The Do’s and Don’t’s of Graduation Party Hopping

Hi Friends!

Some of you guys know that I graduated in May, it was a surreal time in my life. Graduation means grad parties, which are SO FUN. I’ve been grad “hopping” since freshmen year, but this year of grad “hopping” was SO overwhelming. The reason it was overwhelming is because it was my graduating class’ time to having them

DO: Make a grad party schedule a week before the “rush” starts- you will get so many invites via Facebook or via Mail. I got a piece of paper and wrote down every party I wanted to go to.  Have an open mind if they invite you last second via conversation

DON’T: Feel obligated to go to every party you get invited to via Facebook. I got invites from people I didn’t know very well, you can pick and choose.

DO: Go to your close friends parties- those are the people that you truly care about and they will appreaciate you stopping by. If you can’t make it for any reason make it up to them and hang out with them.

DON’T: Get a plate of food, eat and then leave. I understand theres a lot of parties in one day but they may never see you again after the party, stay and mingle for a bit. The host will feel like you just came for free food. Stay for ATLEAST 10-20 Mins (if it’s not on graduation day)

DO: Dress nice because you want to look representable and nice, and you might be meeting some of their extended family.

DON’T: Feel obligated to get everyone a present. Only give grad gifts to close friends

DO: Introduce yourself to your friends parents If they don’t know you already- they might be curious on who their child is hanging with.

DON’T: Make yourself tired, if your body says “no i can’t do one more” don’t go. It’s your choice and the grad/host probably doesn’t want to see you tired.

DO: Go to grad parties for people who are leaving early for college, I’m talking about student athletes- they maybe leaving during the “rush” of grad parties and you might not  have time to hang one on one (One of my friends left June 3rd)

DON’T: Get more than two plates of food, the host/grad has to feed ALOT of people dropping by

DO: Hug the host/grad when you’re leaving and arriving, no- they’re not taking attendence but they probably want to see you!

DO: Have FUN and mingle!!! because once parties are over you may not see some of them again

DON’T:  Act snotty if your enemy invites you to their party, just make up a valid excuse some examples are: it’s the day of graduation, I have work, I’m on vacation etc.

DO: Be polite if the host/grad says “meet my *state relative here*, because they might actually be cool -One of my friends grandparents was wearing chacos, SO COOL


I hope this helped for next grad party season!!!




YL retreat Guide: Summer Camp

Hi Friends!

Welcome back to my YoungLife retreat guide series! Today I’m going to talk about Summer Camp, YoungLife camp is something I look forward to every year (It’s my only vacation).  I’ve been going to capernaum camp for two years and summer going into Senior year I went to my first High school (non capernaum) camp! Since every camp is different and I don’t want to give too much away this will be very basic. YoungLife camp is NOT your basic church camp that you went as a child. If you went to Fall Weekend its basically like that but for a week!

LIMIT YOURSELF TO TWO BAGS (one carry on , and one suitcase)

Main Bag:

Bring outfits to last you 5-7 days, comfy and casual! 2 shirts per day is recommended because you NEVER know what could happen, bring shirts that represent yout school and state! ANY KIND of tank tops are allowed)

  • I usually bring 2 Jean shorts for nights and anything else YL camp throws at you and  I also bring running/ gym shorts for daytime activites
  • 1 Travel outfit -you mostly drive through the night camp pending on how far you live- last year I threw a pair of sweats and a top in my carry on bag for the ride home

2 Pairs of Pj’s -or how many you want to bring

Your leader will tell you to bring certain shirts and  won’t tell why….. don’t ask just do it

Underwear -for how many times you change undies

Socks- 1 Pair for everday

Sports Bras  -1 cup bra for nice outfit

(2) Plastic Bags (for dirty or wet things)

ONE Throw-away outfit:

Throw-away outfit includes:

100% NOT TO BE SEEN AGAIN!!!! (if your school did paint war this year REUSE THAT OUTFIT)

Shirt & Shorts

Sock & Shoes (closed toed)


1 Sundress OR nice skirt and top (fancy outfit)

(1)Beach & Face towel (camp provides shower towel/sheets/ bedding)

(1-2)Swim suits- Swim suits- a Bikini is OK but don’t bring a Really nice one (like your brand new  one from Victoria Secret) and a one piece ( I suggest Target or a sporting goods store for a [cute] one piece)!!

