Senior Survival: Creating a Community 


Carolina Smith , Writer

From September 25-29, the class of 2020 embarked on a 5 day stay in the wild outdoors. Every year, the new senior class anticipates the legend of Senior Survival. Tales of epic adventures and emotional experiences overwhelm the reputation, leaving the class to figure out if the reality will live up to expectations. 

A couple of taxing issues arose right off the bat. Possibly the most shocking was the fire ban called a few days prior to disembarkment. Fires were eventually allowed, but only for cooking, meaning no huge bonfires to gather around like classes did in the past. Another problem due to the dry weather was the small creek meant for bathing. The water barely rested at the shins in most places, which made washing after long, hot days difficult. A common complaint heard throughout the week was the arduous trek the boys had to take to make it to their campsite. The trail sloped uphill and carried on much further than the girls’ walk to their sites, which caused the boys to try to take as few trips back as possible. 

Many of the stories from this infamous experience must remain classified to benefit future class enjoyment, but each year highlights different outlooks. One of the main takeaways this year was the importance of community. Failures of tasks and fresh realizations stemming from discussions with peers contributed to the recognition of each individual’s importance. Everyone has their own stories that include tragedies and struggles but also shed light on sought-after victories and talents. When friends support each other, maximum growth can be achieved. Our class learned the importance of being aware of the challenges that those around us face. 

I could tell about my personal mementos from this trip, but that would not really summarize the extent of the blessings bestowed upon my class as a whole. Senior Survival reaches people in different ways, but one similarity is that it unites us all. Here are a few highlights from a portion of the class of 2020. 


My favorite memory from senior survival was…

 “Having to squeeze together in the barn on Friday night due to the rain and sharing positive things about each other.” -Sabrina Lopez 

“Sitting around the campfire with the bread boys and just talking after worship in the evening.” -Jonathan Klingbeil 

“The way we all bonded and opened up was like nothing else [during certain initiatives]. I got to see sides of people I’ve known for the past 3 years in a different light. It really opened my eyes to struggles behind closed doors. It’s like we all went through a journey together, and because of that, we are now closer and can relate more than ever. We now truly SEE each other. We don’t just glance or look one way, I believe we see the souls behind the faces of our fellow students.” -Julia Fisher 

“The Friday night talk in the barn. I feel like we all got closer in that moment and afterwards everyone was crying, hugging each other, and saying that we love each other. I’ll probably remember that moment for the rest of my life.” -Jordyn McLean

“Waking up before the sunrise to go fishin’ with the boys. 🎣” -Jennifer Jacinto 

“Trying to sleep at 3am when my friends were still talking. Then I announced my presence and we all went to the bathroom together.” -Jessica Sinclair 

“The night it rained because we had our worship and everyone pointed out and talked about other people and how they either saw Jesus in them, or just said thank you for something they did. After, when it started raining, a bunch of guys had to sprint back up the mountain in the pouring rain.” -Connor Dickinson 

“Sabbath breakfast or supper because we had all gotten super vulnerable the night before and so the next day the different cliques were all mixed together talking to each other and seeing each other for who they really were.” -Meg Ermer