Youth Tour 2013
Welcome to Our Activity Blog Page. Here you will find first hand
accounts of our journey. Check back daily for updates!
Day 1,July 17
Today is our first day on the Youth Tour. So far I am having a great time on the road trip. Our first destination for today was Williams, Arizona. On our way to Arizona, we stopped in Barstow, California for lunch. We saw the Colorado River and the Colorado Bridge right before entering Arizona. The ride into Arizona was beautiful and full of scenery such as deserts, rocky mountains, and small lakes and rivers. In Kingman, Arizona, we visited the Powerhouse Museum. At the Powerhouse, we learned the history and interesting facts about Route 66. One fact I learned from the Powerhouse is that Route 66 connects small communities from different states. Today, for dinner we went to Rob's Steakhouse. I ate a club steak. I had an excellent adventure from California to Arizona.
Day 2,July 18
We woke up and went down to the lobby for breakfast early this morning. There was a choice of eggs, sausage, toast,
muffins, or cereal. After breakfast, we boarded the bus to go to the railroad station.
Before we boarded the Vintage Train, we sat and watched a western stunt show. It was a good show. It took us about 2-
hours for us to arrive to Grand Canyon National Park. On the way there Evan, the guide, told us that the train will go
though the longest tunnel in Arizona. He said if we held our breath all the way through it and made a wish, our wish will
come true. We all took a big breath right before we entered the tunnel. Only two seconds went by before we made it
through the tunnel. We all laughed at being fooled.
We were truly amazed when we saw the Grand Canyon. Everyone took lots of pictures and had a great time. After the last
stop of our tour, we went to lunch at "The Fountain". Most of us ate hot dogs, the rest of us ate sandwiches. We all drank
We finished eating and visited the gift shop. We got a chance to buy souvenirs. We got on the vintage train again to return
to the hotel. On the way to the station, we were stopped by train robbing bandits. To avoid getting robbed, I hid my things,
put my sunglasses on, and acted as if I was fast asleep. I woke up to soon and got robbed for a penny. I was able to make
it to the station with the rest of my stuff. We got off the train and headed to the restaurant for dinner. It was raining with
lightning and thunder when we were eating, and when we were driving home.
A view of the Colorado River
A Unique Friend at The Weigh Station
Welcome Silo on Route 66
Me and My Friends in The Powerhouse Museum
Day 3,July 19
Today involved a long drive out of Williams, Arizona into Albuquerque, New Mexico. The bus driver had to stop and purchase a special permit to drive through the state of New Mexico. The permit cost $52.00.
We were going to the Explora Center of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We arrived there and explored the first floor of the science center for a couple of hours. It was very interesting. There were different stations setup; you had to read the directions to use them properly. Every station dealt with something in the fields of math, science, or physics.
After two hours on the first floor, we all went to the second floor patio to watch a special presentation. The presentation was led by two clowns. They helped the audience learn about the science behind circus acts. They balanced plates, chairs, and juggled pins. They asked for volunteers to help them in their acts.
We explored the exhibits on the second floor after the presentation was over. The group hurried back to the bus because of a flash flood warning. Golden Corral buffet was our choice for dinner. We ate a lot of food and had a good time. We all headed to the hotel where we went to sleep.
At the Western Stunt Show
Team in Front of Train Car
Another View of Grand Canyon
View of Grand Canyon
Entrance At the Exlora Center
Friendly Wildlife in the Explora Center
Me and My Sister Drawing on Another Station
Learning Balancing in the Special Presentation
Day 4, July 20th
Pastor Carol Helped make waffles for everyone this morning. We loaded the bus at 7:45am and departed for Oklahoma City.We saw many things as we drove. We saw three hot air balloons in the morning sky. The rest of the morning met us with sights of dessert sand and dead plants. This scene did not change as we entered Texas. We passed a cow farm in Texas, and the smell of it entered the bus. We saw a water park along the side of the road. We saw a lot of horses and a giant white cross. We took a bathroom break in Amarillo, Texas before continuing on. We watched the film "The Ultimate Gift" as we entered into Oklahoma.
We pulled up to the Sleep Inn that we will spend the night in. Then we went down the road to Cracker Barrel for dinner. The night was ended with a time at the pool.
