My Rocky Mountain Adventure
Monday, June 9
I really had no idea what I was walking into this summer. While I've participated in one summer project in the past in Chile, I've never done one with Lifelines, a part of the Campus Ministry with a unique outdoors emphasis.
But I am expectant about this summer and what God will do, as I believe summer projects are probably the most effective thing that Campus Crusade does.
I arrived at the High Peak Camp yesterday morning, enthralled by what I saw. The camp, which consists of a cluster of cabins along with one large motel-shaped gathering center, is in the shadow of Long's Peak, probably Colorado's most recognizable 14,000 feet-high mountain. You can even see Long's Peak from Denver, with its dome-like summit usually frosted with snow.
This is the place that I will be spending the next 5 weeks, helping to lead a summer project with Lifelines.
During this, our first week, the plan was to gather with the rest of the leadership team, to go through training and prepare for the 18 college students who would be coming the following week.
Meeting several of the other staff members -- hailing everywhere from Maine to Oregon -- I immediately felt a kinship. Though I call Florida home these days, I am a mountain man to the core (I attended school at the University of Montana). These are people who I share a lot of ideals with-people who love the outdoors, more importantly who love Jesus, and want to see Him change lives.
That first night, we gathered in a room with a fireplace, and heard a quick briefing on the beginnings of Lifelines -- a guy named Joe, who was involved with Campus Crusade in Maine, started taking his fellow students on whitewater rafting trips.
Especially in his area of the country, he saw people incredibly closed to the gospel, but most had an affinity for nature. The outdoors proved a way to get people to open up to the gospel, and soon Lifelines was born. 10 years later, the group has a presence on 4 different campuses -- from Vermont to Arizona.
Gator in a Mountain
That night, as an "ice-breaker," we had to select an animal that might portray how we were feeling at the moment, and act it out for the group of fellow leaders. I chose an alligator, because though I'm from the north, Florida has been my home and the altitude and low humidity were quite a change for me -- I went from basically 0 to 9,000 feet. Actually, the camp we are staying at is exactly 8,956 feet.
People have been breathing hard, as you can imagine, and not sleeping so well for the first several days. That night, my roommate, a guy originally from Pueblo, Col., gave me some of this herbal green stuff, similar to the slime from Nickelodeon, which supposedly helps you adjust to altitude. I was bit skeptical, but I awoke the morning of Monday, June 9, refreshed.
We met for several hours and my understanding for the summer has definitely expanded.
Learning through Process
The essence of Lifelines is to encourage process-learning, or to help participants learn from specific activities or experiences, rather than having a speaker or talking head transmit the info. Some wilderness experiences stick with people for a lifetime.
An activity we did to help get us used to process-learning was gather at some picnic tables by a running stream, cold from the mountain runoff.
Someone read the verse in the Bible about God being the potter, and we being the clay. Then we were all given pieces of clay.
We were instructed to close our eyes and then discuss what we discovered. Inside the clay was a small, hard rock. Obviously it was difficult to knead that part of the clay into something. A discussion ensued, and soon turned spiritual.
- What are some things that God might be molding us in?
- What is holding us back from being completely pliable to Him?
It was a good opening activity. I am ready to do this Lifelines thing.