Alaska Teachers Explore Core Values

March 09, 2015 | Laurie Hosey

During their February retreat in Anchorage, Alaska Conference teachers were challenged by Gary Dodge, General Conference planned giving director, and by a frigid trip to the Anchorage Zoo.

Dodge challenged the teachers to discover their core values and to examine which ones they give up when under incredible stress. It was a challenge to narrow down the lists to just six (out of 50) of the most important values, and it was an eye opener to realize what they were willing to give up when hit by the inevitable stresses in life. Dodge gave them hope, encouragement and focus.

Braving frigid arctic wind blasts (no Pineapple Express here), the teachers were also treated to a “behind the scenes” tour of the Anchorage Zoo. An up-close encounter with the polar bear added temptation to snuggle and raise their core temperatures because of his friendly, cozy approach. Dodge encouraged them not to give up any core values, such as staying alive, for just a moment of warmth. The zookeeper petted the large wolves and reminded the teachers “not to do this at home,” as it might lead to the need for their newly found skills in CPR and first aid.

On Sabbath, the teachers enjoyed sharing their musical abilities with the O’Malley Church, and they again gained inspiration from Dodge as they heard about corporate core values as he asked what were their core values as Christians.

Sabbath afternoon they tunneled their way to Whittier, enjoyed a beautiful afternoon, watched the young and energetic teachers run across frozen Portage Lake, and stopped for a snack on the way home. 

The teachers ended up warm and happy to the true "core."