Normally, the incessant blaring of my alarm clock is enough to drive me out of my cloud of covers with a groan, but on the morning of First Campout it was like getting zapped with an electric current. Adrenaline began to surge through my tired body as I realized that today was the beginning of my final First Campout as a student. Quickly stuffing a few last-minute things into my backpack, I mentally prepared myself. “You’ve got to help make this campout the best one yet”, I constantly reminded myself throughout the morning classes, a hurried lunch, and even as Grace settled in beside me on the short bus trip over to the lake.

Seton’s sparkling waters beckoned invitingly as the entourage of vehicles filled the parking lot and piles of excited students loaded onto the waiting boats for the ride to the beach where the fun would begin. An aerial view of the events that followed would’ve been quite entertaining to watch: tubes pulled by speedboats skimmed and flew across the waves while their white-knuckled riders hung on for dear life; jet skis did doughnuts, attempting to dislodge their laughing passengers; and wake-boarders sailed effortlessly across the cerulean glass. The close of the first day found the whole school gathered on the pebble-strewn beach as Nathan introduced the theme for that weekend—Make It Mine. The entire weekend we were inspired to establish a relationship with Christ and make it our own. Hana expressed how important it is to spend time with God in the mornings and realize our need of a constant connection with Him. Seth explained how teaching is learning (and vice versa), and that we can only serve others the Truth if we have it ourselves. Bailey gave her powerful personal testimony, and Ceri continued to show us how to cultivate our relationship with Christ.

Over the next three days, sunburns, sore muscles and smiles were only part of the equation to a successful start to the new school year. Bonds developed between the staff and students, bonds that would not easily be broken. It’s not always easy to reach out to someone you barely know, but it was incredible to see the way returning students threw a warm blanket of love and acceptance over the new students and drew them into their circles. As the end of First Campout faded into the tinted sunset, a new resolve began to dawn in the hearts of Fountainview Academy’s staff and students: this year, we would make it our own.

 

~Julianna D., Grade 12