atlanta, GA. "Remember the Promise"
2002; age 15.  Participant in Gainesville, GA.  "We Believe"
2003; age 16.  Participant in Gainesville, GA.  "Look & Live"
2004; age 17.  Participant in Gainesville, GA.  "Stand in the Light"
2005; age 18.  Participant in Gainesville, GA.  "A More Excellent Way"
2006; age 19.  Too young to be a counselor.
2007; age 20.  Counselor in Gainesville, GA & St. Petersburg, FL (4 weeks).  "Power in Purity"
2008; age 21.  Counselor in Gainesville, GA & St. Petersburg, FL (4 weeks).  "Steady & Sure"
2009; age 22.  Building Counselor in Gainesville, GA & St. Petersburg, FL (3 weeks).  "Be Thou An Example"
2010; age 23.  Field Coordinator in Gainesville, GA & St. Petersburg, FL (3 weeks).  "Courage to Stand Strong"
2011; age 24.  Field Coordinator in Gainesville, GA, St. Petersburg, FL, Miami, FL, & Bowling Green, KY (5 weeks).  Counselor in Palmyra, NY (1 week).  "Believe.  Hope.  Endure."

So...as you can see...EFY has been a HUGE part of my life.
Huge is an understatement.
I would live for this time of year.
I feel like I need to be doing something to prepare for it, but then I remember I won't be there.

I won't be there to do the EFY line dances.
I won't be there to lead orientation.
I won't be there to help the youth with awesome cheers.
I won't be there to eat nasty cafeteria food go to Zaxby's instead.
I won't be there to have ice cream mountain.
I won't be there for pizza night dance parties.
I won't be there to watch the boys escort the girls.
I won't be there to play FHE games on Monday nights.
I won't be there to sing at Morningsides or Firesides.
I won't be there for the cheer off.
I won't be there to receive flowers made of toilet paper from the boys.
I won't be there for testimony meetings.
I won't be there to watch the boys try to swoon the ladies with their guitar or singing skills.
I won't be there to hate wearing pants on hot summer days.
I won't be there to deepen my friendships with counselors.
I won't be there to share my testimony with youth.
I won't be there to play in the rain that's bound to ruin Games Night.
I won't be there to see the sign that says "Brenau University" or "Eckerd College."
I won't be there to listen to the same Miley Cyrus songs over and over again.
I won't be there to get a wristband.
I won't be there for the door tag making parties on Sunday night.
I won't be there to get free slurpees on 7/11.
I won't be there to act like an idiot and have the youth still think I'm cool.
I won't be there to learn more about the gospel.
I won't be there to see some youth SO excited to be around other Mormons. (That was me growing up.)
I won't be there to see some youth come in Monday ticked and leave Saturday a changed person.

I just won't be there...
Excuse me while I wipe the tears off my face.
This post was supposed to be happy, but it somehow turned quite sad.
So let's quickly turn it happy again as we recap the favorite moments of my summers.
I only have 2004-on, seeing as previous to that I took 7 disposable cameras to EFY.  No digital age then!

EFY 2004: Britt, Kate, and I...the 3 Musketeers.  We talked about EFY allll year and planned out our outfits weeks in advance. 

EFY 2005: Amber, me, Juliana, Ashley.  Oh 2005...this was the year you brought Smash into my life.

 EFY 2007: Ash and I.  Stoked on life to be counselors!  Life long dream coming true!

EFY 2008: Kate, Karly, Britt, me, Ash.  It was seriously AMAZING being counselors with all my best friends.  Nothing like sharing that experience with them!

EFY 2010:  My BC team: Mallorie, Paul, me, Jake, Stephanie, & Daniel.  They were amazing to work on a team with!

EFY 2010: My team!  Andre, Heather, Philip, Jordan, Annette, Ellen, me, Ash, Ben, & Ammon.  They made my first year as a coordinator so enjoyable!

EFY 2011: My honey and me.  I was SO glad Alex could join me so he could fully understand why I love EFY so much...now he's hooked too. :)

EFY 2011: My best EFY friends! :) Rachel, Ash, Kate, and me.  I love them!

I hope y'all know how hard that was to only pick one picture per year.  I have hundreds and hundreds of EFY pictures!  
This is Ash and I at Brenau for the very last time together.  Sad day.

Dear EFY,
You will definitely be missed this summer.
Please don't forget me.
You have truly made one of the biggest impacts on my life.
I forever love you and all that you have taught me.
Love, your die hard fan...Kaycie


Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH - so many emotions flooding MY mind as I read this post, Kaycie!! THANK YOU!!! Yes, I cried, too...but you want to know why? Selfish reasons - BIGGEST ONE is because, MY 14-year-old, Tyler, gets to go to his first year of EFY in Atlanta on July 2nd and as a Mom, I so deeply desire for him to feel the spirit that emanated from this post!!! I want him to be around AMAZING LDS YOUTH AND YA, like you, who will help him see he is not alone - that the gospel is true - and fun and amazing!!!
Second reason - I was one of the first EFY counselors ever waaaaay back in the early '80s. John Bytheway was a counselor, too - "one of us"- just a regular guy...nah - I take that back - he was pretty amazing, creative hilarious and one of a kind back in those days, too! I remember all those bonding friendships with other counselors...amazing memories!!! FUN TO know you have enjoyed that as well.
I cannot wait for Tyler to experience EFY...took me a year to convince him to go!! THANKS for your POST!! THANKS for all the lives you touched when you were there!!! EFY ROCKS!!!! Lisa

Anonymous said...

It doesn't have to end!!!! It may be a ways down the road, but one day one of your young women (for me it was Kate) will pull you aside and make you fill out the teacher's application and send it in. Then you'll be back! You've gotta go back! I loved your post!
DeLee Brown

Brooke Elyse said...

you and Alex can be session directors one day! :)