Introducing The 2016 Team – Part One

It’s hard to believe in only three short days our Go Team hits the road bound for Alaska. With that being said, I have the wonderful honor of introducing the team for this year. There are twenty-four members that make up this team so I will break the introductions into two parts. Each person on the team was asked to write a short intro about themselves and maybe included a picture. So without further delay I introduce our 2016 Alaska Go Team. Enjoy!

First Up – I will introduce myself. My name is Brady and I am one of the leaders going on this trip. I am also known as the Keeper of the Blog for this trip. Also, most of you know a lady named Kelsey that works for Blackhawk’s Middle School Ministry and you may have noticed she has the same last name as I do… well, I am the lucky guy that is married to Kelsey. I have 4 years of MSM experience under belt in the 7-8 years I have been around Blackhawk. This will be my second trip to AK and I am very interested to see how things will be this time around. I am also looking forward to reconnecting with the staff at EaglecBRADY-PARKS-2015-copy-213x320rest. Such good group of people working up there!

I am currently in the middle of a “career change” and am back in school learning about IT Network Security. I am also on staff part-time for Blackhawk overseeing all aspects of Technical Arts at our Fitchburg campus (aka Fitch). Stop out and see me sometime if you’ve never been there.

Make sure to check the blog everyday for new posts as I hope to tell the stories and adventures of the team as we make our way during this 9 day trip. Don’t worry, it won’t just me telling the tales, I will have students and other leaders chime in as well.

Thanks everyone!


Next Introduction: A one Mr. Craig Stevens

Hi to all that are reading this!

My name is Craig and I’m one of the returning leaders on the Alaska trip this year.  The key word in the previous sentence is returning….  I survived leading a trip full of Middle Schoolers last year!  AND it was more fun than I imagined.  After much prayer and listening, I realized that God intended for me to be a leader again for this trip.  

Craig Stevens

Who am i?  You know it’s not just a Mercy Me song…  

it’s a question that we all wrestle with,  young and old.    I’m a Father of 4 fantastic kids..  my oldest son was married almost a year ago so really I’m a father of 5!  I’m a volunteer at Blackhawk in a couple of areas – I can be found running the sound board in Traditions, I am a table leader for Men’s Community, I open up my home Wednesday nights as a High School Home Group house and I was involved with Family Fusion for Elementary Ministries.  So leading on this trip is my way to contribute to the Middle School Ministries here at Blackhawk.  I love to read, watch my kids do their things – basketball, lacrosse, piano, band, dance.  I love all things Minnesota Vikings.   I’m basically a kid in an Adult’s body…  At the center of all the things is the fact that I’m a Child of God!

I look forward to working with the amazing kids that are going on the trip and watching them grow.  I’m excited to head back to Sutton Alaska and work with the Eaglecrest team and renew the friendships that were started last year.  I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of this team!  

What can you do for us?  Support us in prayer…  Keep coming back to the Blog for updates…  and comment on each and every one of the blog posts!  

Up Next We Have Ms. Ella Basken


Hi! I’m Ella Basken. I am 13 years old. I went to Alaska last year and loved it. It was so beautiful.  I love to read, draw, dance, and do math. Math is my favorite subject in school. I have two brothers and a dog. My brothers are Matthew (14) and Nicholas (11). My dog’s name is Champ. Last year, Matthew also went to Alaska. It was so much fun I can’t wait to be there again!

— Ella Basken


And Next is Ms. Emily Davis

Hello! My name is Emily Davis and I am 13 years old. I go to High Point Christian School and I have been going to Blackhawk Church ever since I was two years old. I have participated in the youth groups at Blackhawk, Madison Missions, and I’ve also been on the Student Leadership Team. I have met here some of my best friends here at Blackhawk! Some of my hobbies are dancing, singing, acting, working with kids, and reading. I love to participate in school musicals and community theater shows, especially with Verona Area Community Theater. Also, I dance at Premiere Dance Academy.

