Which is More Fun — Competition or Teamwork?

When Gem State Adventist Academy students were at Camp Ida-Haven in McCall, Idaho, for the first two days of school, the student association officers organized an outreach project at the state-owned land across the road from the camp. In the past that land had great hiking and horseback riding trails but a few years ago the area was logged and the trails were ruined.

Student association officers looked at the situation and decided it was a great opportunity to build school spirit while benefiting the community. Each class — freshman, sophomore, junior and senior — was given a section of land and told to pile the logs and sticks from that section into a large pile. At the end, the class with the largest pile would be the winner.

The students went to work with enthusiasm, each class determined to create the largest pile. Some of the logs were 30- and 40-feet long. Students could be heard calling to one another for help. In some cases, every member of the class was needed to haul a log to the pile.

As the seniors were placing the last log on their pile, one of them noticed that the freshmen were struggling. With 16 girls and three boys, they just couldn't compete. "Hey, let's go help the freshmen!" a senior shouted. And off they all went, grabbing sticks and logs to help the freshmen build their pile.

By the end there were four good-sized piles. The area was ready for the foresters to come in and burn. Gem State classes were tightly bonded and a great spirit of camaraderie pervaded through the entire student body.

February 01, 2011 / Idaho Conference