Scenic view of trees at camp

2023 Winter Staff Trips

by Karissa Pitaniello

Every year our staff reconnects by taking a trip together! This is a fruitful time to reminisce, look forward to the summer ahead, worship together, and as always, share lots of laughs. Our staff look forward to these trips so much they save up their own money during the year to go on them! This year we had camp teams travel all over the world, from Fort Worth to a ship on the Atlantic Ocean!

The Bluffs 

“We spent the week after the family camp New Years Conference at Orange Beach, Alabama! 25 staff + five days + the beach + fellowship = good vibes and good times! We stayed at the same beach house that we’ve been going to for the past few years, which always calls for lots of games of murder in the dark, polar plunges, Spikeball, beach volleyball, walks, and worship in the sand at sunset. We also made time to reflect on 2022, have dinner at Lamberts’ (“The Only Home of Throwed Rolls”), enjoy guy/girl time, and play footgolf! Being in God’s creation, hearing the waves roll in, and the feeling of our hair blowing in the wind was simply the most refreshing way to kick-start a new year. We are so grateful!”

The Springs & Southeast City

“This year the Springs took their first-ever staff trip alongside the Southeast City teams to the Bahamas! Well… Kinda. We hopped on a cruise ship and hit the sea. There was tons of karaoke, games of knockout, and soft-serve ice cream. We’re grateful to have spent a week together reminiscing on the summer and getting excited about the one to come! Through all the late nights, coconuts, and silly games, we know the Lord used our trip not only to bring us closer in fellowship, but also to glorify and magnify His name amongst the Carnival Sunshine!”

The Shores

“We hosted a concert in Fort Worth on December 30th, aka. “New Years Adam” (the day before New Year’s Eve… Adam came before Eve…get it?) We invited alumni and current staffers, campers, families, friends, and fanatics of the two bands that played to come and hang with us for the night! It was so sweet to be reunited! We had a great turnout and LOTS of fun! What made it even better was that the bands that played, Relic and Hunter Cox, were previously a part of the Shores worship team!”

Crier Creek

“We went to Galveston this year and stayed at a beach house right on the shore. We played board games at a local coffee shop, and throughout our time together enjoyed some Spikeball, pickleball, and frisbee! On the second night, we went to the Moody Gardens Light show and took in their awesome light display. At the beach, we had time to read and pray while listening to the waves and seagulls. We worshiped together and prayed with our feet in the sand. John 15, Psalm 46, and Colossians 3 were a few passages we reflected over. We also went through a Dream Guide written by Jennie Allen, which prompted several reflection questions for the new year. Overall we had a blast. It was such a sweet and restful trip!”


“We spent a weekend at the Springs! Our time was filled with hiking the Springs property, playing a pickleball tournament at Chimney Point, and exploring Clemson for a day! We also had restful worship time together the first night, and we spent a couple of hours one morning alone with God to dream and set goals for 2023! It was sweet to be reunited and spend time in prayer together! We wouldn’t have wanted to start off the year any other way.”

Texas City Teams

“We had 62 Pine Cove City staffers from all eight Texas-based teams, and 10 full-time staffers out to the Bluffs where we enjoyed a lot of great quality time. We played lots of pickleball and board games, and ate great food! We also made time to worship together and study God’s word together. What could be better than that?”

Chimney Point 

“We enjoyed time together at a beach house in Destin! We played a ton of board games, did a polar plunge at the beach, played footgolf, and hung out around our pool at the house. We also had a morning devotional each morning and got to pray intentionally together. We had a ton of fellowship around the table eating and playing together which was extremely encouraging. Each of our staffers surely had so many other ways to spend their break. But each of us ended up being spiritually uplifted, physically refreshed, and just had a bunch of fun! We are so thankful for the time we got together.”

The Ridge 

“Right after Winterfest we stayed on camp property and played a couple of rounds of “Slama” before we ate dinner together at Los Cabos. After that, we returned to camp and spent time reflecting on our past semesters and looking forward to the new year. The next day we drove to San Antonio and went to Chicken N Pickle to play pickleball! We ate lunch together and then spent the rest of the day riding roller coasters at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. We had an awesome trip and are so thankful for the time spent together!”

The Timbers

“Our team spent time at a cabin in Broken Bow, Oklahoma! We played countless card games, board games, Fish Bowl, and more! We also went on plenty of walks, took a hike, and went fishing! Overall, we got awesome quality time with each other and our staff grew closer friendships going into the summer, which is a win! It was so refreshing and encouraging to spend time reflecting on the year together, studying God’s word, and experiencing fellowship with each other while being in such a beautiful place!”

The Woods

“We headed to Gulf Shores, Alabama right after the Family Camp New Year’s Conference and had a blast! Six of our former CITs who all worked together last summer came and enjoyed a mini-reunion. We experienced an escape room together, rode a Ferris wheel, and played in the ocean on a day when it was almost 75 degrees! We loved starting 2023 together with lots of laughs and time to connect!”

The Ranch & The Towers-

Both the Ranch and Towers teams went to the Passion Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth. Each team enjoyed time together and running into other staffers at the conference!

We are so glad each camp was able to enjoy time together and live out Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Posted Jan 16, 2023

Karissa Pitaniello

Content Coordinator

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