City of Murals

How did you learn your town’s history?

Worn out textbooks in 4th grade social studies class?  Awkward (dare I say boring?) student presentations in 10th grade?  Dusty books from the library basement?

Steubenville, known as the City of Murals, chronicles their history a little differently…

From the Dean Martin‘s red carpet serenade near Kroger to the Market Street mural which shows business life in the early 1900s, there are about 25 larger-than-life murals around town which depict their historical events and everyday life of this once booming steel town.

Murals Collage

1. Each mural is numbered and has an official sign similar to this

2. Steel Mill Memories: Honors the town’s steel workers. With close proximity to the Ohio River, the coal of Appalachian mountains and vast oil reserves, this area was a perfect location for producing and processing steel.  These mills were not just jobs, but helped to define Steubenville’s culture.

In the words of a former steel worker:

“We built this entire community on the steel mills and because of that it wasn’t just a job. We invested our lives in those mills! … And don’t dare to say that we’re living in the past, because we were born steel men and its kinda hard to work at Wal-Mart after that.”

3. Banking Pioneers: As mills grew in number and profitability, general and specialty stores opened and the downtown business district flourished.

4. River Reflections: Ohio River was a common thoroughfare.  It was cheaper to transport steel and products on barges than on the railroads.

Murals Collage 2

5. Old Reliance Firehouse Mural: Firehouses were the pride of small towns like Steubenville and this mural shows the fire station’s first steam pumper.

6. Ohio Bell Telephone Exchange, which opened in 1881, connected Steubenville with larger cities such as Cleveland.

7. Ohio River Oil Company: Once known as the “Middle East of America” Cleveland and eastern Ohio produced more oil than any other state in 1900.

8. Religion contributes to the history and culture of Steubenville.  There are incredible and intricately built churches in the city, as well was the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Steubenville looks forward to YouthWorks families and youth spending a week of their summer to serve in their city.  In 2011, the town invited YouthWorks into this visual history of their town and we are honored to be part of the Steubenville family.

2012 Staff Mural

- Laura, AD

Guest Blog: The Manliest Summer Moments

[Ben LaBare is a long-time YouthWorks Bro and Eastern Region champ. He has served in our communities of Rutland (Kids Club staff ’10 & ’11) and Logan (Program ’12). When he isn’t sporting a red apron, helping with work projects, or giving a talk in Club, you can find him working at Children’s Hope in California.]


                I had just finished washing the last pair of feet for the summer in Logan, West Virginia. I was hot, smelly, and exhausted. All I could think was “We did it! Summer 2012…check!” My staff and I walked down the stairs from the gym where the participants were experiencing true servant-hood with their fathers, mothers, pastors, and teachers on the trip; we had stopped and washed their feet and prayed for them individually.

I took one last glimpse at the humid gymnasium before I went down the stairs, and then I saw one of the male adult leaders who really stuck out for me throughout the week. He was goofy, crazy, yet loving toward the kids in his youth group. His son was also on the trip.

And that was when I got to witness one of the manliest things I have ever experienced throughout my 3 summers with YouthWorks. I saw a man humble himself before God and begin to wash his son’s feet. After he finished drying his son’s feet, both had tears running down their faces. I saw them  stand up, wrap their arms around each other and give the biggest bear hugs to each other while the father prayed for his son. That moment gave me chills; it made me realize how much of an influence we, as men,  have on those around us and those that will soon be following in our footsteps.

Throughout a YouthWorks summer you can sometimes get misdirected in the ministry being done.  You can look towards meals and shower times to be the most important of the day. Instead of focusing on the service being done in the community, the true worship taking place in Club, or the bonding happening between different church groups.  We need to refocus our mindset to where it’s not about us or what we do, but to where we can serve others and how can we glorify God in our actions.

One of the great things about a YouthWorks summer is that you experience so many unexpected obstacles and challenges that can change the outcome of a day or even a week. But it’s those times that we look to God for guidance and lead others to Him, rather than around Him. When I saw the father praying with his son, it really made me think of how great God is and how much he loves and cares for us, no matter what. He wants to wrap his arms around us and give us the biggest bear hugs of our lives. I feel that as a man of God I have a purpose to lead others with integrity and love towards God.

I never would have realized how important those two things would be without the journey of YouthWorks. I guess that is why I continue on the YouthWorks ride for my 4th summer. I don’t know what God has in store for me, but he knows. I need to put faith that his plan for me is being shaped by people I meet during these summer ministry experiences.  So for those guys out there that are contemplating doing a YouthWorks summer, I strongly encourage you to take that step into action. You will never know what God has in store for you until you put your faith in this possibility.

feBROary Guest Post: 3 Albums for your Summer Bro-Mix

[Editor’s note: Check out this sweet guest post from our dear Bro-in-Training Ben, Captain of the Training Website, Diaper-Changing Daddy & Snobby Coffee [pour-over only please]) Drinker. ]

548257_574392457359_567911210_n[That’s Ben. Check out his pirate hat.]

