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Jr. high tests counselors’ leadership

After the senior class returns from Oakhurst, some plan to revisit weeks later with fellow upperclassmen to counsel junior high students, Sept. 17-21.

Calvin Crest is an outdoor school created to cover the eighth grade curriculum on rock minerals, survival skills and map orientation. In addition students focus on relationship with peers as well as their spiritual walk.

“I think students enjoy Calvin Crest because it is the number one highlight the kids remember when they graduate,” Terry Richards, junior high science teacher, said. “They also have the chance to get to know their cabin leaders that they may attend high school with in the future.”

George Freeman, assistant principal, began the tradition by taking 55 students for four days and three nights in 1983. Attendance ranges from 55-60 students, but this year hosting largest with 76 eighth graders. Richards began to take students 20 years after Freeman started.

“When I started the eighth graders and sixth graders went to the same camp and I wanted the eighth graders to go to a different camp,” Freeman said. “That summer my wife and I worked at Calvin Crest and it offered the same curriculum as the previous camp, so I decided that the eight grade would attend this camp instead.”

Along with Richards, Pam Powell, high school parent, will be an adult present. Powell will present a mapping presentation for the students.

While the educational aspect fails to enthuse some students, the chance to engage in recreation seems to spur excitement.

“I am not really looking forward to Calvin Crest,” Chandler Varges, ’12, said. “From what I have heard, it’s too educational. On the other hand, I am looking forward to the food and playing basketball with friends.”

Nine seniors and two juniors plan to assist Richards this year. Each high school student supervises seven junior high students in a cabin, with the opportunity to lead them in faith, fellowship and leadership.

“I remember how much fun I had at Calvin Crest and all the games we played,” Stephen Willems, ’08, said. “I decided to become a counselor because I remember mine and how much fun we had; I look forward to being like he was.”

Richards interviewed students throughout the summer to fill the counselor positions.

“One reason why students are counselors is because they are good role models for the younger students as to how a Christian teen behaves,” Richards said. “It gives the cabin leaders experience in working with kids. It requires them to examine their standards and behaviors.”

Senior Katelyn Aydelotte returns to Calvin Crest for her second year to counsel the junior high.

“I think they decided to make students counselors because we can relate more to the junior highers than the teachers,” Aydelotte said. “A lot of the time they will open up to us because we are only a few years older and therefore will listen to what we have to say. They also seem to think its cool to be around high school students.”

Past years provide Aydelotte with experience and a better understanding of counselor requirements.

“It takes patience and dedication to be a counselor,” Aydelotte said. “Sometimes campers can get on your nerves, but I tough it out and focus on what the purpose of this trip is about. I intend on setting boundaries as a counselor but also being flexible.”

For more information check out Mary Kneefel’s Sept. 14, 2006, article, Campers become counselors.

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  • J

    Jenn BoudreauOct 12, 2009 at 6:44 am

    It was really awesome to see the energy of the crowd this year…everyone who was rockin’ out in the middle clapped, jumped, and danced to all of the bands, regardless of style or skill, which is really encouraging and made the night really fun!