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Xtreme Weekend planned for March

Being a teenager can be tough. From what to wear each day to where to go college, teens make choices that have the potential to shape and change their lives. The Hephzibah Baptist Church's Xtreme Weekend March 19-21 is designed specifically to help middle school and high school students make smart decisions.

"We're wanting to have a good time but we want to get across that the decisions they're making right now will play a big part in their future," said youth minister Jeremy Davis.

The theme of the weekend is "Fool Proof" and the question that will be hammered into youth from day one is "What is the wise thing to do?"

"By asking that question before you make a decision, you can be fool proof," Davis said.

Students will stay in homes and meet at Hephzibah Baptist Church during the day to listen to speakers and participate in activities tailored to teach important decision making skills.

The guest speaker is Reagan Farris and the guest worship leader is Lee Baker. Farris, who is originally from Samson, is now the youth minister at Northstar Church in Panama City, Fla.

Davis, who grew up with Farris, said Reagan is an energetic speaker. Davis said Reagan will speak to the students about the importance of making wise decisions.

Baker is also enthusiastic when it comes to youth.

"We really got one of the best worship leaders," Davis said.

But youth won't spend all of their time listening to someone else speak. The weekend is filled with activities that will bring youth closer to God and closer to each other.

The students will be divided into small groups according to age and gender. Not only will the group members be staying together, they will also be discussing and learning together.

"I'm excited about being with girls my age, knowing that it's OK for me to talk about God," said 14-year-old Kristin Wood. "I love being with people you know you can talk to about that kind of stuff."

Eleven-year-old Erick Sewell said he is looking forward to the games, especially Xtreme Idol, a spin off of the popular "American Idol" television series.

"I plan on competing for the worst (idol)," said Sewell, who plans to sing "You Are So Beautiful."

Davis said the youth will videotape their performances and judges will award prizes to the best and the worst performer.

"I think we'll have quite a few kids going for the worst," Davis said.

Kristen McLendon, who is 11 years old, will be taking part in a discipleship weekend for the first time. She said she is excited about Xtreme Weekend and she hopes the weekend will strengthen her own commitment.

"I'm a little skittish when it comes to talking to people about Christ because I don't know what their reaction will be," she said. "I'm hoping that this will help me come out of my shell a little more."

Davis hopes the weekend will allow his youth group to associate and worship with classmates and peers who may belong to other youth groups. Making the decision to attend the weekend could be a wise decision in and of itself.

"You have to make a choice about where you want to go when you die and this will help you make that choice," McLendon said.