(1) cover up- Cover ups are a Must because you can’t go inside (unless to your cabin) without a cover up, it doesn’t have to be a nice cover up it can be a XL shirt or a sports Pennie!

Shoes- I usually pack 5 pairs of shoes and wear one pair on the bus

Pairs of shoes:

  • Closed toed -that can be trashed
  • Closed toed -for ropes course and Horses  ** Horses are at only at certain camps**
  • Shower shoes
  • Fancy Sandals ( Optional- to go with fancy outfit)
  • Sandals to run around camp in (Chacos, Crocs, Birks,flip flops)


(1 of each)-Hoodie, Patagonia pullover (if you have one) Sweatpants, Long sleeve shirts, and flannels (early mornings and late nights can get chilly)

Raingear -Be prepared, check forecast at the state your going (Don’t pack your hunters-takes up a lot of space)


Makeup (optional)

hair brush + hair ties

Nail Polish (optional)



bandanas (it’s camp)/ headbands

Face & body soap


Hair curler/straightner (Optional)

BACKPACK (I suggest you bring one




Wallet w/Money- for camp store, snack shack, and meals there and back

ENO -if you have one DON’T BUY ONE FOR CAMP People share (eno’s fit 2 people)

Camera/ GoPro- most girls bring one and take pics (check with other girls if they are bringing one. NO PHONE WEEK!!!!

Bible/Journal/pen (If you have quiet time on a daily basis) [quiet time is not a camp activity but quiet time is good]

SNACKS!!! -enough to share with cabin

Cards or mini “to go” games- for downtime or if you and some girls want a break from the sun EX: Uno, Spot it, Cards

MEDS in a ziploc bag with (ziploc NEEDS to be labeled)- You turn meds into a leader at the bus/during bus ride, they’ll go in a box,   (with other meds from your school) I pack my daily meds, advil, and meds for motion sickness. Please Note: Leaders CANNOT give you meds like advil etc.

If you play the ukulele or Guitar- bring it!!! (you’ll make friends from other schools/states!!)

****Optional*** smaller backpack to carry around camp everyday!!!

Backpack/For The Bus:

  •  Movies (last year I was the only one who brought movies)
  • Pillow/Blanket (camp provides bedding but it’s great for the bus)
  • Phone/Charger, since the trip is long they allow phones to be out during the bus ride
  •  Keep in mind: Phones will be collected before you enter camp, they don’t look at it

If you take meds

  • Make sure your cabin leader knows (make a plan)
  • Infirmary is CLOSED before meals and before cabin bell Plan ahead (if you need meds before meals, you can ask them to put the meds in a enevople so you can take them. BE SMART, Morning line for meds is CRAZY.
  • If have a epi pen (talk with a leader rules might change on that)

Upperclassmen/ second timers

Love on your friends who have never been to camp before, camp can be scary so I recommend you step away from your friend group and love on others… step out of your “boat of comfort”!!! Pray for your first time/underclassmen friends. Talk to a leader or a peer  to see who’s  going to camp for the first time and pick one or two friends to spend time with. You’ll feel good! Have a intentional conversation with a peer (same grade or not the day or 2 days before 110/100) If you have a first time friend going: go to their house and help them pack! (if they want the help)

Before Camp Departure:

  • Make sure you are getting camp emails (usually sent to your parents email- Check with them)
  • Go Camp Shopping -Target and Walmart are great places to get everything
  • have everything labeled
  • Have forms COMPLETED (If not already)
  • double check bag(s) (make sure you have EVERYTHING)

Tips for a great week:

