PictureAshlyn (left) was awarded “Messiest at Messy Games.”

When people think of YOKE, they often think of our after school clubs, or perhaps camp. For us, though, YOKE is about life-changing relationships. Clubs and camps are the vehicles that we use to get us there. We encourage our talented, passionate, committed YOKE Folk to look for ways to go the extra mile for their kids, and so we like to recognize them when they do. Our team at Northwest Middle recently held their inaugural 8th Grade Banquet, to honor their YOKE Kids who are moving on to high school.

“Our club at Northwest has seen tremendous growth this year (nearly doubling in size),” says Nick Marshall, YOKE’s area director for the school. “A huge reason for that is the sense of belonging that our team provides for each of their kids, and nothing demonstrates that more than this event, dubbed the Yokies by the YOKE Folk.”

The Northwest team, their 8th grade students, and even some of their family members got together at Cheddars to reflect and celebrate the good times that they’ve shared together through the years. The evening was filled with food, laughter, and stories of favorite club and camp experiences, but the highlight was the presentation of the YOKIE Awards. Each student received an award along with a special message that reflected their value and uniqueness.

“It was a blast,” said Tori Duncan, one of our Northwest YOKE Folk. “Everyone loved it and we want to make it even bigger next year.”

The kids’ awards included Best Attitude, Most Likely to Brighten Your Day, Messiest at Messy Games, Best Poker Face, Loudest, Most Likely to Become a YOKE Folk, and of course, Chug Champ and Crush Champ.

There were also awards for the YOKE Folk – even Nick was included:

  • Go with the Flow Award – Nathaniel Shine
  • Middle School Award (not a student, but looks like one) – Tori Duncan
  • Skit Master Award – Jeff Bronner
  • Silly Song Award – Paige Bronner
  • Most Likely to Get in Trouble by Other YOKE Folk Award – Lalina Thompson
  • Rachel Award (My name is not Rachel) – Rebecca Harper
  • Most Likely to Get Engaged at YOKE Camp (she actually did) – Courtney Rader
  • Leadership Award – Josiah Glafenhein
  • Most Likely to Get Shipped – Nick Marshall

“YOKE is more than just an after school program,” said Nick. “It’s a culture – a lifestyle of relational disciple-making. This is just one example of how our leaders use their time, energy, and resources to invest in middle school kids. It’s one of the things I love about YOKE.”