My favorite fellowship event thus far in APO has been Paternoville! Ten of us signed up for the Kent State game, and spent 3 nights bonding together in a tent. I cannot begin to describe how much fun it was!
After getting our names on the list, we booked it from our meeting in Chambers to Beaver Stadium, not having a clue what we were doing or if we even got a spot! I guess we were all so nervous, we failed to notice that our team name (“Petrie”) had in fact made it onto the list, so we spend a solid five to ten minutes freaking out until a nice, fellow Paternoviller informed us that “Petrie” was number 40 out of 45!
In no time we had our tent set up, and people were immediately prepared to man our post for the night! I did not stay that night but from what I heard, those who did had an enjoyable time.
The next two nights I decided to sleep in the tent; I came well prepared with my 6 blankets, 2 pillows, and extra sweatshirts. Both nights, we spent our time sitting outside and relaxing. We talked, ate food, and listened to music; on Friday night we even played volleyball (or at least attempted to) in a little space that was far too close to the road.
Being the “girly girl” that I am, I didn’t think I would fair too well sleeping in the cold, but to my surprise, I ended up sleeping like a baby. It was super fun knowing I was having a sleepover with my brothers.
But the most impactful part for me was Saturday morning when the Paternoville crew rounded us up and the President gave an incredibly motivating speech. He had apparently spoken to Coach O’Brien the day before, and he relayed a really great message to us. Coach O’Brien said that the UCF game was actually one of his favorite games thus far. And he said that was because the fans never gave up; they remained enthusiastic and supportive throughout the game and that impressed him a lot.
I thought this was an important lesson that could be carried far beyond football. When things look rough or bleak, it is SO important that you continue to be optimistic. Whether you are supporting yourself, a friend, a family member, an acquaintance, or a stranger, don’t stop because you never know what may come from not giving up!
All in all, I had a great week at Paternoville, and I hope this is something APO decides to do again!