I applied for this trip because I love to serve others, build relationships with not only the people I am helping, but also my team, and I have only heard positive things about this trip. I am excited to make memories with this amazing team! If you could pray for safe travels for this team, for no one to get sick or injured, and that we will be able to build strong relationships with everyone that we meet, that would be so great! Thank you to everyone that has supported this team in any way. (Sorry, no picture for Emily)

Now Up On The Docket Is Mr. Jack Crowley

Hello. My name is Jack and I will be an eighth grader at Savanna Oaks Middle School next year. This is my first year going to Alaska. I’m a little worried about everyone getting on the plane on time. I’m exited to experience life in Alaska and to see some of their culture. Also, I want to have God grow upon them and increase their faith in Him.

Jack Crowley

Some things about me:

I am the oldest of two and have a younger sister. Some of my hobbies are sports. I really like lacrosse, football, and basketball. In the winter, I snowboard and have been mountain snowboarding before. I love the outdoors and I’m outside any chance I have.

Prayer requests: I hope that everyone stays safe and has a good time.  I also hope that the people of Alaska will learn to love Jesus.

Now Batting, Mr. Josh Cochrane

Hey family, friends, and other people who made their way to this blog!
My name is Josh Cochrane.  I’m 14 (as of about a week before we leave) and I recently graduated from High Point Christian School (where the influence of one of my teachers is what drove me to God and to sign up for this trip).  Next year, I’ll be attending Middleton High School (go Cardinals!!).  I enjoy playing volleyball, golf, and baseball (I’m a middle infielder/outfielder).  I also like listening to music.  My favorite bands are Rush and Switchfoot.  My favorite songs would be 2112: Overture/Temples of Syrinx, The Trees, and Bastille Day for Rush and The Sound, Oh! Gravity, and Company Car for Switchfoot.  (I highly recommend listening to all of those songs!!) Another thing I enjoy is watching the Milwaukee Brewers.  (They’re terrible at the time I’m writing this in mid-May, but I’m sure they’re on their way to winning the World Series)
Like I said earlier, Mrs. Kunde, my teacher this year influenced me a lot.  She taught me so much about faith and even when one of her family members was dying, she was able to find joy in the situation, as well as being sad, because she knew that she would see them in heaven someday.  Another person who influenced me greatly was Sam Tideman.  Although I only had him as a small group leader at my youth group for 2 years, I’ll definitely never forget those years.  He taught me that Christianity can be cool, along with just being a great influence on my life.  I will never forget these two extremely influential people.
Anyways, please keep me and the rest of our team in your hearts and prayers in between watching another Brewer victory.  Thanks!!
(P.S.  Below is me with my awesome dog, Teddy)

Josh Cochrane

Introducing, The One And Only Mrs. Kelsey Parks

Hello everyone,

My name is Kelsey, and I’m one of the adult leaders heading out to Sutton this summer! This is the third year that I’ve been a part of the Alaska team, and I am so excited to continue partnering with the Smith family at Eaglecrest in their mission to serve the community of Sutton, AK! I’m also pretty pumped that my husband, Brady, is joining the team again!!

Kelsey Parks_MurphyIt’s pretty cool for me to think that 6 years ago I’d never considered youth ministry, and now God has taken me through an awesome path of volunteering, and now working full time with middle school ministry. I’ve got to give a shout out to the amazing Waunakee ladies who are part of the team!

Outside of ministry, I’m passionate about running and my dog. Seriously though, I probably talk about those two things far too much…

Anyway – I’d love for all you supporting us in prayer to lift up our team. Please pray that we would have great attitudes, and servant hearts, and that we would each grow and learn from our time in Alaska. Pray that we would succeed in helping Eaglecrest to create a safe and welcoming space for the youth in their community and that our interactions would reflect Christ’s love.

Thanks for following us!


Please Turn Your Attention To Mr. Kip Sullivan

Hello everyone! My name is Kip and I will be going on the middle school mission trip to Sutton, Alaska! I am currently in 8th grade, and I am home schooled. This is my first time going on a mission trip, and I’m so excited to see what God has planned for the team and me. I come from a family of six, and I have a twin brother, but he is going to Madison Missions instead of this trip. I have two sisters, one of whom had been on four mission trips (Romania twice, and West Virginia twice). My other sister volunteers at 3 Gates which works with children with disabilities.

