RMCNews with MHANews — Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Ax throwing, PVC ping pong, cardboard boats, and capture the mattress were the highlights of Mile High Academy’s high school outdoor retreat in Deckers, Colorado.

The retreat from the city began with student association officers spending a day in the wilderness on September 1.  As they arrived at Camp Shady Brook YMCA grounds, the atmosphere among the student leaders was electric with plans for getting to know each other better and planning the school year’s events.

First off was building leadership and self-confidence by completing a high rope challenge course some thirty feet high. Afterward, they gathered together for a team meeting to discuss the calendar and spiritual goals for the school year.

“It was awesome,” reflected Andrew Carpenter, MHA principal on the day. “The students bonded together as classmates while focusing on what it means to be a spiritual leader for not only peers but also for the world around them.”

The next day, the student association officers were joined by the other high school students where they were quickly divided into six groups. They were each given cardboard and duct tape and the task of building a sea-worthy vessel.  Four vessels successfully made it to the bottom of the lake.

After the groups decided that shipbuilding wasn’t in their futures, they moved on to a series of team competitions. The challenges included ax throwing, a climbing wall, maneuvering through a minefield, board walking, PVC ping pong, and finding seven gummy bears in a giant bowl of chocolate pudding.

The evening began with a joint worship focusing on the MHA spiritual theme for the year, “Abundant Joy”.

After worship, the night was just beginning as there was still one task to complete as a group … capture the mattress, a game similar to capture the flag but with a bulky mattress.

Reflecting on the event, sophomore Gwen said, “I am so thankful that [we were] able to have this retreat. It was fun watching our classmates grow and bond together as a group through shared experiences.”

–RMCNews with MHANews; photos supplied