Saturday, September 19, 2009

Catalina: Campus by the Sea

Each year our Juniors and Seniors take a 3 day trip to Catalina Island, where they bond, are challenged spiritually and physically, and learn much about each other and their Creator. This year, Jon and I got to chaperone for the first time. I'm tellin' you, we had as much fun as the kids.
We were very excited to do this event, especially since this year's seniors were Jon's and my first class that we taught 6 years ago when they were in 7th grade. They are like our first born children, but are more like little siblings.On competition day, there was a relay race, in which students had to begin with a 9-person wheelbarrow, followed by a goldfish transport (with the mouth being the must remain in tact for points; only 2 got swallowed), and ending with a spelling bee where they had to spell a word on the ground with their bodies.

They also did eating contests (baby food, sardines, cat food...), cow tongue basketball (exactly what it sounds like), and bobbing for pig's feet. Needless to say, there were a few pukers. I did NOT volunteer for those games.
There was a flag-making competition, which included clever team names and a team cheer or song. Jon's was "Pink Eye...Fear the Puss (Ya, we're contagious)!" They won extra points for following the theme of Fear Factor. Gross. Seriously.In the midst of all the fun, we had a very entertaining, very stirring chapel speaker named Jurgen Mathisias (or Gurgles Mattresses, according to spell check). Many of our students found themselves brought tearfully to their knees, moved and convicted between bouts of laughter and outrageous praise.

The competitions ended with the ultimate competition: teachers stood on the floating dock with colored flags on our waist. One person from each team had to swim to us, pull their team's flag and swim to the kayak in the distance. That's me on the dock on the right.The rest of the kids screamed and rallied their racers from the shore...I was proud of the one GIRL who competed in this one; and she placed 3rd!We had beautiful solitary times as well, campfire songs and worship under the stars, s'mores and night hikes. This was, in many senses, the best camping trip, chaperone event, or vacation I've had in a very long time.
I'm crossing my fingers to get to go with them this May on their Senior Europe trip too. Let's get those prayers rollin' now folks!


Tomer said...

> must remain in tact
> for points; only 2 got swallowed),
> and ending with a spelling bee
> where they had to spell a word on
> the ground with their bodies.

Very nice photography, and nice simple layout. Regarding spell check, there is a program, Spell Check Anywhere (SpellCheckAnywhere.Com). It adds spell checking any where in Windows.

Dionne said...


He is a funny guy. I met him waaaaay back in the day when he still lived in Australia and I was in my teens. He guest-preached at our church back there often. He's awesome.

What a beautiful spot. Lovely place to connect with God and friends!

Kim said...

Nice drawings.

Kotori said...

Wow - what a great post! I love that last photo - it's amazing.

What a fabulous experience for those kids and how lucky are the two of you to get to be a part of that? Yes, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you to get to go to Europe!