The King’s Academy Course Report
On September 6th, four charter buses traveled well beyond their typical road conditions to bring over 160 freshman students from San Jose’s The King’s Academy into the High Sierra. The students, along with an enthusiastic crew of teachers and twelfth-grade student leaders, came for their Weekend Adventure Odyssey with Summit Adventure. An eager group of Summit Adventure instructors and support staff welcomed the group with an afternoon of challenges: construct a newspaper tower, create a team cheer, extract a ping pong ball from a leaking pipe using only water, among others. During the following two days, students rappelled, rock climbed, hiked to an alpine lake and spent several hours in “solo” time, a time for spiritual reflection. The charter buses returned on September 9th to carry the students back to the coast.
At the end of the weekend, Summit staff shared encouraging highlights from the packed course. Prior to the rappel, one student repeatedly made his refusal to rappel clear. Then, at the top of the cliff, he finally reported, “I’ll give it one shot.” The student lowered himself 120 feet to the bottom of the cliff. Once back on solid ground, instructors led students, such as this boy, in connecting the trust required to rappel with the trust they can confidently place in God for their upcoming high school years.
During solo time, one student felt led to gather his fellow students to start a ministry to senior citizens.
One group of students, a group that began their weekend disjointed, concluded their course by affirming each other. On the last night, the group shared what they appreciated about each other, affirming even those members who in the beginning had been largely left out.
Another group took the time during their course to point out the spiritual gifts they saw in each other.
Many students surprised themselves during their 6.5 mile round-trip hike. One boy, while ascending the hot and exposed trail, reported that he was a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being ready to run back-to-back marathons and 1 being unwilling to move from the log he sat on for the remainder of his natural life. This young hiker, after reaching the lake, proudly remarked to his instructor, “I’m an 8!”
Summit Adventure is thankful to partner with The King’s Academy for a course that so clearly fulfills its mission. Summit is committed to outdoor adventure and experiential education; this weekend, students learned about themselves by doing challenging things. Fifty of the freshmen students are new to the school. The weekend offered the class the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with the students who will surround them during the next four years. Through solo time, morning devotionals, post-activity discussions and evening messages, students could deepen their faith, the ultimate goal of both Summit Adventure and The King’s Academy.
Thanks to all the staff and volunteers who made this weekend possible!
photo credit: John Warkentin