Clad in faux camo, Lieutenant Colonel “Larrabee” dodges water balloons before succumbing to a barrage. The kids who pummel him giggle at the theatrics of his death scene. For this seasoned officer, serving teenagers is something new.
When Campus Life Military Director, Samantha, invited Larrabee to serve as a leader at YFC Military Camp, the officer agreed. He thought it would be more of a chaperoning situation – just following kids here and there. When Samantha introduced him to a group of 6 middle school boys and sent them to cabins with spiritual discussion questions, Larrabee had a reality check. Was he up for this?
But Samantha was there to coach all the adult leaders. “She was willing to assist at every corner,” Larrabee said. So he settled in, and together with his coleader, he began to invest in his boys. One young man in his cabin even made a profession of faith that week.
By the end of Camp, this seasoned soldier was all in for serving military-connected youth. Now he’s volunteering to lead a group of middle school boys back at his installation. “I just hope that…me being goofy at the ripe old age of 44…I just hope to show them lessons learned, experiences, so that they don’t repeat the same things I did.”
Water balloons aside, Larrabee is making a splash with his life. And, he’s having a great time doing it.
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Article by SaraBeth Wadsworth, YFC Military Community Engagement Coordinator
*LTC name changed for privacy