Saturday, July 04, 2009

Week 2, 3, and 4 of Calvin LCI summer at SMR

The past few weeks have been packed with excitement and growth for all of us students.  Week two started out with Snow Mountain Ranch’s very own Chaplain Steve.  First Steve had us split up into four groups.  We read over a packet about what it meant to lead and were then told to pick an administrator.  The administrators were then told that we were going to play a game that depended on delegation from the administrator’s perspective and listening and leadership skills from others.  We were to look at a lego object and pass along what we saw in various ways of interaction.  It was a struggle, taking all of our patience, speaking, artistic, and even more skills.  In the end, each of the groups had accomplished some semblance of the original object.  Next, Steve had us take a test to see what kind of leaders we were.  None of our results were exactly the same.  We each found that we have different skill sets that help us to lead.  Each of us has our own style and way of leading.  There were four different categories to help us gain a larger scope of just what kind of leadership style fit us.  Thanks to Steve, we have a better idea not only of what kind of leader we are, but what kind of person we are as well. 
Later that week, the group of us went to Hot Sulfer Springs with Steve.  Steve got to know each of us individually a little better as we all soaked in the healthy, though very smelly, liquid.  By the end of the night we all felt extremely refreshed and relaxed enough to go back to work the next day.
Our week 3 speaker was Bob Eames.  Bob’s first night was unique in that we met at the cookout shelter and grilled up steaks and burgers.  In other words, the food was as good as it gets at a time of extreme need of it.  Bob started us with some bouncing balls in a circle.  Whenever the ball was thrown our way we would have to say a word that begins with the last letter of the previous word.  Some of us may have made a mistake once in a while under the pressure, but in general, once every started catching the ball, the game went smoothly and broke the ice for us.  Bob talked to us about the importance of listening to each other and being ready for what came next.  After that game, we all new exactly what he meant.  Bob then talked shortly to us about different kinds of leaders, very similar to the test that Steve had us take.  It worked well having them go in succession of each other because we all had a good idea of what Bob was getting at and where we fit in individually. 
In week 4’s meeting Bob took what he had done in his previous week and expanded upon it.  We did improvisational drills most of the evening.  Bob wanted us to learn to listen, to react, and, most importantly, to trust the rest of our group.  It was encouraging to see that everyone was able to focus on the task and trust one another.  Bob gave us some real experience in leadership and following, in encouraging and supporting, in listening and coaching, and in trusting and being trustworthy.  We all took something away from Bob’s time among us. 
During Bob’s stay we had a group outing at Hernandoes.  If any of you have ever had pizza in Chicago, you may have some idea of what good pizza is.  Now, take that, up it a notch, put a little honey on the crust (though a lot of it works much better), and you might have some idea of how good Hernandoes pizza is.  Everyone got there fill of their own favorite Hernandoes specialty and went home content and, well, disappointed because no one can ever really get over the feeling that they may never have pizza that good ever again.  Bob’s family joined us for the meal.  Each table made it’s own stories and memories.  Some may or may not have marked on of the dollars now hanging on the walls of the joint. 
Today is the 4th of July.  We will be going out to Grand Lake for some of our favorite ice cream and some highly anticipated fire works.  It should be a night to remember.  Check in soon to hear how well the the night lives up to it’s hype.

Posted by Matthew Sytsma on 07/04 at 02:50 PM
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

SMR kickoff 2009-Mary Hulst, Adams Falls and Ice Cream

The Calvin LCI program began with a bang this past week.  Reverend Mary Hulst, director of the program, opened up the year giving a speech about being intentional this summer.  Intentional about what we do, what we say, and what we think.  It is easy for us, once we get out in the Rockies, to get caught up in the flow and drift through the summer.  Mary told us that we need to be intentional about how we are spending our time and effort.  To help us be intentional, she had us come up with personal goals, spiritual goals, and professional goals that we will spend the summer trying to live up to.  The personal goals ranged anywhere from how many fourteeners can be done this summer to simply setting aside time to be alone.  Spiritual goals often placed emphasis on prayer and devotion with God.  Many of us struggled more with making a professional goal.  One goal was to meet every patron with a warm smile, while another simply doesn’t want anyone to drown.  We will actively work on our individual goals and do what we can to support each other in fulfilling them.  Whatever the case, making these goals is one giant leap in living an intentional summer.
After the large group meeting we seperated into our small groups for the first time.  Each small group picked a location that fit them best.  Groups met anywhere from a deck to around a fire.  All of the groups bonded well and had some quality conversations.  It is already easy to see the close bonds forming as the small groups knit tighter together.
On Wednesday, we all went out to Adams falls just outside Grand Lake.  The hike was short and pleasant.  Once we arrived at the falls everyone had a good time taking pictures and doing some minor explorations downstream.  After about an hour, we were ready to go back to Grand Lake, where Mary took us all out for ice cream.  ButterFinger Explosion, Mocha Almond Fudge, and the classic Mint Chocolate Chip seem to have been the favorites. 

It was a perfect start to a promising summer.  Everyone is eager to learn from the speakers and grow together spiritually and personally through the small groups.  And of course, everyone has one eye open seeking out adventure wherever it may be found in the mountains… everywhere!

Posted by Justin Eames on 06/14 at 04:51 PM
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Romantic Radar with Ron Nydam

We apologize for the delay in blog entries. The internet has been down for several days in Blue Ridge Lodge making it difficult to do our weekly posts.

Last Monday Ron Nydam from Calvin Seminary visited with us for our large group meeting. The focus of the talk was how to make relationships work. In his stories, Ron Nydam encouraged the Calvin group to consider past experiences, accounts and pains that may affect our relationships today. It was a very good lesson on self-reflection and self-improvement.

On Wednesday, a large portion of the Calvin group drove to Grand Lake for some bowling. Because the alley was full when we arrived, we had to make a short little detour to Grand Lake Chocolates for some ice cream (not a bad time-passer). When we got into the alley, we had a great time figuring out the self-scoring system and just goofing around for a few hours. Everyone had a great time for our last weekly group activity. Next comes the end-of-summer banquet on the 14th!

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Posted by David Hartwell on 08/13 at 11:41 AM
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