Many adults who grew up in our congregation cherish memories of Senior Youth Group road trips during the 1960 - 70's. With Paul & Ruby Kreher at the wheel of the caravan journeys, they took at least 10 adventures to various locations; including St. Louis, Missouri and the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Parents volunteered to transport & chaperone about 20 young people who regularly signed up for the excursions, with supplies (and excitement!) in tow. The group raised money for the trips, and organizations within the church made contributions & donated needed items.
Keeping in mind this was before the convenience of modern technology & instant e-mails, it took months of planning for a summer trip. We have a large file of letters and notes making arrangements for lodging in dormitories and tours at theological seminaries, where the group enjoyed fellowship and sight seeing in the area. In addition to Spiritual enhancement, some activities included museums, theater, zoos, and boat rides.
Excerpts of a report submitted by Ruby Kreher:
(Caravan trip to St. Louis, MO; July 14-19, 1975)
We traveled in five cars. It took a little time on Monday to get all the cooking utensils, Coleman stoves, ice chests, and suitcases into the trunks.
Each morning everyone was responsible for their "morning watch" at which time each person would seek a quiet outdoor spot for their individual devotions.
Each car was responsible for helping to prepare at least 3 meals during the trip and everyone washed their own dishes. We had cookies at every meal thanks to the mothers.
Enclosed is an expense account. On our first trip in 1961 everyone ate for a week at the cost of $4. In 1975, it was $8 per person.
[The youth] were most impressed with the Emmaus Home, which is the only residential facility soley for adults with mental & physical disabilities among the Health and Welfare Institutions of the United Church of Christ. Nearly 300 people age 16 and over make their home at Emmaus. Some of the residents over 50-years old received their first paycheck because of the shelter workshop. We cooked chili on their lawn and had our evening meal there. Several of the residents ate and talked with us.
We wish to extend a special thanks to everyone who helped make this trip possible...
We have a fine group of young people who conducted themselves in Christian attitude on our Caravan Trip and they had a most enjoyable time.
Mr. & Mrs. Kreher remain faithful members of our Church.
Many thanks to Paul & Ruby for directing the paths of our youth!