Our team found its way back into civilization and is now indulging in cell service, wi-fi and an endless supply of electricity and water.
The Alive Festival was definitely an experience. I believe all of us can say that we are now professionals at semi-roughing it; port-o-potties and portable showers have nothing on us.
After a long week of being in mud up to our ankles, it was nice to pull into Columbus, OH for a couple days of rest and relaxation. We had a beautiful time with our host family, cooking out, making s’mores, playing on the tire swing, watching a movie in the great outdoors and building a pretty epic fort in Reggie.
Refreshed and ready to go, we found ourselves on the road once more as we made our way to Bushnell, IL for the Cornerstone Festival. Before driving seven hours in the middle of the night, we made a quick stop at the airport to pick up our new GYB family member, Mr. Daniel Botticelli. We are all super excited to welcome Daniel into our family, and we cannot wait to introduce him to all of you.
Now, at Cornerstone, we are surrounded by cornfields and hard-core music. Our team is looking forward to a week where we have the opportunity to spread passion about the Got Your Back Movement with an entirely new group of people.
It's already happening.
We're only at our second festival and I already have no idea what city and/or festival name to reference when talking with the locals. I keep thinking we're in Kentucky (where we were last week). It's not until I get surprised faces from my, "we're from Nashville" comment, as though we'd travelled from Alaska to Florida, that I realize we're already a bit farther from home than I've kept in mind. I'm a visual learner, so unless I really see today's date or the name of a place written down, it's almost an absolute certainty I will forget it.
Tonight is our second night in Mineral City, OH. And this blog entry could very well be a paid endorsement for Verizon.
No one at this festival has ANY cell phone service...
...except people with Verizon.
Only one of us in our group has Verizon either, so there's a fair amount of antsy-ness and subtle freak-out overtones to most of our conversations. We feel anxious about the normal things: staying connected to family members who are going through unexpected hard times, being able to find each other if we get lost in a crowd, trying to find your RV (home) if it's not where you left it. (Real life examples.) It would be one thing if we were here just one day, but we're here almost an entire week.
And if we're really honest, we're probably just as anxious that we don't get to nurse our Twitter habit. (@gyb_groundforce)
We see and say funny things all the time. #andwereallywantyoutoknowaboutit.
Oddly enough, we attended a church service in Cincinnati on Father's Day and they spoke about how Jesus didn't play to the crowd. I think it is safe to say we all took something away from that service. It was so good to be there.
There are too many thoughts and not enough time to write them. We're living in an RV as though we always have. The only downfall is when we don't have a real shower (or the only real showers available you have to pay for.) We DO have a shower on our RV- I think we've all just been a little skittish to try it out. Clausto-shower-phobia. We'll let you know how it goes.
Aside from the lack of wifi, cell phone connection, and outside reinforcement of how interesting and witty we are (Twitter!), we're having a pretty good time here at the Alive Festival. Personally, there are a handful of bands that I'm actually looking forward to seeing. The City Harmonic were great lads. Hoping to catch some Switchfoot and Tenth Avenue North in the coming days as well!
As far as shirt selling goes, even though you'd think it would get redundant, I find the challenge to draw people in oddly energizing. Not always, but enough to keep it interesting. My brief stint as a theatre major (and my even briefer stint as a psychology major) lend me to a curiosity about human behavior. I like to know what makes people tick, what makes them feel safe, what inspires them to action, what opens them. Every person has a compete history I know nothing about, and each of them responds in a different way. Some people respond if I make them laugh; some you have to treat like a shy deer. I enjoy the challenge of reading people to guess which way they may respond best- to help connect their story with our story.
I can't tell you what a joy it is to be working on behalf of a company that not only does great things but also does so in a way that is both creative and excellent. We have had so many compliments about our display (have you seen the photos yet?). People are genuinely impressed by us and the way we operate. I'm proud to represent the founders of Got Your Back, Austin and Will, whose creativity and drive is rivaled only by their passion to create change. Change this world needs.
We believe that a small group of passionate individuals really can affect change in this world. And we're starting with kids. Kids to buy t-shirts, kids to wear uniforms. Kids to grow up believing that they can achieve something greater than their inherited story says they should.