Welcome To Texas
Giant Cross in the Distance
Having Some Fun At the Pool
Strong Warriors in Training
Day 5, July 21st
Today is our 5th day on the tour. After breakfast, we left the hotel at 9:15am heading for Memphis, Tennessee. The morning devotion was lead Havanna and Layoni. The subject focused on comfort in affliction. After devotion, Pastor Carol gave us a lecture on bathroom hygiene and etiquette.
Today we will be traveling a total of 467 miles. The time it will take to cover this distance is eight hours. We saw two types of ranches during our drive. They had cows and horses. We also saw corn fields, strawberry patches, and rice patties. We also saw damage from the recent tornadoes. We crossed many lakes and rivers; the first being Lake Eufaula. The next was the Arkansas River. The last was the Lake Dardanelles, which is also a national park. We crossed the state line into Arkansas at 12:21pm (central time). We stopped in Little Rock, Arkansas for lunch at Texas Road House.
We boarded the bus after lunch and began our drive to Memphis, Tennessee. We were going to cover a distance of 122 miles. We crossed over the Mississippi River into Tennessee at 6:45pm (central time). We transferred onto interstate 55 to get to our hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.
Welcome To Arkansas
Bridge Crossing the Mississippi River
Junction to the Hotel
A Warm Welcome to Tennessee
Day 6, July 22nd
We started our day with breakfast. There was a large variety of foods to choose from. After eating we went back to our room to get our luggage for the bus. The weather outside was stormy with heavy rain, lightning and thunder. Most of the kids got wet from the head to their shoes before they got to the bus. When we were all ready, we left the hotel and rode on interstate 40 to visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
The first thing we saw when we pulled up to the museum was the Lorraine Motel. This is the Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was killed on April 4th 1968. He was killed at 6:01pm in front of room 306. It was unbelievable being in that exact location. We were able to look into his room and it was in the same condition as it was in April 1964. The person who killed him was James Earl Ray. The next exhibit was The Freedom Sisters. It was about 20 important woman. Some were Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, Myrlie Evers-
After this adventure, we went to Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum. The underground railroad was not a real railroad. It was a set of passages for slaves to escape bondage. The museum was in a house in downtown Memphis. The back porch had a trap door that led to a cellar.
During our visit at the Slave Haven, Major donors Steve and Robyn Stong visited us. They later joined us for dinner at Cracker
Barrel. They came on the coach and prayed for us before they left. Good day and Good night.
One of The Quotes in The Civil Rights Museum
The Youth Tour team in Front of Apartment 306
One of the Last structures built by Mr. Burkle...Over One Hundred
and Fifty Years Old.
Youth Tour Students with Steve and Robyn Stong
Day 7, July 23rd
Good morning, my name is Deanna Ross and I will be the reporter for the day. I woke up at 7:30am and went down to breakfast at
8:30am. We left the hotel at 9:11am. The first destination was Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Three of Pastor Carol's
nieces joined us for the day. Their names were Malé, Briana, and Valencia.
We arrived at the university at 9:51am. The whole school was constructed of mostly bricks. The campus was very beautiful. The school
was 102 years old. There are about 25,000 students enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University, only 3,000 live on campus. Some
classes can have up to 75 students, most have 30 students. There are a variety of classes; if you like to draw or even do art, they have
a class for you. I love art and I try to design my own clothes. Middle Tennessee State University has places for students to have fun like
a movie theatre, game room, and big indoor pool. The library had four floors. The further up you travel, the quieter one has to be. The
university also has its own radio stations, 89.5fm and 88.3fm. The two stations play all types of music and programs. The tour ended at
We are now heading to Meharry Medical Collage. We were running a bit early so we took some time to see the house Pastor Carol built in 1988. Her home is very big; I took many pictures. Then pastor showed us her mom's and dad's old home. The bus continued down the road to Meharry Medical Collage. We arrived at 1:00pm. A wing of the Medical College was named after Pastor's late sister Dr. Pam. The director of the Medical College picked Havanna and Tony to go through a practice check up. They checked each other's mouth and breathing. The director introduced us to Samantha, an electronic patient. She can talk, breath, blink, slobber, cry, and bite.
