Casey Brooks Casey Brooks

"Potato chip, potato chip,

Crunchy, crunchy;

I love Jesus,

A bunchy, bunchy."

~Darcy Jacoby, Counselor in Impact Omega Gad 2011

This was one of the most memorable moments of my experience at Impact as an Aggie fish. The line that follows is also equally memorable, as it was said before/during/after this chant(many times, actually): "Gad, 30 seconds..." The basic idea here is this: you need to be there to get it. Impact Retreat is an incredible ministry and organization at Texas A&M, and it has made a HUGE impact(pun intended) on my life. And it is something that just needs to be experienced, you can never truly understand Impact until you have been there. There are simply too many inside jokes you won't understand, too many incredible people you will meet and grow close with throughout the year, and too much Jesus to be contained in one little 4-day retreat.

So at this time last year I was preparing to go to Fish Camp, and follow that with Impact. Both camps have their merits, but Impact goes so far above what is expected, and went so infinitely beyond anything my Fish Camp ever did. Two of my best friends, Josh and David, I met at Impact. Another of my best friends, Michael, is one of the counselors in my camp this year. Nearly everyone I am friends with was either in my camp or I met as a direct result of going to camp or being a counselor this year. The ministry fair is where I found out about Antioch Community Church, whose Lifegroups really helped me grow in my faith and come to know God on a much deeper level, as well as making a whole bunch of new friends, many of whom are counselors in other camps this year as well.

But there is one person I met at Impact that stands far above the rest. His name is Jesus Christ, he's a pretty cool guy if you don't know him. And he's got a great book, kinda like an autobiography thing, but it's just amazing, definitely go check it out. But in all seriousness, before Impact I was one of those Christians who only knew the "church answers" about God, but no more. The extent of my belief was that God sent Jesus to earth to die for us so that we could be forgiven for our sins, and all you need to do to get into heaven was to believe. That's not the Gospel, not all of it at least, but that was all I knew, but after Impact, I can say that I actually KNEW Christ. I knew that God loves us, and being a Christian is more than just believing in Jesus, its being reborn through baptism of the Holy Spirit and having a relationship with the God who created all the Heavens and loves you deeply. I left Impact knowing this, where I did not know before, and for that reason alone Impact is incredible. It gets down to the roots of our faith and seeks to build relationships with Christ through relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ.

But what made it like no other camp anywhere, is that the end of retreat is not the end of Impact--no, it is just the beginning. The whole year is spent growing closer with the counselors, having camp hangouts, going to movies, church, Bible studies, late-night runs to Fuego. And it is this kind of community that was so attractive to me, that really made me want to be a counselor. Unlike other camps(such as Ozark, where I worked this summer) you get to see the campers all the time AFTER camp. You can spend time just having fun, growing close as friends, and you can be intentional and help them grow in their faith all the while.

And there is so much more to Impact than all this, even. Like I said before, it really needs to be experienced, I couldn't possibly begin to explain it all. And the best part is: its not too late! You can go to impactretreat.com to sign up now. Seriously, do it. Learn about Jesus, make friendships that will last a lifetime, let God change your life completely. And just saying, Delta session is where it's at, especially if you are Gad.

I guess I'll explain the inside joke above...Every time the whole camp gathers for worship and a message, we have "roll calls." Basically, each individual camp makes up some kind of skit/song/dance and relates it to Jesus, then one camp is chosen as the winner. This particular time, we were told to have a short roll call, 30 seconds long, max. Well going in to that, we didn't have anything at all, so the lovely Darcy runs up front as says, "Guys, just copy what I say." It was about 2 minutes later when they forced us to quit.

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