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Winter Blast 2024 Final Parent and Volunteer Info

Hello parents and students,

If you are receiving this email then your middle schooler is signed up for the Valley Middle School Winter Blast Retreat on January 26-28 at Hidden Acres. We are excited! Please read through this entire email as it contains important retreat information.

*Here are a few helpful links:

*Check-in is at 5:00 pm on Friday evening at Valley Church. Students should either eat an early dinner before they come or bring a bag dinner to eat on the bus. We will provide transportation to and from camp on buses. We are looking for a few more parents to help with check in from 4:45-5:30 pm on Friday. Click here to sign up to help!

*We are not eating dinner on Friday night. Students should eat dinner before or at check in, or they can pack a disposable bag dinner to eat on the bus on the way up to camp. We will eat a pizza snack on Friday night around 9:45pm.

*We are looking for a few parents to help with check-in from 4:45-5:30 pm on Friday night. Click here to sign up to help.

*We will return to Valley Church for pick up around 12:30 pm on Sunday. Lunch is not included.

*We are bringing around 75 students and 25 leaders.

*If your student has prescription or over-the-counter medications, keep them separate from your luggage and bring them inside the atrium to check-in on Friday evening. We recommend only bringing enough meds needed for the weekend. Our leaders will dispense meds throughout the weekend.

*If your child is arriving late or leaving early, please email Michelle Sieber at so we can make a note.

*Students are not allowed to bring cell phones because we want to be focused on the great things that are happening at the retreat. Plus, we don’t want students to worry about lost, damaged, or stolen phones. Please help us enforce the “no cell phone” rule for students. Adult and high school-aged leaders are allowed to bring their phones.

*In case of an emergency we can be reached at the following number at Hidden Acres: 515-547-2751 or 515-269-2041. You can reach me at 612-217-0429 or Jodi Overholt at 515-205-1500. Our volunteer leaders will have their phones as well.

*Upon our arrival at camp students will receive a booklet containing a weekend schedule and map.

*Here is a packing list as your student prepares for the weekend:

  • Bible & pen
  • Sleeping bag & pillow (please note: beds DO NOT come pre-made with sheets or linens included, including in The Inn)
  • Winter clothes (including hat and gloves)
  • Boots and snow pants (optional if students want to play/hike in the snow)
  • Clothes that can get dirty
  • Towel & toiletries
  • Swimsuit (Modest swimwear-guys no Speedos; girls either a one-piece suit or a two-piece suit with a dark t-shirt on top)—Hidden Acres has an indoor pool and hot tub
  • Snacks
  • Drawstring bag or backpack to carry around Bible and other personal items
  • Optional: Flashlight
  • Optional: Wristwatch to keep time, since students can’t bring cell phones
  • Optional: Spending money for things like extra snacks and shopping in the Hidden Acres gift shop

Thank you for allowing your child to experience this awesome weekend with us. Please pray for fun memories, deep friendships, and life change through the power of Jesus!

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Joe Budish