When we left the medical college, we took a tour a of Fisk University. Fisk University had a lot to offer to students. A student can earn two degrees in five years with certain programs. Many famous figures have visited, attended, or contributed to the school. D.E.B. DuBois attended the school. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the school. The father of Beyonce Knowles has made many contributions to Fisk University. We spent some time in the historic chapel and moved toward the Jubilee Hall. Inside the hall, there was a blue room and a gold room. The blue room was where many young men and women of the school got together to begin their relationship. The gold room was said to be the room where those same couples would become engaged. We left the university around 4:00pm and had lunch at O'Charley's Restaurant.
Team Grouped Around MTSU Horseshoe
Crest at MTSU
The Team Meets "Samantha" at Maharry Medical College
Entering into Fisk University
Day 8, July 24th
Today I woke up at 7:00am and went down to breakfast. I ate an omelet, toast and potatoes. Then I went back to the room to gather my dirty clothes for washing. The laundry mat of choice was Clean Threads Super Laundry. At the laundry mat, i put my clothes in the washer
and took them out of the dryer. I immediately started to fold my clothes as they came out the dryer.
Pastor took us pass a place called Adam's Place when we left the laundry mat. Adam's Place is an assisted living home where Pastor's father lived when he got older. Down the road from Adam's Place is the Veterans Hospital where Doctors help veterans with their health. The chaperons and students all went to lunch. On the way to lunch, we saw a cemetery.I also saw a big, scary church. Moments later I saw a ranch with a bunch of horses on it. I saw the Stone River Battle Field. There were many churches and houses too. Tennessee looks very green and beautiful. We arrived at Carver's for lunch. I ate a ButterBurger, fries, and a scoop of ice cream. After the lunch, we returned to the hotel to rest for a while. Then I went to the pool with my tour friends. Then we went to Chili's Restaurant for dinner. I ate a 6-
Then we went to the first night of the Faith Fellowship Conference. During the service, I was anointed with oil and prayed for. We all went to our rooms and slept after service was over.
Chaperons Talking as Clothes Washed
Children Folding and Packing Clothes
A Bird's Eye of the Hotel Lobby
Day 9, July 25th
Today was the second day of the Faith Fellowship Conference. It began with a morning service at 8:30am. The service was dedicated to the art ministries of the many churches present. The performances varied from sign language to miming; very creative ways of testifying about the Lord.
After the great performances, we united with a group from Kingston Christian Center of North Carolina. Together, we boarded the our bus for a tour of Nashville led by Mr. Daniels. He was an 83 year old man who knew many interesting facts about Nashville. One interesting fact I learned is how Nashville received the name "music city". The Jubilee Singers from Fisk University had a chance to sing in front of Queen Victoria. The Queen was so impressed, she stated that anybody who sings like that must come from a musical city; thus granting the city of Nashville the nickname "music city". Another interesting fact I learned about Nashville is that it was once called the Athens of the South. The reason being was Nashville was the center of learning for African Americans during its history. The tour ended and we headed to Mimi's Cafe for dinner. This restaurant had a French influence in its menu.
We returned to the hotel to quickly change clothes for the evening's special event. We went to the baseball field of the Nashville Sounds to watch them play. We got a few vouchers with our tickets. We were able to get hot dogs, nachos, and sodas with these vouchers. We were happy to see the Sounds win that evening. We returned to the hotel to rest after along day of activity.
Day 10, July 26th
To start our day, we woke up at 5:30am. Every morning Sister Joyce says three things. The 3rd thing is always different. Today she said "Good Morning, this is the day that The Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." the 3rd thing she said was "Let's rock and roll."
We left for breakfast at 6:20am. I had an omlete, french toast, grits, and yogurt. It was a good breakfast. Halfway through our meal, Dr. Amos stopped and asked Sister Joyce "Are you still on the Lord's Side?"
After breakfast, we went to the morning service of the Faith Fellowship Conference. We took our seats at 8:21am; Pastor Carol wanted us to be there on time so we got there a few minutes early. We obey Pastor Carol! The morning service was over at 9:58am. The service was led by Pastor Sharron S Riley. We sang beautiful songs that she probably wrote. My favorite song had lyrics such as "you are my healer, you are my help, you are my deliverer, yes you are!"
Pastor Carol gave us an hour of fellowship after the service was over. Then we spent time between the pool and the exercise room. We left the pool at 1:00pm and met again at 3:30pm to leave for dinner. We had really good dinner. I had some pasta and garlic bread and vegetables.
