Blogs - Summit Semester
November 06, 2011
At the end of one of our toughest and longest weeks (thirty plus hours of John Stonestreet's merry cultural stereotyping and Bauman's usual excellent battering), came the alumni weekend and the annual Farvest Hall. Farvest Hall is the yearly Harvest festival we have here at Snow Wolf Lodge. The name came about because one of the past students just couldn't get the words "harvest fall party," out, and thus "Farvest Hall" came into being.
The celebrations began with the arrival of the alumni. During class, we (the current students) saw them (the past students) stand up to take their position against Bauman - and falter just as quickly as we do. Graduation from Semester in no way means that we have conquered the ideas Bauman brings against us every day.
Instead, as we watched the alumni we understood even better that the ideas we debate here will be part of the many questions we will have to ponder over the next few years, or even decades. We're learning to think well. Answers take a little longer. (Don't worry though, just because we can’t yet best the professors in debate doesn't mean we haven't learned anything. Sanding etiquette has been a very prevalent class. Along with swing, waltz, and Virginia reel dancing. And of course volley ball camp has definitely improved our hand-eye coordination.) It was also encouraging to hear the alumni tell stories of their semester, their community struggles, and the victories they found here as well.
Sunday night, in preparation for the big day, we all designed t-shirts. Tie-dye, puffy paint, and an assortment of other supplies were scattered over the wooden dining room tables as we created our t-shirts for Farvest Hall. We hurried to finish so we could get to our weekly movie, Cinderella Man, the story of a Depression-era husband and father who returns to the world of boxing in order to support his family. I have never watched a movie with more enthusiasm. We would all give a whooping, football like cheer with each victorious blow of the hero. After discussing the movie and socializing, we went to bed to rest our muscles before the 5K race the next morning.
The two speeds of travel chosen for the 5K were running (some looking like professional runners, others decked to the nines in flamboyant colors and patterns) or if you were Andy and Ben, as partners in a three-legged race. Eric, the oldest student, began our festivities by jogging down the hill with a torch (we hummed the theme from Chariots of Fire) to light a huge bonfire which warmed us as we waited for the runners to return. Steven won first place to great cheers when he ran across the finish line at twenty-two minutes, fifty-eight seconds.
We finished our hot cider, and once all the stragglers made their way up the last hill, we dispersed around the property for a photo scavenger hunt. We were sent to find three bars of service on our cell phones (one of the more difficult tasks if you took it literally), board stretchers, concrete driers, fowl, and well you get the picture. After lunch we made our way back out to the sports field for pumpkin carving, caramel apples, and shooting. The volleyball tournament commenced after this (remember, we are a volleyball camp, after all).
While we were occupied outdoors, the staff worked secretly up in the classroom. A chosen few students had been allowed to partake in a mysterious project in the garage shop for the past week. They worked hard to be inconspicuous, oh yes, they even went the extreme of painting their faces with black or blue paint to blend in. At Farvest Hall dinner the secret was revealed. We had a special meal in the classroom. Hanging from the railings and making a canopy over our heads was a beautiful starry night, a student-painted mural of Van Gogh's Starry Night, with Christmas lights strung in lines along it. The pirates, hobbits, nerds, clowns, staff, hikers, and a slew of others trooping in to begin the party were taken aback by the splendor of the overhanging mural.
For the rest of the evening, we celebrated. We had finger food, took countless pictures of the crazy costumes, and partook of the delights of booths which consisted of face painting, kisses from Rafferty (Dustin's 20 month old son), and dares to do rather ridiculous things for a game called Quelph. In the middle of the fun, a water gun fight broke out (thank you mom for sending me extra artillery). No one was safe. We ended with a dance party and went to bed several hours later with well-worked, thirsty bodies, and sore, but happy feet.
The next day we slept in. Dustin was gracious and gave us an extra hour before breakfast. We didn't even have to ask. Thus, Farvest Hall 2011 came to a lovely end.
Gabrielle (who goes by “Teater” here at Summit) has a great love for classic literature. She is “thoroughly impressed at God’s creation of symbols, words, and sounds,” and plans to pursue literature in her academic studies. She is an experienced horseback-riding instructor who has also participated in youth mission trips to Oklahoma and Ireland. She has a heart for college-age women and hopes to become a professor of literature at a secular university, bringing a Christian perspective to her writing, work, and teaching