It’s really a phenomenal thing to be part of a city within a city. That’s what Cru17 is, what Cru15 and every Cru## before it was, and what Cru19 will be. Over the years, the conference has changed its name, schedule, and focus. Different speakers. New workshops. Creative themes. Updated features. Heightened security. But what hasn’t changed is a sense of being part of something much bigger than oneself. And a part of a large community of people connected by a desire to bring people the love of Jesus.
Today Fort Collins shrunk. Several thousand people departed by shuttle, plane, and auto. Cars wandered back to the Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz lots. The end of queue at Starbucks moved to inside the store. Local businesses peeled off their “Welcome Cru” window decals. The concentrated data usage in the NW corner of Colorado State University dropped so sharply, the Internet nervously laughed and shifted uncomfortably in its seat.
Some say this conference was their favorite. Some had gripes here and there. Some poured hours upon hours into making it what it was. All were, in some way, changed. But now Fort Collins and CSU experience a transformation of their own. A return to routine without the city within a city.
” ‘Twas the Night After Moby”
‘Twas the night after Moby and all through the town
No more speakers were speaking; Cru17 was shut down.
The orange-bands, which clung to each staff as their flair,
Had long since forgotten the Hughes Stadium Street Fair
Staff children were buckled on road trips and flights
No more crowds walked down Plum Street; no more “WITH” in bright lights
See-saws, someone purchased – or moved, undisclosed;
And same with that “chair” where we’d met and we’d posed.
And out on the lawn, where we coffee’d and chattered,
The tents were brought down, ‘cuz the people had scattered.
Some stayed for the tear-down – a post-conference bash –
Packed up all the tech-stuff and tossed all the trash.
Since June, Cru possessed CSU as its own
Which did frustrate some locals whose city had grown.
With guts ever-burning, from caf’ food we shared,
We still hiked out in nature, lived eight days in “thin” air.
Some carpooled with drivers; bikes or walking, some picked.
Those staff earned a sticker ‘cuz they made parking quick!
More rapid than EFT, the charges they came,
But staff had two-years warning, so they’d no one to blame.
Free jackets! Some concerts! An app! And live stream!
Free coffee! Some workshops! Decals with the theme!
To the top of Moby gym! Or no leg room at all!
Now preach away! Teach away! Take convos into the hall!
Some left from Fort Collins for Estes so high
On the day with no sessions, to hike mountains (or try).
And up to the Horsetooth, some climbed for a view,
Perhaps with their staff team and small staff kids, too.
And then, back in Moby, the guards needed proof –
A wristband and name tag – or go find the Help booth.
“WITH” in blue, gold, and red, stood so tall on the ground;
Down the ramp walked new pairings, as friends had been found.
Some were dressed for A/C, but Moby temp was turned up!
Every minute brought “clangs” from a knocked yeti(like) cup.
A bundle of books made it tricky to pack.
If we looked a bit tired, it’s from walking to Lory and back!
Our eyes scanned the masses for people we knew;
The week held reunions and new meet-ups, too.
The folks from the south, from the north, east, and west;
All came to Fort C. to be trained, led, and blessed.
The run that some ran to raised funds to help free
Any trafficked and trapped, was a win – all agree!
‘Twas more than a race, this Aruna keeps going;
Each ran for a name, ran with heart, just by knowing.
All the chubby and plump, little ones had a space;
They could wiggle and giggle all over the place.
And think of two thousand kids there in Kids Camp;
They played while their folks headed up Moby ramp.
From the stage came some words meant to aid in our work
And give us perspective, help each not be a jerk.
The music from singers, art, dance, poem, and prose
All pointed to God, from the start to the close.
We sang out the night; had some ice cream; crowds fizzled.
Then away we all flew down the road ‘fore it drizzled.
But I heard some explain (the folks last on the scene)
“That’s a wrap for this year. Now to plan Cru Nineteen!”