At 7:00pm, we attended the final Faith Fellowship Conference service. We went to get our seats at 6:30pm so we can get good seats. A church called Faith Deliverance Christian Center performed a dance. It was amazing. After the dance, Dr. Amos started preaching. She said that "there is no such thing as an easy way." The main point of her sermon was "Keep it Moving." The service ended at 9:14pm. It was great. Dr. Amos did a great job with the sermon. We went to our room around 10:00pm and got ready for the bed.
Day 11, July 27th
Today we started a really fun day with breakfast at 8:20am. A little after breakfast, we reunited with Kingston Christian Center for a trip to Nashville Shores Water Park. We had a lot of fun in the park. There was a moment were I thought someone stole my wallet, but Sister Joyce was just playing a trick on me. That act shows me she is fun. De'mauria got stuck trying to start down a racing slide. We left the water park at 2:00pm.
We had lunch/dinner at a restaurant called Cheddars. They have some really good buttered croissants. We had a nice dinner with our partners from Kingston Christian Center.
After a few moments in the hotel, me, Anthony, and Brother Joseph spent some time with Brother Lamar Houston. He took us to visit his house. It was a big, nice home. He had a big basement and a lot of bedrooms. He then treated me and Anthony to a ride on the go-
Brother Lamar dropped us off at the hotel from the go-
Hello, my name is Breanna and I will be the reporter for today. We woke up and went to breakfast at 7:45am. I only ate cereal for breakfast. We boarded the bus around eight in the morning to head to Little Rock, Arkansas. Before we left, Dr. Barbara Amos came and said a prayer for us. We stopped at the Shell gas station before we headed on the highway. We started on highway 24 west. Within a mile, we transferred onto 840 West into Little Rock. I saw a lot of trees along the way. Most of the children fell asleep on the bus as we drove along the interstate. We arrived into Memphis and made a transition onto interstate 40. We crossed over the Mississippi River shortly after 12:06pm from Tennessee into Arkansas. We saw the St Jude's Medical Center right before we left Memphis. I continue to see lots of trees.
We made it into Little Rock, Arkansas. We found a Famous Dave's BBQ Restaurant along the way. We chose to eat there for lunch. We left the restaurant at 4:13pm. We unloaded our baggage at our hotel before heading to Regal Cinemas for a movie night. One part of the team went to see "Turbo." Another part of the team went to see "Fruitville Station." I was one of the ones who saw the movie "Turbo." I think it was pretty good. After the movies, we stopped at Sonic's Drive In restaurant for ice cream sundays.
Skyline Entering Nashville
One of the Historic Markers Found Throughout Nashville
The House Where "Lift Every Voice And Sing" Was Written
Baseball Field of the Nashville Sounds
Eagle Empowerment with Kingston Christian Center
Young Men Experiencing the "Big Splash"
One View of Memphis Shores
Me on The Go-
Day 12, July 28th
Sunrise in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Lunch of the Day
Fabulous Lunch Combo
Some of the team with their after movie dessert
The Pastors of the Faith Fellowship
Day 13, July 29th
This morning we woke up and headed for breakfast. I ate cereal, eggs, and sausage. We left the hotel to visit Central High School in Little Rock,
Arkansas. This is the school where the "Little Rock Nine" attended. The "Little Rock Nine" were the first African Americans to attend Central
High School in the 1950's. White people would spit on them and do mean things to them. But the nine students would ignore it and go to their
destination. The governor decided to close all the high schools in 1958-
went across the street to the school. It was built on 21 acres. This high school was BIG. There were four statues built in the front. We all took a
picture on the front steps of the high school. We boarded the bus and drove to the Bill Clinton Library.
The first thing we saw when we entered the library was the President's car. Then we went to a room that was built like the cabinet room in the
White House. I was sitting in the vice president's chair. Layoni was sitting in the treasurer's chair. We entered a small theatre next to the cabinet
room. The guide looks like Santa Clause except he was not chubby nor did he have a bag of toys. He did not wear a red outfit but his beard was
long like Santa Clause. On the second floor, I saw a model of the oval office and how it is setup. I saw another room that had many beautiful
dresses. We all met at the front of the museum to get back on the bus. While we were driving to find a place to eat, Pastor Carol said that she is
inspecting journals. If the journals were not complete, we would have water with lemon for lunch. She said that to scare us.
