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Campers become counselors

While all seniors begin the school year with a traditional trip to Oakhurst for senior retreat, some return weeks later to provide leadership to junior high students on Sept. 18-22.

“Calvin Crest is designated to have the eighth grade bond together,” Terry Richards, junior high teacher said, “and learn about the outdoors, the Lord’s creation, and to help guide spiritual decisions.”

At Calvin Crest, junior high students compete against other students during group competitions, while learning survival skills and taking nature hikes.

“I’m looking forward to Calvin Crest,” Alexandra Barisic, ’11, said. “I want to learn how to survive in the wild, how to start a campfire and know how to find water.”

Only two junior high staff members attend camp, as a result upperclassmen are given the opportunity to come. In order to be a counselor, students are interviewed and must complete an application.

“We started interviewing in June,” Richards said. “We ask for Christian testimony, if they had leadership experience. We look for character, a good reputation, if they would be good role model, because we want them to bond with junior highers.”

Will Hierholzer, ’07, is the only returning counselor out of the nine student leaders.

“After last years experience, I wanted to go back,” Hierholzer said. “The kids are awesome, and by going you can get a break from school at a beautiful place.”

Counselors hope to provide a role model to the junior high students.

“I decided to go to Calvin Crest because junior high was tough for me,” Katelyn Aydelotte, ’08, said. “Actually I hated it, but Calvin Crest was one of the good experiences and I want to be a part of the positive experience for the junior highers.”

Camp leaders often reflect on personal experiences to influence their leadership decisions.

“I liked my counselor,” Aydelotte said. “She was strong and adventurous, so I can compare what I will do from my own Calvin Crest experiences.”

Students will leave campus at approximately 9:30 A.M. on Sept. 18 and return in the afternoon on the 22.

“I’m not nervous about having a high school leader, because I think I know who mine is,” Barisic said. “She’s really nice, and in a sense I consider her a role model, I look up to her.”

For more information, e-mail Richards or call the junior high office at 299-1695, ext. 4. For more information on Calvin Crest camps, call (559)683-4450 or go online at

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