The past 3 months have flown by way too fast for me. The friendships that we have built are so closely meshed that is as if I have known all the students here for much of my life. The best part about this semester has been sharing amazing trips throughout the Southwest region of the U.S. This past week we, minus a few people who were sick, had the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon. We arrived at the campsite after a long 6-hour drive, which holds many memories for us all. Whether it was conversation, taking a nap, studying, or in my vans case listening to endless hours of Taylor Swift there is a lot to remember. When everything was finally unloaded out of the vans, it was time to focus on getting a fire started to cook dinner. After a wonderful meal and time to talk, we prepared for a cold night of camping, which some people chose to enjoy under the open sky (not me)!
The next morning we all woke up before 6AM to catch the sunrise coming up over the South Rim of the Canyon. When we arrived at the viewing deck, the sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon allowing us to fully embrace God’s creation and snap some great pictures with friends. We returned to our campsite for a quick breakfast and began our day of hiking. We had multiple groups of people going all over the Canyon. Some chose to hike on the shorter trail and return to camp and get some rest, others hiked about 3 miles and relaxed, and few people hiked to the bottom of the canyon and back up. No matter where people were, the beauty of the canyon was present.
To finish off our day of hiking, we caught the sunset over the Canyon before heading back to the campsite. We enjoyed our last campfire meal of the semester and we began singing hymns and other worship songs around roaring fire, which was the perfect way to thank God for his creation. After many songs it was time for another night of rest, however, it was colder than the night before (no one slept under the stars). We slept very few hours and rose early the next morning to begin our journey back to Pagosa Springs. We all spent the 6 hours of driving home doing what we had done on the way there. We slept, studied, talked, enjoyed the view of God’s creation, and as for my van we listened to many more tunes by Taylor Swift.
As I write this blog toward the end of the semester, I can only look back in awe of what God has done by bringing all of us here. As sad as I am to leave and not be with my new friends, I know that we will all have many memories to remember. Above all the memories, I also believe that we have created such strong friendships that will continue to grow after the semester ends. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for each of us after the page turns from this chapter to the next.
David Schillingstad made the long drive from Oregon, Wisconsin to attend Summit Semester this fall. While he just finished his high school education, David has already earned a number of credits in collegiate work. As an easy-going guy, he is usually the first to start laughing when hanging out with his fellow students at the lodge. David feels that the Lord is calling him into ministry and wants to pursue a degree in Ministry and Biblical Studies in an effort to put that passion to work. In his time at Snow Wolf Lodge, David hopes that the Lord will grow him and further enlighten him with the steps he should take in the next phase of his life.