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Outdoor School

A Week in Nature Teaches Faithfulness

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Camp Yorktown Bay, Ark. » The Arkansas-Louisiana Conference’s outdoor school, themed “Faithful,” was an awesome experience for 145 students and adults who spent the week at Camp Yorktown Bay, May 1-5, 2017.

Pastor Michael Cook was our morning speaker. Cook demonstrated that things as unpleasant as pond scum can teach us to remain faithful to God. Ben Roy, Science Zone presenter, was our evening speaker. Roy used various science demonstrations to help the kids understand the universe and our God who created it.

Outdoor school campers (grades 5-7) enjoyed field study classes during the morning. Field study classes included Water Detectives, Nature Repo, Rocky Relations, Croaks, Insects, Turtle Hurdles, Forestry Service, CYB Nature, and Trashy Art.

In the afternoon, campers chose one of six classes. Classes included Archery, Canoeing, Wakeboarding, Model Rockets, Chemistry/Physics, and Painting.

The eighth-grade program was new this year. Renee Otts led out with Dave Kobliska assisting. The group did some activities at the campground, but the rest of the time they packed up and went on day trips. One excursion was to Forked Mountain to study the forest and erosion, water quality tests in a local swimming hole, and a cemetery study at Forked Mountain Cemetery. On Wednesday, rain sent the group to the Mid-America Museum for most of the day. The final day was spent at the Game and Fish Hatchery in Hot Springs. Supper that night was at a Hot Springs restaurant followed by laser tag, go-karts, and mini golf.

The ninth- and tenth-graders from our junior academies provided valuable services during outdoor school. They helped serve each meal and did all the dishes. During the morning, they made sure the bathrooms were clean and water coolers were available. Often they had time to take on small improvement projects at the camp. It wasn’t all work for these service campers, though. They enjoyed an hour of tubing after the lunch duties were finished and chose an afternoon class to join. The week culminated with a shirt signing and slide show, which featured the week’s happenings. Twenty young people expressed a desire to study in preparation for baptism. That’s what outdoor school is all about.

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