Kip SullivanNow some facts about me. I’ve been doing the Blackhawk Church middle school homegroup since 6th grade, and it has been far better than I could’ve ever imagined. I was a part of Revolution, a group that helps organizes the First Wednesday’s for the homegroups. I like almost every sport, with my favorites being golf, football and basketball. I’ve been life long Packer fan, relishing the moments when we beat our division rivals (I’m looking at you, Bears). That about wraps it up. Please pray for our team as we go on this journey to Alaska, that we will make an impact in the life of others.

Here’s Another Great Leader, Mrs. Konnie Dahmen

Hi, my name is Konnie and I am one of leaders going to the beautiful state of Alaska with a beautiful group of students and leaders from Blackhawk. This will be my first mission trip and I am super excited!  I can’t wait to see what God has planned for me while I’m there, I believe that this trip will help me grow in many ways.

In my spare time which is very limited these days, especially now in the spring when it’s all about lacrosse in my house, you will find me out running, playing with my children, hiking in the woods (I love to be out in nature), knitting (though I’m not that great at it-yet), doing glass projects, yoga, or sitting peacefully near a lake taking in the beauty of the world around me.

Thanks to everyone out there for all the prayers and financial support you have given to our team, we appreciate it! The things that I am looking forward to most about this trip are, deepening my faith in Christ, building new relationships with the people of Alaska, making tons of memories, and continuing to strengthen the relationships we are forming within our Blackhawk team.


PS- I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of this trip because I will get to share this experience with two of my children! (Sorry, no picture for Konnie)

As We Move Along Here We Come To Ms. Kyra Ginsberg

Kyra GinsbergHi! My name is Kyra Ginsberg and I am going to be a freshman at Middleton High School next year. This will be my first time going on a big missions trip and I am really excited. Surprisingly enough, I am not very afraid for the trip. I am a little nervous to meet all these new people, but other then that I’m just looking forward to it.

Some things about me:

  • I’m the middle of three girls in my family
  • I play soccer and am looking forward to starting cross country next year
  • I love to play trumpet and am really looking forward to jazz and marching band next year
  • I’ve read Harry Potter at least 20 times, some of them more, and know parts of the books by heart
  • I love to read, especially science fiction and a lot of times sit down with a book and four hours later finish it

Thanks for all your support and helping make this trip happen!

Please Welcome Ms. Lindsey Schuster

Lindsey SchusterHello! My name is Lindsey Schuster and I am on the Sutton, Alaska team for the summer of 2016. It will be my second mission trip and I am VERY excited! I think I am most excited to see all the kids and how God decides to work throughout the week, although I am also very excited for the plane ride. I’ve never been on a plane before!

Some things about me are:

  • I am an eighth grader – soon to be freshman – in the Sauk Prairie school district
  • Music is a big part of me and who I am
  • I hope to be a teacher when I grow up
  • I am the oldest child of three, a brother and a sister

Alaska is a place I have always wanted to go to. My parents went there on a mission trip a few years back and their stories always made it seem like the best place ever. When I heard that I had the chance to go there myself, I jumped at it. I cannot wait to go and see everything that is in store for me, my team, and the kids at camp!

Let’s Give It Up For Ms. Madelyn Hoffmann

Madelyn HoffmannAbout me:
My name is Madelyn Hoffmann and I am 14 years old. I have a loving family and a great group of friends. I am currently in 8th grade at Glacier Creek Middle School and I will be attending Middleton High School this fall. On my free time I like to jump on my trampoline, hangout with friends, participate in cheerleading and play tennis. I have been playing tennis for about 3 years, and I will be continuing it high school, along with cheerleading. I am looking forward to a warm and exciting summer, and going to Alaska will be an experience I’ll never forget.

I was introduced to Blackhawk church about two years ago and I’ve had so many great experiences!  For example, I’ve done Madison Missions for the past two years at the church and have grown closer with Christ and friends. Also, I have participated in Home Group for the past two years and it’s been so much fun! I love interacting with the 6th and 7th graders. I’m looking forward to the Alaska trip because I love volunteering, and making a difference. I also hope to grow closer with God, make new friends, and have an awesome time.

Okay, that’s a good stopping point with half of the team introduced. Tomorrow I will bring you the rest of the team. So make sure you come back then! 

— Brady