By Bailey Brockman
This week was filled with adventure, beauty, learning and even some much needed silence. Our group stayed at Pioneer Ranch Camp, AB, where we had the opportunity to try various camp activities and to hear from Steve Klassen, our instructor for the week.
When I say we were able to experience beauty, I mean the breathtaking beauty of our world that consistently left us in awe. Every evening, and the occasional morning, we would all gather on the docks to watch the painting-like sunsets and sunrises. If you were lucky enough, you caught glimpses of phenomenal star-lit skies and northern lights.
On Monday, the day after arrival, class began with our spunky leader Brette. Within the “Knowing Yourself” unit, we explored the four different social styles, which ones we identify with, and exactly what that means in regards to strengths and weaknesses. Then whether we liked it or not, we participated in the sport of axe throwing… Yes, axe throwing, and yes, it’s a sport. To say the least, an embarrassing number of us should probably never attempt the sport again.
Tuesday was our first session with the dynamic Steve Klassen and his trumpet. Steve based his lessons on how to listen to God, through varying methods, personal stories, and the workbook “Your Ears will Hear”, which he and his wife constructed together.
Steve continued his teachings in and out of the classroom throughout the week and even joined some of the students in an intense basketball scrimmage, in jogging on the trails of the provincial park, and in some quality supper conversations.
Wednesday night we split into our small groups to discuss the readings for the week and apparently for some of us, to embarrass ourselves at a local open mic night.
Then the much anticipated Thursday came. This day was a day of personal growth, recharge, and listening to God through a full day of silence. Despite the awkward clanking of forks and chewing at meal times, the silence was much needed, and everyone came back with stories and experiences to share. To end off the day, the camp held their monthly worship night for locals and campers.
Friday was our last session with Steve focused on debriefing silent day. Then we had the opportunity to go horseback riding, lead by the Pioneer Ranch Camp staff, which we were thankfully a lot better at than axe throwing.
The next morning, we set off on an optional hike day through Siffleur Falls where we witnessed the phenomenal beauty of creation and took any and all adventures to the fullest.
After the 14km hike, we went swimming in Abraham Lake because who wouldn’t want to jump in glacier water in October?
Saturday night we cleaned camp and packed up the memories we made here in Alberta to head off to British Columbia early the next morning. What’s better than a 12-hour roady through the Rocky Mountains with 27 friends?
So yeah, too sum it up, this week was “stupid good” with a great balance between adventure and learning about God. Many of us will hold aspects of this week close in our hearts, as it was an opportunity to grow personally and spiritually, all the while, experiencing creation and building further friendships.