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Rock climbing is a once in a lifetime experience for most people. Experiencing God’s creation by climbing up the side of a rock face is far from the mundane of everyday life, unless you’re in OLDSchool! The feeling of exhilaration when you reach the summit to look around at the view is one of those things words just cannot describe. Students got to experience those thrills during this action packed section.
Students started the section with bouldering. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing on large boulders without the support of harnesses or rope. These routes are not very high and we use crash pads and multiple spotters for safety. It’s a good way to start out and get students feet wet in the world of climbing. After a few days of bouldering students moved on to top rope climbing where ropes and harnesses were used to reach the top of a single pitch. Through this portion of climbing students learned how to operate properly in the climbing environment. Some specific things they learned were rock etiquette, edge safety, belaying techniques, and more. Following a few days of top rope students were prepped and briefed for multi-pitch sport climbing.
The last portions of the climbing section students had the opportunity to rappel as well as multi-pitch climb. Rappelling is such a rush! Our staff set up the rappel at the top of the ledge. Students were given instructions and a safety briefing and they each took their turn going over the edge and rappelling down the rock face. For some people climbing up is the scary part, for others the going down is more of a challenge and then there are always people in between or some that have no fear at all of rappelling from 70+ feet high. Harry McSween, former OLDSchool student and later OLDSchool employee, joined us to lead the multi-pitch climbs to finish the section. Multi-pitch climbing is basically taking those “top-rope” routes and stacking them on top of each other. Harry and other staff would climb ahead to set up anchors and in small groups, students would slowly work their way up the entire climb. Summiting on these days was a huge accomplishment and very rewarding!
Throughout this section, students were challenged in an assortment of different ways. Some faced their fear of heights head on. Others were challenged physically. Some challenged by the elements during the cold and rainy days. Nonetheless, all our students were challenged from chapter 5 of Ephesians. Teaching during the climbing section covered topics like walking in love and the relationship between a husband and wife.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. -Ephesians 5:1-2
To understand how to be imitators of God, and walk in love as beloved children we must first be sure that we grasp the depths of Christ’s love for us. By God’s grace and our understanding of his truth the bridge between our unrighteousness and the fruitful life to which we are called to as believers is formed, that is Jesus. Therefore, our students also learned to look carefully as they walk out this gospel-centered lifestyle. Being intentional with their time in all manners of life, including relationships, specifically the marriage relationship. Our lives are meant to be representations of Christ and glorifying to God the Father, and here at OLDSchool we are thankful that for us sometimes that looks like hanging off the side of a rock that He spoke into existence many years ago.