Winter Blast Features Snow Fun and Faith
More than 300 youth from across Virginia and the Greater Bluefield area stormed the campus of Bluefield College, January 19-20, for the school’s two-day extreme winter worship adventure known as Winter Blast.
January 25, 2013
The Bluefield College Ram enjoys a break from dodgeball with some of the more than 300 teens who took part in BC's Winter Blast 2013.
Contemporary Christian rock band Leeland shared not only music, but also spiritual messages during its concerts at BC's Winter Blast 2013.
Christian rock band Leeland performed a concert on day one and led worship on day two of BC's Winter Blast 2013.
Established by the college in the winter of 2009 for the purpose of brining youth to campus for a weekend of faith and winter fun, Winter Blast features not only skiing, sledding, tubing and other outdoor snow entertainment, but also an equal emphasis on worship, Christian discourse, and spiritual growth.
“For years we watched the church buses pass through Bluefield on their way to the ski slopes in the area until finally we decided to invite them to make Bluefield College part of their winter youth adventures,” said Kris Hardy, BC’s associate vice president for marketing and coordinator of Winter Blast. “We thought Winter Blast would be a good way to bring these young people to campus for some additional winter fun in a positive setting.”
The positive setting this year: a contemporary Christian music concert and worship sessions with rock band Leeland and inspirational messages and magic from master illusionist Harris, III. Known for its passion-filled live experience, Leeland’s worshipful rock challenged the Winter Blast listeners to put their faith into action and to shake off any dust of spiritual atrophy.
“We’ve all been going through a personal revival in this band,” said lead singer Leeland Mooring. “We’ve felt God taking us out of a plateau, shaking us up and saying, ‘Don’t cruise anymore.’ That’s where we are -- feeling like God wants to bring a great awakening to our generation.”
Leeland provided a concert on day one of the Winter Blast weekend and led a worshipsession on day two, while the classically trained, award-winning illusionist Harris, III used the art of deception to not only amaze participants, but also awaken them to the secret of living life based on deeper realities.
“Winter Blast is an awesome weekend with great worship,” said a youth leader. “Bluefield College does it right. Our students love this event.”
And, of course, the weekend also included the outdoor winter adventures of late night sledding on the BC campus and a full day of skiing at nearby Winterplace Ski Resort and its 28 trails on more than 90 acres of skiable terrain, nine lifts, a top elevation of 3,600 feet, and a long run of more than a mile, not to mention the largest snowtubing park in the state of West Virginia.
“I can’t ski, but I love to go tubing,” said Sarah Moxley, a 16-year-old two-time Winter Blast participant from Bluefield. “I think it’s great!”
The weekend also included bonfires, pizza parties, and a unique dodgeball tournament. With more than 200 participants, the Winter Blast dodgeball adventure is the largest known dodgeball tournament in the two Virginias.
“I think it’s great! Awesome!” said Patrick Kelley, a 14-year-old two-time Winter Blast participant from Lancaster, Virginia. “I like the skiing and the music, but I like the dodgeball the most.”
More than 300 teens overall took part in the winter worship weekend, including about a hundred from Greater Bluefield and another 200 from across Virginia -- mostfrom Virginia Baptist churches, considering BC’s affiliation with the Baptist General Association of Virginia.
“It’s a win-win for the Baptist churches in the state and for the Greater Bluefieldarea,” said Hardy. “The participants spend part of the weekend on campus for meals, concerts and other activities, but stay in local hotels and visit other local businesses during their stay.”