Steamboat Springs Organized chaos.
That's what happens when 30 teenagers descend on a different Steamboat Springs home every Monday for an evening of crazy skits, sidesplitting games and discussion about God.
It's not church. Young Life is a non-denominational youth program that aims to build relationships with local middle and high school students.
Volunteer leaders don't preach; they reach.
"You have to earn the right to be heard," said Shane Gilbert, who helped jumpstart the local Young Life chapter in town a few years ago.
Gilbert now works in Hollywood, but she came back to Steamboat to help emcee the organization's annual fund-raiser Saturday night.
Young Life's Spring Round-Up featured a live auction and western barbecue at the top of gondola.
People dug out their Wranglers, Stetsons and Laredos for the western-themed event and dug deep to support another year of making a difference in young people's lives.
The event raised more than $28,000 for Young Life. That figure reflects proceeds from the live auction as well as monthly pledges and one-time gifts collected during the evening.
Bidders had plenty to tempt their pocketbooks.
Auction items included season passes to the Steamboat Ski Area and Howelsen Hill "Howler," rounds of golf at the Sheraton and Catamount golf clubs and putting equipment, a limited edition Palmer snowboard, a dinner party at Lake Catamount, a pontoon party boat on Stagecoach Reservoir, spa package, wakeboard camp and landscape consultations.
The premier item, which sold for $7,000, was a home game box suite for 17 Denver Broncos fans and four VIP parking passes.
Adults in attendance Saturday night experienced a little organized chaos of their own when auctioneer Troy Allen took the stage.
Allen's' calls for higher bids prompted a frenzy of feet on the floor and hands in the air.
Gilbert kept the bidding light with an appeal or two on behalf of the youth ministry.
"Troy, can I say something about all the kids on drugs in this town?" she joked. Young Life aims to give young people positive alternatives to the influences of alcohol, drugs and sex.
The Spring Round-Up gave Young Life leaders and teenagers an opportunity to share memories of the last year with their supporters.
Sophomore Nicole Balvanz told the audience about the impact the youth ministry has made on her life.
She couldn't go back to the person she was before Young Life, she said.
Balvanz, a 16-year-old student at Steamboat Springs High School, smiled widely as she recalled a crazy contest posed to her and her peers one Monday evening.
Any student who drank a gallon of milk in an hour would get $100 off their summer camp fee.
Balvans and many other local teenagers are headed for the "best week of their lives" at a Young Life camp in Minnesota in June.
The live auction helps to offset the cost of camp for many youngsters.
The weeklong summer getaway is the culmination of a year of Monday club meetings and outreach.
"Young Life camp is the perfect opportunity for kids to get out of their element and ... to hear about the person of Jesus Christ in a real, relevant and non-threatening way," said Lucas Adams, Young Life's part-time staff person.
A group of twenty-something volunteers work alongside Lucas and build relationships with teenagers. They don't wait for the students to come to them; they seek out area teens at school activities, athletic events, around town and on the slopes.
A committee of adults in the community provides financial and spiritual direction for the organization and encouragement for the leaders.
"We're excited to see Young Life really blossom here in Steamboat," said Jon Smalley, who serves on the committee.
The youth leaders got into the rugged spirit of the evening by dressing in white pressed shirts, shiny belt buckles and handkerchiefs and feigning their best John Wayne drawl.
Young Life provides an environment where teenagers can be themselves, said Gretchen Patterson, who looked like a cast member of Rawhide Saturday. She considers it a privilege to work with youth.
"These kids are awesome," she said. It's a reciprocal ministry for Patterson and others who work with teenagers in Young Life.
"To have someone in your life who has been there, who's not your parent -- that's huge," said Jessie Turton, another Young Life volunteer leader.
The adults would say the same thing about spending time with youth.
"In the middle of talking about life you're having the time of your life," Turton said.