Army youth celebrate at commissioning

Festive weekend brings territory’s youth together.

The champion Bible Bowl team from Fort Collins, Colo.

The Salvation Army’s three-day long graduation not only anoints our newest pastors, it also provides youth from the Western Territory’s 10 divisions opportunity an to reconnect.

Bible Bowl
This year, three teams made it to the final round of the Bible Bowl competition: Hayward (Del Oro), Gateway/Wrangell (Alaska), and Ft. Collins (Intermountain). The Ft. Collins team took first place for the third year in a row, followed by Hayward in second and Gateway/Wrangell in third. General John Larsson (Ret.), Commissioner Freda Larsson, and Commissioners Philip and Pat Swyers were present to cheer on each of the teams in the final round.

Late night events
Captain Lisa Smith, assistant territorial youth secretary, said, “Commissioning is often about going to meetings. These late night activities allow young people to relax, get to know each other and see old friends.”

Friday night’s late night youth activity featured Christian comedian Carlos Oscar, who has appeared on television and at comedy clubs, and at the Life Service Conference. Along with his comedy routine, Oscar first told the young crowd that he had grown up poor and distinctly remembers going to a Salvation Army Christmas function where he was allowed to pick out a toy.

“You’re really a part of something special,” he said.

Saturday featured a late night coffee house in the Sheraton ballroom with music by Fabio Simoes.

Richard Opina, 27, said he comes to commissioning each year to see friends.

“The great thing about The Salvation Army is that you can go to a different city and know someone thereyou won’t be a stranger,” he said. “That starts when you’re young by going to camps and commissioning.”

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