Upper Columbia Academy Seniors Come Together During Senior Survival
"There were people I’d never really talked with or hung out with before, even though we’ve been in school together since we were freshmen,” says Adriel Salinas. “But now we actually know each other, and we’re friends. It’s like we’re finally ‘the class of 2006’ instead of a bunch of individuals who all happen to be in one class.”
As Upper Columbia Academy (UCA) has been doing for many years, they took their entire senior class to the “wilderness” behind Camp MiVoden for nearly a week. Students took their own sleeping bags and pads, but each group had to build their own tents from the plastic provided. The groups also cooked much of their own food and dug their own latrines. Showering in the icy water was a chilling experience.
Along with learning wilderness survival skills, groups participated in a series of team-building initiatives. For example, they would have to get their entire group across the creek using a rope swing or they’d have to get everyone over a wall. The culmination was the traditional trust fall, where all team members take their turns falling backwards from a platform into the locked arms of their teammates. All of these adventures added together created a very bonding experience for the seniors.
Seniors studied The Great Controversy chapters that deal with end-time events. “It really helped us realize the nearness of God’s coming,” says Crystal Kablanow. “With time being so short, our focus shouldn’t be on worldly things but on our relationship with God and on helping others to know Him better. It helped us see that the way we’ve been living our lives has been shallow in comparison to what God has planned for us.”