Upper Columbia Academy Students Camp and Survive
Nothing more effectively unites a group of people than removing them from their usual routine and challenging them with new experiences. Every year, Upper Columbia Academy students participate in freshman and sophomore camp outs, junior outdoor education and senior survival.
This year, freshmen and sophomores headed into the woods for their respective camp outs and experienced a weekend of hiking, swimming, and enjoying worships around a campfire. Initiatives, in the form of problem-solving activities, challenged the students to work and think as a team. A handful of seniors went on the freshman camp out and shared what they have learned about life and about God at UCA.
Juniors have two options for outdoor education: canoeing or backpacking. The majority of the juniors chose the canoeing trip this year. During Friday night vespers on the shores of Priest Lake, Idaho, students began sharing what they appreciate about UCA. Most students say they most appreciate—not the sports or academic programs, or even their friends—but that UCA is safe to share about their relationship with Christ. A handful of juniors traveled to Idaho and backpacked nearly four miles with 1,500 feet of elevation gain to reach their campsite. A benefit of the backpacking trip is a smaller group, which prompts positive, beneficial vulnerability from shy students.
Seniors hiked into the Camp MiVoden woods and for six days lived in shelters they made with tarps and twine, participated in classes and initiatives, bathed in frigid water, cooked their food over fire, and learned about each other and God. They entered senior survival the class of 2009, and left the family of 2009.
Camp outs are designed to unite each class. Students are challenged to re-evaluate their relationship with Christ. This year, UCA students experienced all of that—and more. At Friday vespers following their adventure, seniors were invited to describe the senior survival experience. Not only seniors, but also freshmen, sophomores and juniors shared what God is doing in their lives. UCA united not as individual classes, but as a school family.