I survived DudeFest

May 17, 2008


2001-11-23_fire_close_upOn my first Sunday at Gateway, they were advertising DudeFest. I laughed when I saw the sign. The fact that they call it DudeFest actually made me interested in attending. Several guys on staff personally invited me to attend as well. It really wasn’t the best time in the world, but I committed toward going. I actually thought it would be a great opportunity to meet some people… being that I am completely new.

What is DudeFest? Well, quite simply it is a men’s retreat. Someone on staff point blank asked me today, "So Kenny, honestly, how does DudeFest compare to other men’s retreats you’ve been on?" I responded, "I don’t know, I’ve never been on a men’s retreat… I don’t really like them (or the concept of them). But I’m having a really great time at DudeFest!"

It’s not that I don’t like men’s ministry or hanging out with men, I’m just wired a little differently and I don’t typically jive with the whole "men’s ministry retreat" deal. I’ve probably said more than I need to already.

However, I did really enjoy DudeFest. I got to meet a lot of people and made some new friends. I also feel that it had all the ingredients of a true "man" event.

  • We camped in tents in a field.
  • In the field were loose donkey’s horses and cattle (a cow woke me up this morning… literally only three feet from my tent)
  • We ate really good food (fajitas, breakfast tacos and bar-b-que sandwiches)
  • They had all these 50 gallon plastic drums which at one point last night, several guys started pounding them on the ground in a cool rhythmic beat. They passed out small PVC pipe sticks for everyone to bang on something and join in on the "tribal" experience. What guy doesn’t like to hit things with sticks? Literally, the tribal beat went on for 2-3 hours (some guys were really into it… I really got into my sleeping bag).
  • We roasted marshmallows (okay, I know. The Girl Scouts do this too, but who doesn’t love a S’Mores?)
  • We participated in various physical challenge competitions throughout the day.
  • We all bragged about who was going to win each competition.
  • A lot of guys jumped in the creek
  • We burned a couple of big wooden structures (yeah, they were supposed to be burned)
  • We soaked the wooden structures in kerosene first (of course)
  • The fire was started with some kind of propane powered blow torch (where can I get one of these things?)

Yeah, it was DudeFest. About 120 men spending 23 hours out in a big field next to a creek. It was fun, even for a guy who doesn’t like this kind of stuff…


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One Response to “I survived DudeFest”

  1. nene Says:

    I’m chuckling out loud! Being as I think I know you pretty well, all I can say is: “I wish I had been a mouse. . .”

    So now you are an official “Dude”! All righty!


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