Editor's Note: This is a guest post written by staffer's Lindsey Powell and Sam Giberga.
LYS truly is an incredible experience... to say the least. To say we are lucky to have gotten to spend another year with Louisiana’s Best is an understatement! No matter how hard we try, LYS is just one of those things Sam and I cannot explain to someone that hasn’t been. It’s crazy to think we are supposed to have an answer when someone asks, “What is LYS?” But then we soon respond with, “It’s indescribable… you just have to go.” Yes, you could go on the LYS website and read them the short blurb, but the parts where you meet strangers that become your family in six days, the involvement sessions that help get you out of your comfort zone, and the endless cheering that makes you so hoarse you can barely speak are things you simply cannot put into words. The way a delegate feels on their first day at seminar is not something they can easily explain.
Every delegate remembers their first Opening Convocation. It is a moment when first time delegates can get a feel for what the week will consist of. The first time they see the delegation as a whole. Their first moments of seminar. They recall the sense of cautious wonder that eventually gives way to a reckless, wide-eyed, hungry wonder that fills every fiber of their being as they move from activity to activity throughout the week, always cheering, and never knowing what new adventure may come next. We certainly remember what it was like.
The LYS 2016: Leadership Awakens delegation was special. Let us rephrase: every delegation is special. Every delegation is unique, each with over three hundred young leaders from all different walks of life coming together to form an LYS spirit cosmically different from any other, past, present, or future. This year’s delegation, however, was unique in its own way. For the first time in several years, LYS saw a delegation comprised of mostly first year delegates. Delegates experiencing the same overwhelming feeling of wonder that we felt, and that thousands of delegates in years past felt.
And to have the opportunity to observe and engage and be inspired by such a delegation throughout the week as a staff member? We can all agree that such an opportunity is nothing short of a God-given blessing. That precious, nearly mystical wonder that filled our souls when we were delegates hung like a perfume over the entire delegation each night. It’s so crazy that delegates tell staff members how they look up to us, but really it’s the delegates we look up to and learn from. The majority of students had no idea what the next day would hold. But it did not matter. As good ole’ country boy Zac Brown sang in our 2016 theme song, the delegates had the courage to “live like tomorrow never comes.”
They lived solely, purely, and triumphantly in the present with only sheer wonder guiding them to the next day. That wonder of what would happen next overflowed from the delegation, and, in turn, it filled us, the Red Shirts. It inspired us. It gave us reason for living, for purpose, for life and most of all for why we put on our red shirt in the morning.
In the end, it was just another new, wonderful week at LYS.
With LYS Love and ours,
Lindsey Powell and Sam Giberga