  • pack extra things (share with others)
  • SHARE everything- snacks, clothing, HELP A SISTA OUT!!!! (if needed)
  • Use the buddy system, before you go to a freetime activity check with your cabin if they want to go with you! if going to the infirmary or anywhere at night MUST BRING A BUDDY (anything can happen, even though YL camp is 110% safe)
  • Cabins have cubbies, but they don’t have enough for everyone to have their own be prepare to share!
  • Pray for others, camp is GREAT but try to have conversations with others!
  • Make time for yourself!!!! You’re with people 24/7 don’t be afraid to ask to take a walk and be by yourself (if needed)
  • Don’t make a BIG deal if your not in a cabin with your best friend, god placed you in that cabin for a reason. MAKE NEW FRIENDS
  • Meds and Phone will be collected (don’t make this a big deal)
  • Don’t make Pointless Drama!!!-for some kids this is their only vacation, be mature and handle everything like a adult!!! If you have an issue talk to a leader
  • Suitcase with wheels are ideal -thank me later
  • by the end of week your cabin becomes like your family, when you get your phone back make a group chat!!!

If you are going to camp- have the best week of your life! I hope this helped, If you’re reading this and will be at Saranac June 17-24 shoot me a tweet @kristenmanifold don’t feel scared to say hi!


Middle School: You Haven’t Changed

Hi Friends!

Today I visited the school I went to for middle school. I am talking about the three  horrible years of your life (as some would say) and safe to say it hasn’t changed. I don’t mean the (new) teachers, the dress code, or middle schoolers holding iPhones in hand, and wearing vineyard vines; that’s probably the only things that has changed. I walked into that building greeted by the same front desk lady, and I was walking pass the tiny humans a.k.a middle schoolers that will consider my class as “Adults” when they enter High School. Middle Schoolers still have those Vera Bradley backpacks with those matching lunch boxes. Every classroom still had those same white boards saying what they needed for class that day, and even still they had those cheesy posters (what’s school without them). Not bashing on my teachers who were still there (i love them) they also haven’t changed (which is good), thinking they would; but they haven’t. The teachers still had their smiling faces and a heart for their subjects, students, and Past students. It got me thinking, later in life do you hit a certain age where you don’t change or is it just  them just in “work mode”. Whatever it is they haven’t changed one bit. Yeah, maybe they got moved to a different subject and/or grade; but their personality hasn’t changed. The world is always changing, but I feel like the teachers in schools don’t. I also don’t know why I am SHOOK by this. I would probably get so bored being a teacher, I love my teacher friends and my close friends that will have their own classroom one day. The point I am trying to get across is that I would not see myself as a teacher; teaching the same thing seven times a day, and if you multiply that by the amount of years you teach. I would get so bored. If I taught I would probably be itching to teach a new thing, or take my next personal day and go exploring. I know that teaching isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and it’s fine.

Love always,


Goodbye Theatre

Last night I said goodbye, to the best one of the programs I’ve ever been apart of in High School (besides young life); I’m talking about the Theatre Depatment. I remember going to shows in middle school and saying  “I can’t wait to join this program”, thinking It would be glamorous and perfect. In all relatity  it wasn’t which is/was 100% OK. I remember watching Glee my freshmen year, and telling myself this is SO wrong from the  relatity  of theatre.  I’ve never have seen so much brokeness in theatre, but being broken and not perfect is TOTALLY OK! Theatre taught me that I can’t run and hide from brokeness, instead I should be running to them. Theatre also taught me to be yourself and you CAN come together as one and no matter your religion, ability, social class, and relationship status. I’m going to be very blunt when I say this, but there were SO many times that  I asked myself “why am I doing this!?” but I kept on going. Theatre was also VERY hard on my body due to my Cerebral Palsy, with heavy lifting and the late nights of tech and show weeks made me very tired (which is something that comes with CP). BUT I kept on running back to theatre not because of the shows, but the people and the family feel kept me running back. I felt that this department needed me as much as I needed them. I’m glad I didn’t put theatre in the bag, and say “see ya” this year; because I bonded with great people which made a big mess of senior year really enjoyable. I can’t thank this group of people for dealing with me when I left early, shined lights in peoples faces, and most of all dealing with stress yelling. I think I’ve said “you are loved” so much during the spring musical as much as I did all four years, because my friends would feel so unloved and those three words came such a long way for them to hear. Last night one of my friends told me this: “you were one of the only people that knew what you were doing backstage” with me replying with “what!?!?!? ME!?!”, telling myself that people REALLY saw my actions when I felt that I wasn’t doing anything.  Theatre is really a labor of love, late nights, and collaboration……but mostly love! Four years wasn’t enough time, High School is such a crazy time in life and I am SO thankful that I had this program to lean on and to learn from (the lessons I’ve gotten from theatre seem like 7 periods of class seem worthless). I cannot wait to come back and to see every show, but It’ll be different, It’ll be weird seeing shows and not having long nights and all the Pre-show and Cast Musical traditions. I don’t think I can listen to Shout, Come on Eileen, and Bohemian Rhapsody; again without thinking about theatre and this program in a good way. I can’t wait to see where relationships with my fellow seniors go!

