A return to Joshua Tree – Course Recap
Joshua Tree / Los Angeles
Edinboro University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Slippery Rock University
Summit Adventure hosted three groups in the Southern California region for its second season. This year three colleges joined Summit for a spectacular juxtaposition of experiences that included the solitude of the desert and the endless energy found in downtown L.A.
Summit Adventure is not new to this part of the country. In fact, Summit Adventure’s first course (after transitioning from Summit Expedition) “SA #1,” was in Joshua Tree in the fall of ’88, under the leadership of Dave Kelley. Courses took place frequently in this region of California during the often-snowy seasons of Spring and Fall.
This recent return to Joshua Tree is exciting in many ways. Joshua Tree offers a wild and scenic landscape that is conducive to facilitating group experiences. A first time visitor may at first-glance see only a barren and rugged wasteland. After getting a closer look, slowing down to experience it by walking or climbing, they are soon astounded by what is offered “below the surface.”
In a similar way, the streets of Skid Row can seem culturally impenetrable. How can a college student growing up in suburban Pennsylvania connect with someone who has experienced the brutality and cruelty of an entire life spent on the street? After even a few hours the city’s tough veneer gives way to the same type of relationships and humanity that is experienced anywhere.
The combination of “adventure” and “service” do not necessarily seem fitting. What can be hoped from such a juxtaposition of experiences and landscapes? Even Summit’s instructors will offer different explanations for the purpose behind incorporating both of these into a Spring Break opportunity. The participants perhaps describe it best…
“I think that lessons can be learned from God every single day no matter how routine or extraordinary they may seem. This course did a great job of helping me identify things that I was learning. By discussing questions that we don’t often take time to think about, I learned so much about how and who God is shaping me to be. It opened my eyes to the city by helping me to recognize the emotions and feelings of the people and see what I could do to help them and what they could teach me.“
– 2013 J-Tree / LA participant
Summit Adventure is excited to continue facilitating these types of transformational experiences through adventure and service based opportunities. The success from these three trips speaks to the remarkable way that God uses Summit Adventure to bring people from their comfort zones to a place where He can speak to them.
We can’t wait for next year!
*don’t forget to checkout the photo gallery for more images of our time in Joshua Tree – Photos