After spending six summers working for YouthWorks, I’ve learnt a few lessons. One of those lessons I’ll share (some I can’t, you’ll just have to figure them out for yourself… society calls that growth.) has been the importance of having a well thought out sound track for the summer.  I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent trying to burn the perfect mix CD for a long car ride or the ultimate kitchen clean up mix.

In an effort to ease you, the reader, of a little bit of the stress that I’ve put myself through trying to develop these flawless compilations of music, I put together my top three albums for this summer. Wherever you may find yourself this summer, if given the chance these tunes are sure to take up permanent residence on your iPod, iPhone, Laptop, CD Player or other music-playing device.


Fiction Family – Fiction Family Reunion

Fiction Family is a collaborative effort between Jon Foreman (Switch Foot) and Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek). It’s a dream come true for those of us that appreciate soulful folk/Americana. Fiction family’s new album Fiction Family Reunion will tantalize your eardrums with catchy, folksy guitar licks, Jon Foreman’s uniquely soulful crooning and thoughtful lyrics.  Fiction family is a great band for varying moments of the summer but especially when you’re looking for a pick me up.

The Lone Bellow – The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow describes themselves as, “Brooklyn Country Music”. Regardless of your opinion on country music as of late, there is no denying the tonal beauty of the music The Lone Bellow is throwing down.  Charlie Peacock, the producer of the Civil Wars, produced the bands most recent album and it bares the marks of a uniquely talented producer. There is a particular raw and cutting element to this album that truly embodies the passionate and emotional lyrics that front man Zach Williams wrote to embody these songs. If you enjoy the willful ballads of The Civil Wars or the Brooklyn indie tunes of The National, or if you’ve never heard of these bands but have an appreciation for good, honest music – chances are you’ll be jamming to this album in your car all summer long.

Leagues – You Belong Here

Saying hello to the rhythmical genius of “Leagues” is saying hello to the indie pop dance party you’ve been waiting for your whole life. The musical trio pumped out ten totally crank-able tunes for their debut full-length album. For those of you who were alive in 1990, you’ll be interested to know that Tyler Burkum (former lead guitarist for Audio Adrenaline) now finds his musical home within the folds of Leagues.  Grab this album and let it be the sound track for cleaning, cooking or just getting ready for the day and it is sure to help your day go from an okay to a really freaking awesome in no time flat.

[Written by: Ben Capps. A few things Ben confessed right here in 2009 and a throwback facebook status of his, “McDonald’s apple pies contain no apples! Who knows?  They are potatoes.  Apparently they have a better shelf life.” Spoken like a true Bro, Ben.]

Chocolate World…


If you happen to be visiting Harrisburg…
you might need to stop at Hershey’s Chocolate World…
and if you happen to stop at Herhsey’s Chocolate Word…
you’ll probably need to take the FREE chocolate tour….
and if you take the FREE chocolate tour…
you’ll probably see these…

and if you happen to see the singing cows
they’ll probably tell you about ALL the delicious chocolate options that Hershey has to offer…
and you’ll see how many of all those options have been made that day…
and if you keep hearing about ALL that chocolate by the time you get off the ride…

candyand you follow the scent of chocolate wafting from the gift shop…
and you hear “I Want Candy” blaring from the speakers [truth!]…
you’ll probably feel a bit like this…
especially if your name happens to be Drew…


of course after you’ve had all that chocolate syrup you’ll probably need a glass of milk…
or some ice cream…
which thankfully they have too.

You say Fat Tuesday… I say Pancake Day… We all say MARDI GRAS!

It wouldn’t be the Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday, or PANCAKE DAY (whichever you prefer) without a proper little CELEBRATION.

A few little facts we found about this day (courtesy of the e’re trusty Wikipedia):

* In England people used to play mob football games… well, until they made something called the Highway Act 1835 which put the kibosh on too much football fun in the streets.


“Participants with frying pans race through the streets tossing pancakes into the air and catching them in the pan whilst running.”  
(Seriously?! How cool is THAT?)

* And pancake races are apparently NOT just limited to the oh-so-cool UK, people in Kansas (hello, oh-so COOL people of Kansas!) have a race AGAINST people in Olney, England.
How in the world is that even possible, you ask?
Read about it and see pictures from a Wired article here.
(I googled it just to be sure Wiki wasn’t pulling our leg… gotta check your sources.)

Now, our health insurance company and ever so lovely Director of HR asked that we refrain from pancake races in the streets of Philadelphia for something called
“safety reasons”…
so instead of arming ourselves with frying pans we took to the streets and hit up a little café with BIG TASTE in our neighborhood, Green Eggs Café.

Where they have these…

photo1just a little something called RED VELVET PANCAKES.

photo2and a fruit panini & tiramisu french toast.

The end result?
photo4From the Eastern Region to you and yours…