“Beeeeeeeep! Attention all grade 12 students, you have 10 minutes to get on the bus!” We all knew (or thought we knew) what this meant: three nights in the frigid wilderness with nothing more than a few key survival items such as a knife and a metal match.

With a growing sense of excitement mixed with panic, I sprinted up to the dorm to grab my survival kit which I had forgotten that morning. Valuable lesson learned: always be ready! Back at the school building, chaos reigned. All the seniors were running around, screaming, hugging and cramming their mouths with food. I happily breathed in the excitement!

I was a little less excited when I looked at my “shelter”. Let me tell you, there are two groups of people who build shelters.

  1. The ones who are constantly complaining how badly their shelter is built, but when the night comes you can hear them moaning how hot and sweaty they are.
  2. The ones who think their shelter doesn’t look too bad but when the night comes they are so cold that they spend half of the night around the fire.

I was a member of the second group. In fact, my shelter collapsed over me while I was sleeping. The next morning, I was welcomed by tired, grumpy faces, squeezed close to the fire.

Over the next couple of days, we improved our shelters, searched for wild edibles, made stone soup (consisting of about 80% cayenne pepper and slimy moss), but most importantly, we grew closer as a class.

A few “years” later, a group of exhausted, smelly, but happy seniors returned to civilization. The experience left me extremely thankful for life’s conveniences. It’s amazing how much we take for granted: food, warmth, shelter, showers, and deodorant.

Through our Senior Survival experience, God took care of us. We experienced His strength and peace through the trials.

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2 (NIV)

Elia T.
Grade 12