Kaitlyn's Blog

Scaling and Soaring: Camp Hydaway

August 28, 2014

This week, the debate team took a small break from weeks of research and preparing for the upcoming season, and spent some wonderful time at Camp Hydaway.

There is so much at Camp Hydaway – the lake, beach, campsites, an ATV track, and over 50 miles of hiking trials.

Our team took on some of the challenge course; doing team-building activities, scaling a wall, and flying through the air in a harness.

Our team starting out with a team-building exercise. 

Our experience was great – the staff at Camp Hydaway not only taught us a lot about the way we interact with each other and how to work better together; they were passionate about strengthening our individual relationships with Jesus.

Working together to get each member over the wall.

The best part, by far, was when we got a chance to be thrown through the air on a harness. I did it last, and there was just a little light breaking through the trees lining the clearing we were in. It was breathtaking and beautiful, to be soaring through the air as the sun slowly slipped behind the trees.

Camp Hydaway is amazingly beautiful.


My sweet friend Erin getting ready to soar!

Our team had an incredible experience at Camp Hydaway, and if you haven’t checked it out for yourself, you should do some exploring! There is so much Camp Hydaway has to offer Liberty students, especially while the weather is still beautiful and warm!

We didn't give this ladder a try - there is still so much for us to explore at Camp Hydaway!



Summer Days

August 21, 2014

Hello again! It’s so exciting to be back at Liberty and ready to start the next school year! I said it last year and I’ll say it again – I can’t believe I’m halfway done with my undergraduate career at Liberty! It’s been an incredible ride and I can’t wait to see what new blessings this year has in store!

I had a wonderfully busy summer that involved lots of kids, work, friends, and God working in my heart. Here’s a quick run-down:

1. My beautiful and talented little sister, Kendra, graduated from high school!

Kendra and I right before the big ceremony.

2. My family moved from Florida to Northern Virginia, and my lovely friend Meagan agreed to take on the 13 hour drive with us.

Meagan was gracious enough to fly down to Florida to drive with us the day after her 21st birthday. 

3. I spent two weeks at Liberty working with high school debaters at the Liberty Debate Institute!

All of our wonderful campers!

4. I was infinitely blessed to spend a week in the mountains of West Virginia with my home church at youth camp. I led a small group of middle school girls, fought in an epic shaving cream war, valiantly protected our dorms from bug invasions, and had my life forever changed by our Lord’s emancipating grace.

My lovely little group of middle school girls on our last day of camp.

5. A few weeks before school began; the Liberty Debate Team began our preseason research and practice for the upcoming debate season. After a week of work on campus, we spent a week in a gorgeous cabin in Gatlinburg, TN.

Taking a break from research to go go-carting! 

Abby, who I had the incredible blessing of rooming with for our preseason camp, ready to beat all the boys at go-carts!


I had an incredible summer, but I’m exceedingly eager to begin this semester and find out what God has planned for this year!


Year in Review

May 6, 2014

I can’t believe the semester is ending! It’s been a crazy ride, and I thought I’d take a blog to look back on this year.

End of Summer: Coming back to Liberty early for debate meant saying goodbye to my family a little early and celebrating my summer birthday before packing up from Florida and heading to Lynchburg!

My little sister Kendra and I the day before I left.

Start of the Year: The debate team spends a week at a cabin in Tennessee to start our season off, and it fell on my birthday this year. I was so blessed to spend my birthday with some of my closest friends, and to get a surprise funfetti rice crispy treat cake!

My beautiful birthday cake!

First Day of School: We had to take a first day of school picture!

Ana, Hannah, Grace and I on the first day.

Trips: I got to spend multiple weekends with friends that live a lot closer to Liberty than I do in Florida! It was such a blessing to occasionally take a few days off to spend time with friends, eat homemade food and SLEEP.

Visiting Meagan's family.

Halloween: We may have been traveling and debating on the actual date, but our Halloween party made up for it, including costumes such as: an American flag, Obama, Obamacare, hippies, and impersonations of our debate coaches.