So that's why we're in Mineral City this week. Without wifi... and real showers. Because somewhere else in this world, there's a child who can't read yet or write her own name. But there might be someone here in Ohio who could help change that.
It’s finally here. We have hit the open road and have set up camp at Ichthus Festival in Wilmore, Kentucky.
In case you are just now tuning in, the Got Your Back Movement is embarking on its first “Ground Force” awareness tour.
Yeah, it’s a big deal.
We will be traveling all across the spectacular United States of America, visiting festivals and selling t-shirts that will ultimately restore purpose, give hope and show love.
We are all super excited to live in our new home, Mr. Reggie Valentine. If you haven’t seen his photo yet, he is a pretty handsome fella; we all feel blessed to be traveling with him.
Oh yeah, we are driving Reggie. None of us have ever driven an RV-like vehicle before, might I add, but after a few driving lessons you might as well consider us pros.
This past week has been an adventure in itself, as you can imagine it takes a bunch of hard work, diligence, creativity and coffee to prepare for a summer long tour. Each morning we have jumped out of bed and strolled into the office ready to tackle the tasks for the day. We have accomplished quite a lot in such a short period of time. Not only have we been training and swapping stories, but also we have been rolling and wrapping about six bajillion t-shirts and building a beyond incredible traveling booth.
As hokey as this may sound, throughout the week and all the time spent working together side by side, we have become family.
Now, would you like to meet the team?
Hey my name is Andrea! I'm very excited to be hitting the road with GYB. I love driving, event planning and multi-tasking. (Example: I'm thinking about other things as I write this.) I'm about a 60 percent introvert, 40 percent extrovert, but I'm also a performer. I love working with people and promoting artists and causes that I'm passionate about. I don't watch Glee, but I was a musical theatre and dance major. I'm finally fulfilling my desire to live in a van (down by the river). It was only a matter of time.
Hello, I’m Justin, a Florida native. I do many exciting things. I like to play bass, eat, sleep and twitter. I flew to Nashville from Jacksonville, Florida, leaving my beautiful wife behind, to intern with Got Your Back for its summer tour. It’s been super amazing to meet new people with whom I’ve become close to. Not to mention the chance to be a part of something amazing. Something that truly has the power to change the world we live in.
Hi. I’m Elyse. I love God, and I love people. I am a dreamer, adventurer, practicing photographer, professional storyteller, Tulsan, public relations student and avid smiler. I cannot begin to describe to you how excited and joyful I am to have the opportunity to work with the Got Your Back Movement, it’s pretty much an “oh my word this is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me” kind of deal.
Hello, my name is Daniel Botticelli, aka smellalikachili, aka Dollar Dan, aka DBot, aka Bowl of Chili. I was born and raised in San Diego. My favorite movie of all time is Rocky 3. I ride the only kind of bike that matters (fixed), and I am apart of the Greatest Bike crew of all time, Skeletal Lighting. I decided to quit my job and move out of my place and leave my cushy life in SD to live in a RV with GYB Movement because I believe that we are a part of a generation that has the power to change the world. I heard the heart and plan behind GYB and absolutely loved what they were doing. I love Christ but not at all like I should, which is why his GRACE is so beautiful. I want to live my life to the fullest, laugh till I cry and love till it hurts, as lame as that sounds. The only thing I can hope for is to look back thirty years from now and absolutely be able to say that I made a difference in this world.
Rachel (@therachelryan) http://therachelryan.tumblr.com/
Hi. I just moved to Nashville from Florida. I was a hairstylist/makeup artist before I joined the staff here at GYB. I’ve worked with a number of NFP’s in the past and feel at home here with GYB. I’m your artist relations and movement campaign leader girl so if you’re a musician come find me and if you’re a student I have a (non paying) job for you! I love travelling. I love being from the south. I love to dance. I love Dr. Pepper. I love Narnia and Harry Potter. Dual citizenship is my life dream. I’ll fill you in on the rest throughout the summer….I’ve got a tour to plan.
We are honored to be your GYB Ground Force team, be sure to keep up with our adventures by reading the blog, following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook, I’m sure we will have plenty of adventures to share!