• Winter Retreat 2011

believe that we have only known these amazing kids and chaperones for 5 months or so. That blows my mind. These kids have become our family and the parents have become our biggest cheerleaders and we’re so thankful…. so so thankful. Getting away for the weekend was absolutely amazing. Winter Retreat just happened to fall right after most kids had just finished a week of exams. It was great timing to get AWAY. Away from school, away from work, away from drama…. the list goes on. This past weekend was a chance for our youth group to just get away and be together.  We took them to one of our favorite places… WATERMARKS. Watermarks is an amazing camp outside of Charlottesville

and I could sing their praises all day long. This camp is family owned and we have been coming here since WE were in high school (which for me was only 5 years ago but hey, who’s counting?).  It was a little strange at first. We showed up and I realized, “Wow….we’re in charge… I am no longer a camper!”. I tend to have moments like this weekly where I realize “Oh…. wow, I’m like a real adult now”. It’s a crazy realization. Michael and I loved taking 50+ kids to camp and getting to hangout with them. The more I’m with them, the more I love them. The weekend was filled with the low ropes course, paintball, rock climbing, Gaga Ball (yes, that’s a real game and it’s awesome), the zip line, great teaching, worship and GOOD FOOD! (When you think of camp food, most people cringe but I must say that Watermark’s has their act together! Yumyum!).  I came home exhausted with a pile of laundry to do but I would do it all over again this weekend if I could. I loved it. God does really cool things when you make time to get away and focus on Him….I should probably do that more often:).


A special thanks to High Rise for leading worship and Matt Orth from Crossroads for coming to speak! Awesome job!!!

My car made a little pit stop for some photo opts:)

Love these girls!

Welcome to Watermarks!

My WHOLE wonderful family was there for part of the weekend! Emy and Corey worked on staff and I LOVE them:)

These two are on staff and I heart them. Jess (left) and I grew up together and I think we’re related…. yea, pretty sure.

One of my favorites.

Paint ball.

Get it girls!

Don’t miss the VIDEO! It took ALL day to make! You gotta watch it!:)


Winter Retreat 2011 from Katelyn James on Vimeo.

22 Comments Personal
  1. Elizabeth reply

    It looks like y’all had an awesome time! The ropes course reminds me of the ropes and wires course at the camp i’ve been going to every summer for 7 years and this summer I have the privilege of working there!

  2. Nancy Mitchell reply

    Aww…Katelyn what a great tribute! I LOVED the video and I am sure that these kids parents are going to love that they now have something special to see! I would LOVE to do something like that! Just AMAZING!

  3. amanda west reply

    you have to hear the voice of the little brother on the incredibles when i say, that was awesome!!!

  4. j gar reply

    sweet vid. love the use of sandstorm. not sure that’s a christian song, but i guess since it doesn’t have lyrics, you can make it whatever kind of song you want it to be. this makes me miss when we went for d-now a couple years go, that was money in the bank. and i’m really sorry i missed michael on the bball court showing those high school kids how to do it. i bet that was a sight to see. good work.

  5. Kristie B reply

    Katelyn that was so cute! I bet the kids love it. I watched it with my little guy(7 months old), he loved the dancing music…haha:) Thanks for sharing.

  6. Katie Beale reply

    YAY!!!! LOVE the video!!!!! :D

  7. Sarah reply

    This post made me tear up almost. Took me back to 15-20 years ago when I was in youth group and the amazingly fun times we had. Some of the best experiences of my life. It makes you miss those times as a kid. So hard to have that kind of fun as an adult. How awesome for you to be able to experience it all over again. Beautiful!

  8. Jennifer Krieg reply

    Katelyn.. I never get tired of reading your blog! Amazing how youth can teach us so much about ourselves and living even long after we become adults.. just plain awesomeness!

  9. Jessica Beale reply

    I would’ve been the first to comment, but the blog hates me sometimes. Anyways…I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! So amazing to serve with you and Michael for the weekend! Thanks for the amazing post! Love you, KK!!!

  10. Brenda (Momma) reply

    KK, loved all the pics and the video! It was fun being there with all of you for part of the weekend. Daddy and I enjoyed watching you and Michael as the “adults” in charge . . . you did a great job.

  11. caroline reply

    YAAAAYYY!!!!!! LOVE Watermarks!! and I LOVE you!!!!

  12. colleen kramar reply

    oh my gosh was jbiebs at this youth retreat?!?!? upside down hat boy with VT hoodie looks just like him lol. awesome pics katelyn, i know those kids had a GREAT time with you and michael :)

  13. Ashlee reply

    Watermarks is owned by my college roommate! They are wonderful people and the camp looks great!!!!

  14. gayle reply

    I love this post! Watermarks Camp has been a tremendous spiritual influence in the lfe of our family. Travis and Angie by the guidance of God have created a place to come and meet Jesus and form that sweet life long relationship. This some kinda good stuff!

  15. Girish reply

    Really fun shots. I amazed, so many of them ;-)
    Am sure none of them are posed shots other than the starting few. Great going.

  16. Dennis Bullock reply

    What a great place and video! Good stuff Katelyn!

  17. ali reply

    amazing shots. i love the b&w of the girls laughing in the street and the one immediately following. well, and all the rest. and the video rocks. i remember going on church retreats at that age and man i wish i had videos to relive it – good job katelyn.

  18. Nathan Mitchell reply

    That dog RULES!! Great pictures Katelyn!

  19. Karen Stott reply

    Oh I just LOVE this Katelyn! Your love for the Lord and servant’s heart is incredible. I am so excited to meet you in a few weeks. Blessings. xoxo

  20. Katie reply

    Hi Katelyn,
    I came across your blog a few weeks ago and recently read this post on Winter Camp. I take it your husband is a youth pastor :) My heart jumped with joy to see another photographer who serves in youth ministry. I too am a photographer and my husband is a High School Pastor. For the past 6 year we’ve been serving together. I LOVED seeing your post because it is refreshing to see other couples loving and serving students of this generation.
    Blessings to you and your husband,

  21. britney reply

    um…i really want that dog.

  22. You may remember | Virginia Wedding Photographer | Katelyn James Photography reply

    […] our kids on Winter Retreat back in January. Well, if you don’t remember, you can view it HERE!  We took them to Watermarks Camp in Scottsville, VA and we love that place! Absolutely love it! […]

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