Horizon kids have fun while ‘watching their steps’

Annual retreat combines mud and ministry

Every year the high school and junior high students from Horizon Christian take a retreat up to Jonah Ministries camp in Trout Lake to kick off the school year.

The retreat had a slight rough start at the beginning when the forest fires in Husum emerged, making it difficult for several cars and a bus full of kids to arrive safely and on time.

Thankfully, everyone made it up to Jonah safely and that’s when the fun began. The retreat was full of activities such as rafting, biking, hiking, paint balling, time in the mud pit and eco-challenges that dared the students to ‘Watch their Step’ which was the theme of the retreat.

Teacher and leadership team advisor, Faith Kempf, added that Horizon has been doing this retreat since 2005.

When asked about why the school decides to take this retreat every year, teacher Jim Brown, leadership team advisor, gave three reasons.

“First, before instructional days begin it’s a good time for the student body to interact with one another,” he said.

“Second, we try to make it a thematic camp. ‘Live outside your Box’ and ‘Frightened to Fearless’ have been the last couple of themes. This year it’s ‘Watch your Step’ so with all the activities that are done we try to link that together so it stands with the theme of the school.

“Third, we try to build some kind of a collective school spirit,” Brown said. “This year we organized a little differently; we actually had one day designated for high school as a new kind of thing. The seventh and eighth graders joined us on Thursday for activities where they were mixed with the high school kids because they were elective type choices, so that was good.”

This experience seems to have more to it than just having fun and getting dirty.

Kempf commented, “We hope that they’ll take away good relationships, some foundation for the understanding of the gospel — who God is and who they are in God’s eyes; that there’s a lot more in life than maybe what they thought. The students are able to face the things that scare them a little bit and they try to step out of that to become bigger people.”

Along with a deeper meaning and an enjoyable time, Horizon’s Jonah retreat seems to be the complete package.

“This was the best year yet,” commented senior Alyssa Bryan.

Secretary Cynnamon Hawkins added,” I think Jonah went great this year! I had a really good time and I think everyone else did too.”

Katie Tolbert, a senior at Horizon, is serving as Hood River News intern this school year.

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners