Monday, December 7, 2015

Outwit, Outlast, Outplay

Thank you to Jordan Debbink, Res Life Coordinator and Weekend Staff Supervisor, for writing today's blog.

On November 21st Shepherds College students and Catalyst clients embarked on a challenge of wits and strength.  Journeying through nine various geographical regions, ten tribes geared up to compete in a game that many have called “daring” and “adventurous.”  They called it: Survivor!

Survivor was staged in various rooms within the Wood Center on the Shepherds grounds.  Tribes met in the gym for the opening Council Meeting, selected their tribal torch from the inner circle and learned of the various challenges they were about to embark upon.  They also witnessed the presentation of two immunity idols that were, at random, placed around the building. 

For the next two hours, tribes ventured into the darkest jungles, climbed the highest mountain, found themselves stranded on a raft in the ocean and created their tribal symbol and animal.  At each location, tribes tested their strengths and wits to overcome obstacles.  They encountered jungle vines in the form of the human knot, natural disasters while climbing the mountain, a selection of random items needed to survive while stranded on the raft, and ate rations of oysters and sardines in the blustering Arctic. At each challenge, they had the opportunity to earn points to ultimately win the Skill Challenge!

As they ventured from challenge to challenge, Catalyst clients and College students engaged in conversation, learning about each other and working as a team to overcome the obstacles of the game.  Tribes created team symbols like the “Camelbacks” and “BatMen” and then totem animals out of various craft supplies.

The evening ended at the final Tribal Council in the gym.  Tribes filed in and faced the elimination round.  Tribes shouted out their scores and plunged their torches into the inner circle!  The Aqua and Blue tribes claimed victory by using keen senses to find the Grass and Parrot immunity idols.

Many thanks to those who offered time, items and ideas to the game:
Riverwood and Faith Chapel churches in Burlington, Lori Konopasek, Michele McGarry, Kayla Burnet, Murial Anderson, Melba Wright, Ashley Gillmore, Beth Reetz and Neil Buchannon.

Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

They're Adorbs!

Thank you to Cathy Harvey, Administrative Assistant, for writing today's blog.

We are in the midst of all the holiday festivities, and I am excited. Being a basement stationery artist, I am attracted to the aisles of Christmas cards and wrapping paper tantalizing my creativity and mood for this special season. I enjoy the entire process involved in sending out cards: choosing just which card design and words speaks to my heart, taking a family photo, writing the notes, choosing the pen that fits my hand like a glove, listening to Christmas music while I write, addressing the envelopes and the feel of the the ink on paper as the cursive flows from my pen, and even deciding which Christmas stamp to use!

Every year since 2010, Shepherds College has designed a card to send to those who lives touch the college ministry and to whom we wish to send a special Christmas greeting. This year’s
a d o r a b l e card was designed by one of our upcoming graduates, Olya Porth, and I am excited to begin addressing the envelopes so I can send them out!

Besides the college card, one of our artistic residents, Melody Farr, used her God-given talents to draw three different designs for the ministry’s Christmas cards—also adorable! For only $10.00 for a package of 12, I scooped up three the first day I saw them. Even the back of the cards shares an important message. Placed around sweet little stars Melody drew and colored is this: “People with disabilities... are people with abilities too.” It aligns perfectly with our philosophy that each person is designed by God on purpose and for a purpose, and that our mission is to train for life. That tiny nugget on the back of each card blessed me, and I pray it will be noticed.

And if that weren’t enough, Melody also created very colorful designs that have been reprinted on recipe cards—so, so adorable (pardon my junior high-ish expressions) I literally squealed when I first saw them on the counter in the marketing department. I purchased four sets immediately!  Perfect stocking stuffers or gifts for all my “foodie” sisters and friends. They are only $5.00 a pack, so they fit perfectly for a casual, low-cost gift exchange too!

As I stood squealing my delight at the recipes, I could not hold back the cheer, “They are so adorable! to which the Director of Marketing replied, “Yep! They’re adorbs!” Apparently that is the new lingo of the younger generation. Perhaps it stems from numerous abbreviated words used for text messaging, but “adorbs” hit the spot for these little masterpieces.

Check them out and feel free to order them by emailing with your contact and credit card information. You can also call 262-878-5620 to order, or mail your order with a check to:

Shepherds Ministries
1805 15th Ave
Union Grove, WI 53182
Attn: Susan Griffis

Because “They’re adorbs!”

Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at