Blogs - Student Conferences - Colorado
July 21, 2009
Session 5 | Day 3
With two days done, everyone is getting used to the feel of Summit. Days start off bright and early - at 7:00 the counselors enthusiastically welcome the dozing students with a cowbell stampede through the dorms. I usually choose to sneak out of bed early and take a jog through the hilly streets of Manitou Springs. Surprisingly, I am not alone. Many of the kids drag themselves out of bed to battle the hills and oxygen-deficient air. My lungs are quick to point out the difference between the thick Minnesota air that I am used to and the new Colorado altitude, but the sights make it all worthwhile.
The campers come together for breakfast at 7:15. While many of us expected traditional camp fare, everything so far has been healthy and delicious. No hotdogs or iffy casseroles as of yet.
After breakfast everyone heads back to their rooms to furiously clean in preparation for inspection. Every day, rooms receive a brutal critique and until they pass, their inhabitants cannot eat lunch. Staff mandates tidy beds, matching pillow orientation, empty garbage cans, shoes lined up by size, color, or style (with laces neatly tied), carpets brushed in one direction, etc. While the cleaning is tedious, there is a bit of competition over top scores, which guarantee a room first place in the lunch line.
The morning is filled with speakers. Summit brings top professors and leaders from around the country to pass on their findings to us. They challenge our thinking and welcome questions - during both lecture and more informal gatherings on the front porch or at dinner. Just today, we had talks about the economics of charity, the form of the Trinity, the occurrence of pain in the fallen world, and relativism. Class is long but fulfilling. The talks often spill over to lunchtime discussions and it is clear that students here want to learn. I have already learned much about defending my faith: how to analyze opposing arguments and keep discussions from dissolving into name-calling. I can't wait to see how far I come in the next two weeks.
We work hard, but also find ample time for recreation. Today, the group set out to a local park for a few hours of ultimate frisbee, speed volleyball, soccer, and football. I stuck with speed volleyball - a variation or the original where four teams face off against each other, switching sides after every point. The sports time helps temper the hours of classes, giving us a break from the heavy material.
Evenings consist of acoustic worship and lots of singing. For around 200 random kids, it actually sounds quite good. Students can sign up to lead worship and it amazes me to see their talents. Afterwards, we kick back for 4 on 4 fooseball, card games, or a PB&J up at the cafeteria. By the time eleven rolls around, everyone is ready to drop off. The days are just packed, but the time is amazing.
Incoming Freshman at Northwestern University