“Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.” ~George Washington Carver This past week, students from all over the Minnesota Conference enjoyed time in the great outdoors as they participated in the second annual Minnesota Conference Outdoor School at North Star Camp. Eight schools with 65 fifth through eighth graders, along with their sponsors, packed up their gear and made the trek up to Brainerd where their school changed from a classroom with four walls to God’s classroom . . . the great North Woods, meadows, lakes, and wetlands.
“One Time Long Ago in Galilee” was the week’s theme. Activities focused on a time when Jesus walked, taught, meditated, and healed, not in a temple or classroom, but in nature. Classes were divided in the mornings into the four ecosystems, each being studied by a particular grade. In the afternoon, camp craft, Bible Lab, weather, knot-tying, and art classes were the focus. In a class led by Superintendent Connie McCormick, students assembled their own tackle box, enabling them to become “fishers of men, Galilean style.” Morning and evening devotions were filled with praises to our Savior followed by a stirring monologue by Pastor Sherman McCormick depicting one of the most effective “fishers of men” of all time, the apostle Peter. The story of Peter, told in his own voice, took the students from the time when he first heard of the Savior until the denial of Christ, and ultimately, the forgiveness that Peter experienced. When interviewed, several students commented that this was one of their favorite Outdoor School experiences.
Not all the time was spent in classes. Ample time was given to re-create. The weather was crisp and beautiful, providing the perfect environment for hiking, canoeing, playing nine-square, capture the flag, and getting acquainted with new and old friends. Many are looking forward to what next year’s Outdoor School will bring; a time to look forward to reuniting with friends, spending time in God’s nature, and reconnecting with our Creator.
“Through the creation we are to become acquainted with the Creator. The book of nature is a great lesson book, which in connection with the Scriptures we are to use in teaching others of His character” . . . As we come close to the heart of nature, Christ makes His presence real to us, and speaks to our hearts of His peace and love.” ~ Ellen White
Kathy Davis, Minnetonka Christian Academy Volunteer
e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.