17 July 2013

5 Favorites: the WYD edition!!! {vol. 9}

Five Favorites, hosted at MoxieWife.com

So on Friday I am leaving on a jet plane (insert the John Denver song here:) for Brazil.  I'm attending the largest gathering of young people across the globe to celebrate being Catholic with Pope Francis, learn about and grow in our faith, and party it up like rock stars with a couple million of my brothers and sisters in Christ.  My 3rd time going to WYD, I thought it would be fun to reflect on some of my favorite and helpful little tricks in my tool belt to survive and thrive while in Brazil.

Toilet seat covers and travel size toilet paper
So you might be thinking that this is an 'interesting' first option to list, but let me explain why these for me are some of the most essential items.  First of all public bathrooms in foreign countries are not always up to our normal American standards, not to mention at WYD there are. always. LONG. lines.  It is part of the charm and excitement of this pilgrimage, BUT any time you get a couple hundred folks using the same restrooms, things are bound to get 'messy' shall we say? 

The last WYD in Madrid in 2011 at the Vigil it was so. FREAKING. hot.  Like we're talking 110 degree's at 11am in the morning hot.  At the Vigil the bathrooms there, were the most inky stinky bathrooms, that lets just say without being too gross I was so glad to have my handy dandy potty covers and toilet paper.  Those things are like gold!! ;)

Extra large safety pins
No, I'm  not posting a picture of safety pins because you can imagine what they look like in your mind, lol ;-)
But for realz, these bad boy's are a great preventional tool for people who might want to pick pocket and/or rummage through your back pack.  I learned this trick from another seasoned Youth Minister/WYD group leader.  If someone was interested in going through your back pack, having all your zippers pinned together would be a big enough of frustration where they would just give up.  Its just another way to protect your belongings from strangers. 

Ear plugs are a MUST!!!
So one of the 'official' WYD things is you walk a certain amount to a vigil site for an overnight camp out under the stars, wake up the next morning for the closing Mass with the Pope, and then he announces where the next WYD will be and invites the whole world to attend. 
Well as a picky sleeper, I use ear plugs at home.  So you can imagine what it must be like to sleep outside with folks from all over the world...especially when some of them don't sleep and party all night long.  For example at a previous WYD, a group of Italians (no dis-respect to any Italian readers here!!) literally stayed up all.night.long singing and dancing and playing the guitar which normally I am all about merry making, but trying to sleep amidst that while thinking charitable towards these very happy people at 2 and 3am in the morning.  
So let's just say this group leader is packing more than 1 pair of ear plugs to last me the trip! ;-)

A leader flag & a crazy, identifiable way to know your group!!
Having a leader flag for the adult in front is a great, easy way for your group to have a visual in staying together.  Our group while in Brazil will have our male chaperone (my Daddy!!) as our leader in front with the group flag.  Our leader flag is an American flag our church group took WYD in Denver in 1993, with a neon green zebra print banana...our group's official color/logo!!
#TeamGreenZebra (as we have named ourselves) also have 4 bandanna's each: 1 to put on our checked, 1 for our back packs, and 2 to rotate to wear in our hair/on our person each day.
Just another way to ensure we can identify the members of our group and a simple way to stay together:)

Banana bags :)

These lovely BRIGHT yellow bags are simply wonderful to wrap up your back pack/stuff at the vigil site if it should rain..cause we're hard core and sleep outside in the rain if it should, and also if it rains you can slip your sleeping bag into the bag and then your/your bag stay dry.

I heard about these from another Youth Minister friend after my first WYD pilgrimage in 2008 to Sydney.  Since then, I have been sold on these things!

So there you have it top 5 things to bring if you or someone you know should ever go to World Youth Day...word is on the street, the next one likely will be in Krakow, Poland which for all folks who are Pope John Paul II fans is a big deal :)
Be sure to check out the other favorites of Hallie and Co. too!! :)


  1. Last Group I took to WYD - Germany..we had green/neon leopard print logo..

  2. This is fantastic. I have never been to a WYD (it's a dream of mine/on my bucket list). I'll be praying for safe travels and an outpouring of blessings for all going!

  3. Hey Patty :) I went to World Youth Day in Australia in 2008. Such an amazing experience! I will definitely be keeping you and your teens in my prayers. God bless! Can't wait to see blog posts from your trip!


  4. Some of these are seriously ingenious! Those teens are so fortunate to have you to guide them! :) I can't wait to hear about all you get to see and do in Brazil!

  5. I didn't even know they sold travel size toilet paper!! You've got some great ideas here...especially the safety pins to prevent pick-pocketers. Hope you have an amazing trip and I can't wait to hear about it!!

  6. I didn't even know they sold travel size toilet paper!! You've got some great ideas here...especially the safety pins to prevent pick-pocketers. Hope you have an amazing trip and I can't wait to hear about it!!

  7. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!! We will be thinking of you and praying for you all! Can't wait to hear all about it and see the fruit of all that praying. :)

  8. Patty, I can't wait to read your first hand account of WYD. Post lots of pics. Oh, and the bathroom kit for overseas travel, YES!


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