Ana, Hannah, and I all dressed as hippies.

Christmas: I spent Christmas break with some of the best friends I’ve made at Liberty, hanging out on the beach, going to church services, and baking ridiculous amounts of cookies!

Gracie and I at the beach!

Dressed up for Christmas church.

Debate: Second semester, the amount of debate tournaments we traveled to got a little hectic, but we had an amazing season and I had a fantastic time getting to travel and do what I love to do.

My partner Ana got a little tired while doing Bio homework after a busy tournament weekend.

Looking back, though, it’s not the events that I remember about this year, it’s the people.

Some of my favorite people on the Debate Team at our end of the year banquet.

One of my bestest friends, Meagan and I. 

My lovely prayer group!

The lovely ladies of the debate team.

And, just for fun, here’s a very different year in review…

Year in Review: Selfies

First day back in Lynchburg = Cookout.

Debate Team retreat means epic gokart racing!!

Birthday also = Cookout, this time in the drive thru at midnight. 

Late night Bible study selfie!

Selfies at Grace's high school's production of "Seussical."

Finally, Easter church selfie! 

Thanks for taking this crazy ride with me this year. I hope everyone had a wonderful year, and has a beautiful summer!


Easter Break Escapades

May 6, 2014

I hope everyone had an amazing time celebrating the resurrection of our Lord this weekend!

I spent the weekend with my dear friend Meagan and her family- moving them into a new home, going to church, and unleashing our inner kids in a fierce Easter egg hunt.

A successful Easter egg hunt!

I’m so thankful I have these amazing people in my life! Meagan’s family is truly amazing, and I’m so thankful they were so kind to a bunch of sleep-deprived college students.

Everyone at church on Easter Sunday.

Meagan and I on the way to church!

I also got to see Frozen for the first time, and my verdict is that it's as amazing and addictive as people warned me it would be!

In other news, it’s almost the end of the semester! I can’t believe I’m almost halfway done with my time at Liberty, but I’m so excited for what the rest of my time holds!

Getting a break last weekend gave me some time to reflect on the semester and what God has been doing in my life. I’ve learned so much this year about trusting Him, putting my future in his hands, and learning how to better love people. I can’t wait to spend another semester learning not only from my classes, but from the people God has placed in my life here at Liberty. 


A Beautiful Gift

April 24, 2014

I love my team.

I probably say it enough on here, but I don’t say it enough in person: I love my team.

Being a part of the Liberty University Debate Team has changed my life. I discovered an activity I had no idea I was going to fall completely in love with. More than that, though, I discovered a team I had no idea I was going to fall completely in love with. As the semester ends, we’ve had our share of drama, but then again, all slightly dysfunctional families do too. We still love each other.

Last week, as I sat in church with some of my best friends who have become my family, and praised our great and loving God, I could not keep from thanking Him for what He has given me.

The day before that service, we had our end of the year banquet, and I felt the same way- that I did not deserve and could not begin to thank my Lord enough for what He has given me. 

Just a few of my teammates that I've had the privilege and joy of working with this year!

One of the best people I've been blessed to know, Meagan! 

Liberty's Director of Debate, Michael Hall. 

Another one of my favorite people I've been blessed to meet on the team, Grace. 

After a week of being reminded how much I love my team and the amazing opportunity Liberty has given me to travel, debate, and work hard at an activity I truly love, I spent a day at James Madison University debating at one of our final events of the year. 

My partner for the day, Claire!

My partner for this special tournament, Claire, and I had an amazing time and I was reminded again of how much I love these people and this activity, and how incredibly thankful I am that I get to be doing this. 

Not only do I get to spend long tournament weekends with these amazing people, but I get to spend time with them doing things close to all our hearts. The same day we had our beautiful banquet, we also spent the morning volunteering at a local church's Easter carnival- playing games with kids, making art projects, and telling the real story of Easter. 

Taking a break after working with kids all morning!

Before I came to Liberty, I had no idea I would love this activity and this team the way I do, and I am so thankful, as the semester and year ends, to have been given this gift.