Kick Your Conference Experience into High Gear: Be a CCV

By Kaitlin Jandereski

After the last word of the last stanza from the last hymn of yet another Higher Things conference is all said and done, all of the youth attendees pack up their belongings, load their vans and head home. They get up the next morning, eat their Chex cereal, listen to some country radio, and perhaps never give a thought about the College Conference Volunteers (CCVs) who helped put the entire conference together again.

Wait, what?

Okay, I get it. We CCVs—we’re not always the coolest bunch of kids on the block. We cut in front of you in lines, we sometimes give you the wrong directions, and we wear the same shirt all conference long.

But I think if you decide to take the CCV plunge for yourself, you’ll discover that it’s an amazing experience!

Here’s why:

  • CCVs get to meet people from all different states with all different accents. (And Canadians, too, eh!)
  • Most people play Uno. CCVs play Killer Uno.
  • Pastor Buetow takes the entire staff, which includes the CCVs, for morning Starbucks runs. (If you’re from a small town like me and have never tried Starbucks before, my recommendation for you: The peach cobbler frappuccino. One word: Ahhhhh-maz-ing.)
  • Cutting in front of people in the meal lines is indeed a perk. Well, a perk for the CCVs. But we get to do it because we need to make sure we are available for whatever is coming next in the conference.
  • CCVs get to steam the banners that are used for chapel. C’mon! You know you’ve always wanted to say that you did that!
  • CCVs supervise free-time activities, like dodge ball, karaoke, Minute-to-Win-It, and the annual Higher Things talent show.
  • Even the Conference Executive, Sandra Ostapowich, wants to hang out with the CCVs! Hellooooooo late night trips to Steak ‘N’ Shake!
  • CCVs meet people who are experiencing Higher Things for the first time ever and people who are experiencing Higher Things for the fourteenth time. Yet each person they meet is freshly amazed at the pure theology delivered during the services, the classes, and the plenary sessions.
  • CCVs get to pack every.single.bag. For That’s a lot of bags.
  • Exhibitors are friendly and they’ll talk to CCVs when nobody else will. Actually, exhibitors will talk to anyone when no one else will. But, you get the point.
  • During announcements, Pastor Borghardt will make the CCVs jump on stage. In case you were wondering, it’s a good way to get over stage fright.
  • CCVs get to meet the Higher Things’ vicar and laugh when everybody calls him “Victor” because that’s not his real name, but everybody thinks it is.
  • CCVs might be busy all day long, but they still get to take a break, attend the church services and be fed the solid preaching of the Word from the pulpit.
  • CCVs try to be asleep by 12am (because they were working all day and they’re tired and normal people are in bed already), but they get to stay up all night talking with their other CCV friends instead.
  • CCVs get to sit with the pastors at lunch and 
talk theology.
  • CCVs get to lead Sandra Ostapowich and Pastor Borghardt to the first plenary session of the week. And then they get them lost and leave them wondering why the heck they even brought you on board as a CCV. (Or maybe that only happened to me. Yeah, probably just me. Uffda! Sorry, guys.)
  • CCVs get to meet hundreds of people with the same beliefs that they have. And then CCVs also give those hundreds of people directions to the buildings that they’re trying to find (and try not to get them lost)!
  • CCVs get to sell merchandise, which may or may not lead them to fall into a desire to covet ALL of the items for sale.
  • We CCVs love to laugh and we even love to laugh so hard that we really do cry. #Winning
  • Water. CCVs get to carry lots of water bottles and hand them off to the breakaway teachers.
  • If you ever wanted to dress up like a minion and run around on stage during Friday Announcements like a—well —like a minion, this is your chance! But only if you’re a CCV. PLUS, Pastor Buetow is the CCV’s very own Dr. Gru and speaks in a Russian accent to accentuate your minion experience.
  • Just like at their home congregations, CCVs have a second family within the Higher Things’ staff. The camaraderie is unparalleled!
  • Like you, CCVs leave each conference, happily drenched with the Gospel, knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Kaitlin Jandereski was a CCV for Gainesville, FL’s 2014 Higher Things’ conference and is a future deaconess. She currently lives in a small town called Bad Axe, Michigan and can be reached at