As someone who was raised in church, homeschooled and involved with multiple ministries, I wish I had know about the wonderful people who make the Bible Bee happen and the talented, dedicated parents and children who compete.
My dear friend, Anna, has been a Bible Bee host in Texas for over five years and while her students (woot woot!) have gone to nationals before, she's never made it herself. Being well connected (this is Anna we're talking about here), the family behind the Shelby Kennedy Foundation heartily encouraged her to attend the National Bee. Good thing we're such great travel buddies! She invited me along and the timing was good for me so we booked our plane tickets with less than a weeks notice and packed our bags.
We got in Wednesday afternoon after, ahem, a slight detour. The event organizers met us in the lobby and ushered us to our fantastic room (and goodie basket!) and filled us in on the details for the weekend. We had dinner that evening with other Bible Bee hosts and I was able to meet some of the people who make this thing happen. It's a totally unfamilar group to me and I really enjoyed getting to know some new faces.
Our name tags said "special guest", but our real intention for the weekend was volunteering as needed. Thursday morning we reported the Little Siblings area to check in kiddos who's parents were accompanying their children to quiz testing. Thank goodness for a hotel that serves Starbucks coffee, because we had to report for duty at 7:30am!
Thursday evening was the opening ceremony and probably my favorite one ever attended. Short, sweet, to the point, but still meaningful. One hundred and fifty kids filled the stage and I was overcome with the amount of time that each one had invested to be here. Over seven thousand students compete nationally in local bees and by the end of the evening only fifteen remained in the running for grand prize. These kids know their bibles! Truly the creme de la creme.
More of my trip to Tennessee to come Ono!