I thought four straight weeks of visits to cap off my traveling for the semester would take their toll on me. Even though the sketchy hotel rooms, limited time at home, hours in the car and frequent flyer miles did begin to wear on me some, the opportunity to hang out with my chapters never got old. I hope and pray that I can continue to make that statement when I wrap up my tenure with BYX. When will that be? I can’t say right now, but I’m just enjoying the moment and praising God that He chooses to use me in this position.
The LSU Chapter is the youngest of any that I work with. They recently elected their third set of officers. I think I’m older than the majority of their founding fathers, which makes me feel like even more of an old fart. In two short years though, God has already done some amazing things and laid the foundation for a special chapter.
It didn’t take long for me to feel as if the Psi Chapter was ahead of the curve. They have an understanding of the national vision for BYX that I still try to instill in some much older chapters. It goes to show that the training we, as Nationals, provide to both new chapters and new officers is not going to waste. I have to tip my hat to my roommate Nick England, who has worked with the Psi Chapter since they were established. I’m sure he played a crucial role in getting them here, and I look forward to being a part of the next big step.
The Psi Chapter has their largest pledge class in their short history with 11 guys. The officers have worked diligently to improve pledgeship and foster a greater sense of commitment from their pledges that they hope will roll over to their active semesters.
Chapter meeting that night was a great experience. It was substantially smaller than what I’m used to at my visits, with around 30 guys. After knocking out some announcements, Brandon Denley and Daniel Manas, the newly elected chaplain and pledge captain respectively, led a time of worship in song. The members of the chapter began to spread out around the room, seeking to meet God in their own intimate setting. It was such a genuinely worshipful feel as the men each sought God in their own way, and, at the same time, as a group of brothers.
Following meeting, we went to a coffee shop to down some beignets, a traditional Cajun dessert consisting of basically fried dough and powdered sugar. They’re a lot like sopapillas. There was a great turn out with the majority of the pledge class showing up and numerous actives. Despite my attempts to try to watch what I ate, Pledge Captain Conner Jenkins insisted on cramming chocolate milk and beignets down my throat. I left with powdered sugar all over my shirt. It was a great opportunity to be a part of the brotherhood that is so strong within the chapter.
President Andrew Worrel picked me up at my hotel Tuesday morning for our one-on-one. After driving around campus for a while looking for a parking spot in the rain, we conceded and parked near Tiger Stadium, also known as Death Valley. As an employee of the athletic department, Andrew was able to take me on a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium. I stood at field level in the tunnel looking up at the 90,000-plus seats, imagining how awesome of the atmosphere must be on game day. It’s only seats twice as many people as TCU’s Amon Carter Stadium. No big deal.
After checking out a couple back rooms and drooling over a national championship trophy my Frogs may not get a shot at for a while, we headed over to Mike the Tiger’s habitat. After eye-balling us for a minute, Mike came at us on a dead sprint and pounced at the screen between us. My heart jumped up into my throat briefly.
That evening, the officer’s took me to Sammy’s Grill for some local cuisine. As an appetizer, Chaplain Joel Peterson suggested we get some blackened alligator. It wouldn’t have been a trip to Louisiana without it. Joel will be the president for 2011. Conner and secretary Brian Baudoin, who will return as vice president and treasurer respectively in 2011, bounced ideas off each other for their road trip to National Officer Training at the end of November. They’re so excited to head out to my part of the world. Treasurer Jacob Cook, aka Cookie, was starting to regret not running after seeing the excitement of the other three. They’re pumped to make the trip together and hang out with the 24 other chapters. I wish I could bottle up the enthusiasm that the LSU officers have and share it with all the chapters.