Northwest Students Complete Leadership Expedition

September 01, 2008 | Shasten Sprague

In mid-July seven academy students from six academies traveled to central Oregon for a Leadership Expedition with Mountain Leadership Institute.

Justin Walker and Joni Dickerson from Livingstone Adventist Academy; Phillip Workman from Upper Columbia Academy; BJ Colvin from Walla Walla Valley Academy; Tad Freeman from Milo Adventist Academy; Chris Hill from Rogue Valley Academy and Shasten Sprague from Portland Adventist Academy each received scholarships to join the expedition. Students were chosen based on their leadership abilities as class and student association officers, sports captains and resident assistants. Les Zollbrecht, Bible teacher and climbing club sponsor at PAA and the founder of MLI, was also on the trip.

The expedition started with a five-day climb to the 10,000-foot summit of Hope, the middle of the Three Sisters mountain peaks. The journey took hard work and determination, but "the reward at the top was worth it," says Sprague.

The last days of the expedition were spent at Smith Rock where students learned basic safety as well as the physical skills of rock climbing. At the end of the eight-day trip, students gained not only new physical skills and spiritual refreshment but also leadership and interpersonal skills and tools to apply in their schools.

"This trip gave me a chance to step back from the distractions of life and focus on my relationship with God," says Sprague. Dickerson added, "The lasting friendships that I formed along with seeing God's creativity up close made an amazing and unforgettable trip of a lifetime."