I guess it’s back to the green seats, but the memories will always be with me. Thank you for all the love, Paitence, and acceptance!

Miss you all already!



Disability Inclusion takes Television

This year I’ve seen shows on television using people that have disabilities on screen, and actually having their disability on the show. I love how hollywood is accepting actors who have a disability because they are letting them pursue their dream, these people who are born with a difference who didn’t CHOOSE to have to have a disability . If you know me personally you probably know that I am a STRONG believer in disability inclusion (it comes in second to jesus). The TV shows that have actors with these “setbacks” are helping soicety, because when these shows air they are spreading awareness to their viewers that and the message that their viewers should accept everyone, and if a viewer has a disability they can see that person on tv. The actor/actress could build a viewer with a disability up, Inspire them, and they could possibly relate to the charater. There’s a lot of TV shows that have actors/actresses with disability in them but I’m just going to mention two of the hottest topics right now ! First off I am going to talk about a oldie but a goodie and that’s Seasme Street, they’re made a puppet who has autism her name is Julia and she is going to be on the show starting April 10th (MY BIRTHDAY). Television shows can’t cover ALL forms of autism, that would be Impossible so Sesame Street has choosen the puppet to cover the most frequent quirks  that are seen in most kids with autism, which are: High energy, Social anxiety, and Sensory setbacks  (ex: noise). I have HIGH hopes that this character named Julia, will educate the new generation and their parents about acceptance and what to do when/if they are put in a real life situtation in the future; wether the situtation is in the classroom, playground, or when they are hanging with a person with autism on the spectrum (if they befriend a person with autism). The other TV show I am going to touch on is my personal favorite and that show is called Speechless which is about a boy named J.J. who is in High School with Cerebral Palsy and his family. In the show he’s nonverbal but in real life he can talk but he talks very slowy for a show, which is understandable. I can easily relate to this show because I do have Cerebral Palsy and I’m in high school, they talk about topics in the show that I can relate to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve screamed “YAS” at the TV while watching this show, If you ask me he is kinda cuuuutttteeee .

I can already tell TV in the future is going to be amazing, and spreading SO MUCH acceptance that this world needs more of! We can’t make a person accept a person because its their choice, but we can encouarge others to accept others for who they are!



Welcome to Facebook- Five ways you canshould use it in College and beyond

Disclaimer: NOT sponsored by Facebook!

This year i’ve seen my friends and acquaintances join Facebook this year to obviously find roomates, because you can’t find them on twitter. Colleges usually have a group that’s full of incoming freshmen and you can join them and find a roomate, besides college you can use it in so many other ways!!!! Here are some ways how!!!

  1. Update Family!!!– Not scaring you! Don’t take this the wrong way. You’ll talk to your parents ALOT in college. But what about your extended family? Cousins? Grandparents? They love you also!!! but we tend to forget to give them a buzz because we don’t see them often, they love would love to get a glimpse into your life!


2.  Posting Fundrasing Links!!!- Yeah you could use twitter too but on Facebook (some people)  have money and are not a poor kid like you! People on Facebook  have time to click the link!! I feel like twitter is not really a great source to fundraise. (danceathons, gofundme etc.)