We ate at the Golden Corral; I came out stuffed. Mr. Barnes now has to drive over five hours to get to Oklahoma. I hope the hotel we stay in is
like the Embassy Suites. That hotel had 10 floors, see-
omelet bar. After a long drive, we made it to our hotel in Oklahoma City.
In front of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas
Me and my Friends in front of the Oval Office
Standing around Bill Clinton's Eagle Statue
Standing Next to A few Presidential Gifts
Day 14, July 30th
Today we woke up around 6:50am. We went downstairs for breakfast at 7:45am. We watched the news as we ate breakfast. When we were done, we got our luggage and loaded the bus to take a visit to Oklahoma Science Center.
The first thing we did at the science center was watch a special film. The film was projected onto a screen shaped like a globe. The movie was about a group of rescuers from different parts of the country. The earthquake in Hatti brought them together from the different parts of the world. We went to another show after the movie was done. The show was about live science experiments. He did some pretty cool stuff, but the last demonstration he did with a balloon filled with hydrogen was most cool. We took some time to explore the rest of the exhibits. One exhibit that interested me was the one about magnetics. We used magnetic sand to build bridges and other structures. There was an exhibit that involved a green screen and a high powered flash. The apparatus took a picture of our shadows. There was also a mirror maze that was really cool. I bumped into my own reflections a couple of times. There was another part of the museum that had a camera and would take video of you and place it in front of many
backgrounds. A portion of the museum taught about earthquakes and rock formations found in Oklahoma.
We went to Applebee's Restaurant for lunch. I was not impressed with the hot wings, but it was still a pretty good dinner. We drove a couple of hours into Texas and stopped to rest in Amarillo, Texas.
Me, Deanna, and Anthony in Front of A Piece of Art
The Team with the Museum Mascot
Picture of Our Shadows
Day 15, July 31st
Good morning to everyone. Today I woke up at 6:30am and got dressed. We got breakfast at 7:15am. Then we departed the hotel at 8:02am. I led the
morning devotion. The devotion came from James 1:4. Today we will be driving on interstate 40 West to Flagstaff, Arizona. This trip will take about nine hours to complete.
We stopped for a restroom break at 12:45pm. Pastor Carol treated each participant to two snacks. The name of the gas station/ rest stop was called Pilot. The rest stop was 204 miles form Flagstaff, AZ. It began to rain while we waited for the bus, but it stopped after a moment. On the second part of the drive, we watched the movie "Magnital". We arrived at the hotel at 3:15pm Pacific Time. The hotel looked like a hotel that you see in old movies or in episodes like "I Love Lucy." We unloaded the bus and gathered back in the lobby. From there we rode our bus down the road to Ruby Tuesdays. I had Chicken Broccoli Pasta. We returned to the hotel at 6:37pm. Tonight is the last night we will be staying at a hotel.
Entering Into New Mexico; The Land of Enchantment
Rock Formations in New Mexico
Driving Into Arizona State
A little Rainbow by Route 66
Day 16, August 1st
Today is a special day. Flagstaff, Arizona is the last stop before Los Angeles, California. Today, we are going home. We awoke and packed up our things. Pastor asked us to put on our Youth Tour 2013 T-
Pastor Carol told us that along the way, we will pull over to a rest stop. We have never been to a rest stop before on this trip, only gas stations, so this will be our first one. We found a pit stop to visit after we crossed the state line into California. It was about one hundred degrees outside. We felt the heat and quickly looked for shade. We then returned to the bus when everyone was done using the restroom.
For our final meal, we choose a Golden Corral that was in Victorville, CA. At the Golden Corral, we met a lady named Lois Clark. Ms. Clark is a long time supporter of Eagle Empowerment. She also was a member of Pastor Carol's church. She greeted us and ate with us.
We resumed our driving and after three hours, we found ourselves back in Los Angeles. It was good to see all the familiar sites of the city. We pulled up to the church and saw all our families. It was exciting to see them, they were excited to see us. As each of us got off the bus, we gave Mr. Barnes a tip (Pastor Carol gave us the money to do so). It feels good to see my family and be back home.
TOTAL MILES TRAVELED -
Our group at the Rest Stop
Los Angeles Traffic
The landscape as we left Victorville
Eagle Empowerment, Inc.
Education in Motion