As of the Thursday I am writing this blog post, I have already been away from my home for two weeks. It certainly doesn’t feel like it. It seems like just yesterday I pulled up to the Summit hotel, curious as to what the next few weeks would hold and disillusioned by the hotel’s obvious lack of air conditioning (which thanks to God’s mercy, we all survived). Despite the 75+ hours of classes, lack of sleep, and legendary 7 AM wake up call, I firmly believe that Summit is one of the best programs available to young adults, Christian or not.
What is Summit?
Summit is difficult to describe to those who haven’t attended. Calling it a “summer camp” doesn’t quite cut. Nor does calling Summit a mere conference do it justice. Summit really is a unique experience combining excellent speakers with a phenomenal community of intelligent and like-minded student. To quote one of the faculty members I got to know, “It’s kinda like summer school, but you enjoy it.”
At Summit, students are encouraged to think about and ask difficult questions both with their fellows students and speakers. We were challenged to question why we believe what we believe and to learn about the six major ways of thinking (dubbed worldviews) that prevail throughout the world today. Summit students will, without a doubt, be far more prepared than their peers to analyze and understand the ideas that shape our culture ; thereby, understanding how to make a difference in the world themselves.
Speaker, Student Engagement
Furthermore, speakers and faculty were more than willing to answer questions and engage students like myself. I ate with and was able to “pick the brain” of a different speaker (all educated and experts in their respective fields) almost every night. Following dinner, most of the students rushed to the hotel’s outside porch where the day’s presenters would sit to take questions. In my opinion, interactions with speakers like those listed above were the most beneficial parts of the two weeks.
Despite Summit’s rigorous speaking schedule which included 5-7 hours of classes a day, there was time for relaxation and fun as well. My afternoons were spent playing volleyball, hiking, playing tennis, reading, and exploring the mountains which surrounded the Summit hotel. It took a few days, a lot of water, and many stops along the side of the trail head to adjust to the thin Colorado air; however, within a few days most of us were willing to scale the infamous mile long stair case up the side of a mountain or the narrow trails of Pikes Peak. Along the way, I made a great group of friends, many of whom will be attending college with me this fall.
Ideas Have Consequences
One of the ideas drilled into us at Summit is that ideas have consequences.
We live in a cultural war of ideas, and Summit was founded on the idea of training the next generation of leaders to engage in this battle which permeates society.
To quote Sun Tzu in his book The Art of War, “If you know your enemy and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.” After attending Summit, students understand their beliefs and those of their enemy. They understand the importance and consequences of the ideas held by friends, themselves, acquaintances, and loved ones. Summit students leave prepared to engage in today’s war of ideas “without disaster.”