Camp CHOF - Summit Christian School's sixth through eighth grade students spent three days in September at Camp CHOF in Dalton, OH for the annual Middle School Retreat. This event has become a favorite time for MS students and staff to get away from campus for a time of spiritual growth, bonding, learning, and fun.
Mrs. Diane West, SCS Middle School principal, shared some background on why the retreat is important to the students: "The Middle School Retreat at Camp CHOF is designed to provide students with the opportunity to grow both spiritually and academically, form and deepen friendships, connect with teachers, and learn life lessons. This is accomplished through spiritual development sessions, a cross-curricular problem-based learning project, and a variety of enriching experiences and team building challenges."
The students' days were filled with different activities designed to get them out of their comfort zones and to build bridges with God and with each other. Hannah shared about her favorite memories from the time away: "I grew closer to God on the retreat by doing the devotions that they gave us every morning. The devotions helped me to reflect on God's character and his Word. Another way I grew closer to God was worshiping and praising him during our chapel times. I loved singing and dancing with my friends to the songs to praise Him. My favorite retreat memory is hanging out with my friends during chillax time at the retreat. I also enjoyed the meals we had. The food was delicious and it was fun being able to bond with my friends during that time."
Joel, a sixth grader, added: "One way I grew closer to my classmates is basically just spending time with them. I don't get to see my friends that often except at school and at Camp CHOF I got to see them for a whole three days and it was fun. My best memory was playing gellyball. It hurt a little bit if you got hit but it was worth it! In 5th grade, we wouldn't do those sorts of things on field trips so it was new to me."
In addition to the nightly worship services, students were able to explore different ways to personally connect with God. These included reflecting in nature, prayer, guided Bible reading, and creative expression through journaling, art, and drama. The beautiful fall weather gave everyone the chance to enjoy the outdoors and try new things like ziplining. Mrs. West summed up her favorite part of the trip: "This year, a highlight for me was observing the growth of our students as they boldly ventured beyond their comfort zones. They enthusiastically embraced new experiences like ziplining, gellyball, problem solving challenges, and showcasing their talents through skits and songs. Yet, what truly touched my heart the most was witnessing the students fully immerse themselves in worship during Thursday evening's chapel service."