3. Photos!!!- On facebook you can upload up to 100+ photos to an album and on twitter and instagram you can’t without being annoying! I know at YL camp my leader and friends took pics for the whole group, and we got to “steal” pics from each other! I use my Facebook albums as another “camera roll” on my phone because my storage is a pain, and i don’t want to delete pics to create more space on my phone!!!!

4. Update (high school) Friends- yeah after high school you might not talk to EVERYONE you graduate with BUT your close high school friends are your friends for life (in my opinion) they’ll still care about you, I know your Close ones will (I promise)

5. Make BIG announcements and explain- lets say  a family member died, or you transferring to another college, or getting married, or moving. on twitter you can’t explain yourself in less than 150 words BUT on Facebook you don’t have a Limit, so you can explain yourself more in depth!

I hope this helped you if you are new to Facebook, It’s not a LAME site I promise. It’s actually very helpful! Happy facebooking!!!




YL Retreat Guide: Campaigner Weekend


Hey Girls!!!
February/Winter means Winter Retreat, known as Campaigner weekend. It’s such a chill and laid back weekend with your friends & leaders and such a great time to go deeper into your faith. The weekend location depends on your area (mine is at a hotel), and maybe closer to home but It’ll still be a PAIN to drive back home so here are some tips to prevent that from happening!

Packing List:

Main Bag:

2 Outfits to get through Sunday (comfy/casual)

Hoodie or Patagonia pullover (if you have one- it gets COLD)

1 set of Pajamas

Swim Suit (completely optional but the hotel might have a small pool) **check with your leader before you go to see if it’s worth packing**

Tolietries: Toothbrush/toothpaste, brush + hair ties, (if you have any), makeup (optional), Shampoo/conditioner (optional)

Shoes (if you want others than the ones on your feet)

Backpack :

***I recommend a backpack because its a hike back to the room**

Bible/ pen (s)/ Journal

Wallet with Money ($20-30 will be enough) ***I reccommend a wallet with pockets to organize***

Games/Cards (Uno, Spot it, etc)




Phone and Charger


Pillow/ Sleeping Bag or one big blanket (instead of sleeping bag)

*** hotel only provides sheets and a bed veries on location***

Four Things to do Before you Leave the house (on Friday):

  1. YOUR FORM or money, if you have not turned it in yet, they’ll take forms when you meet at school, a leader would mostly drive.  IF YOU DRIVE: keep in mind you MIGHT to not have YOUR car that weekend due to limited parking at the location; have a open mind if a leader tells you to keep your car @ the schools parking lot (it’ll not get towed). If your departure is at a public place ex: Kroger; i suggest having a person dropping you off!   keep your keys obviously (for sunday departure)… a leader won’t take your keys! (unless you ask)
  2. Make sure you have EVERYTHING!!!! This Includes Energy, I know that you don’t leave (place location of departure ) until 8:00 or 9:00pm that leaves you Plenty of time to take a nap, grab your friend(s) for a coffee run, and to double check everything! (The place where Campaigner Weekend is (depending on where you live) usually close so if you forget something there’s a 4% chance that you will have the motivation to have a leader drive home….
  3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!  You’ll come home on Sunday REALLY TIRED even though camps weekend is relaxing you’ll find your room/cabin still up at 4am talking …. homework will be the LAST thing on your mind!
  4. Make sure have pens for you and others (pens die/get lost a lot so be generous and pack pens for others in mind), make sure they have enough ink… atleast and your journal has 6 pages max (if you don’t write on backs of paper like I do.)

(Optional) If you don’t plan on showering,straigten or curl your hair (It’ll stay, I promise), *****IF YOU PLAN ON SHOWERING BRING A TOWEL!!! ***

SAMPLE SCHEDULE (If your from NW Columbus YL this is the schedule): 


Depart from location your leaders choose (it varies from group to group)

Check in/Room Assignments

Club #1

Back to Cabin (room)



Bfast with school

Club #2

Seminar #1

Seminar #2

Lunch with School

Free time

Dinner with School (more free time)

Club #3

School time/ Free time



Bfast with School

Club #4


***Club at Campaigner weekend will be a normal club with the execption of a game, songs at club are (mostly) worship songs and you take notes at the talk at the end***