by Matthew Bryant
MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore., October 14, 2015 - During the second week of September, students from Milton Stateline Adventist School departed for their annual leadership trip in what for many was a “new” form of transportation: covered wagons. Under the direction of Bill Vixie, a local contractor and owner of Oregon State Wagon Train, students participated in many aspects of pioneer travel. They were responsible for harnessing the horses, cooking their own meals, setting up shelters and even driving the teams pulling the wagons.
Most students loved building their own shelters and the independence that came from cooking their own meals. It seemed that the most unpopular aspect of the trip was the hardtack that students had made the previous week. “I could barely bite into the hardtack. It was really tough,” says Ian Scholl, a seventh-grader.
Learning survival and leadership skills was a major focus of the trip. Students learned to work together to solve problems such as transporting an “unconscious” teacher across a field of natural obstacles. They also learned important survival techniques like building tinder piles to light fires, walking a straight line through the woods and roasting grasshoppers so they are palatable. Eighth-grader Lesly Jimenez says, “I really liked building the shelters because it could help us survive the cold.”
While valuable lessons about leadership and survival were learned, worships presented by parent Jason James were one of the highlights of the trip, as was the quiet time spent in nature. Students were encouraged to really get to know their heavenly Father and grow in their walk with Him.