Thursday, April 10, 2008


This summer we will run not one but two summer programs. Leadership and Discipleship in the Wilderness (LDW), the 40 day trip that Joy and I have led several times to the mountains of Wyoming or the water of Canada, is growing.

This year CCO is hoping to offer both the Canada and the Wyoming versions! We have assembled two instructors teams and they have begun to interview students. After leading a trip in May, Joy will spend the summer in the office.

I will be heading out as one of the instructors for the Canada trip. I look forward to working with younger team of eager up-and-coming instructors. Another exciting development we are seeing in the summer programs is the growing numbers of applicants who are about to graduate. On last year's trip, almost half of the participants were graduating seniors. The pattern is even more pronounced this year. I am excited to work with these students as they consider the transition out of college to the work world.



Since 1995 Leadership and Discipleship in the Wilderness, the 4-6 week trip CCO takes to WY and Canada each summer, has also offered students the opportunity to become certified Outdoor Leaders through the Wilderness Education Association, the only organization in the country to offer this type of certification.

CCO receives Wilderness Education Association 2008 Affiliate Award

(Pittsburgh) March 17, 2008 — The CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach) has received the 2008 Affiliate Award from the Wilderness Education Association (WEA), a national outdoor education organization.

“I am pleased to report that your organization has set an example, in many regards, for what an outstanding WEA Affiliate should be,” writes Ivan Bartha, Coordinator for Experiential Programs at St. Cloud State University and Affiliate Representative of the WEA. (read more)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Alternative Spring Break

Spring Break Trips are typically a time for college students to travel with friends, let their hair down, and blow off steam that has built up under the heat and pressure of mid-terms and academic fatigue. It’s been a few years since I was actually on campus, so I looked up what MTV was promoting these’s what MTV’s Spring Break website called “Must-have’s”:

Floating Party Table
Treading water is hard. Especially when you've got a bottle of ummm... juice in each hand. Unless you have four arms. But come on. Nobody has that. So get this floating bar thing. It's a bar that goes in the water. A bar where you can drink your juice without drowning.

Essential Foreign Swear Words by Emma Burgess
Not much explanation needed here. If you're headed to some exotic spring break destination, chances are at some point you're gonna need to know how to tell the locals to &#$@ off.

D’ya think students need an alternative?

I had the privilege of taking 8 students to Joshua Tree National Park last week for an alternative spring break trip that offers a different atmosphere from Miami Beach and Cancun. We still had sun, but rather than substance abuse, there was substance to our conversations and friendships. Rather than tying one on each night, we tied into climbing ropes each morning!

In addition to providing an alternative spring break, I had the privilege of mentoring two student leaders -Jeremy and Lauren. They are part of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Outdoor Ministry Team (OWU’s OMT!) They began planning for the trip in November with their campus minister beginning in November. Once on the trip, OLT staff Steve N. and I took the role of mentor/leader-developers for Jeremy and Lauren. We met with them each day and helped them lead the group effectively.

The director of OWU’s OMT said this of Jeremy and Lauren after he spoke with them about their spring break experience: “Their lives are on a new trajectory as a result of this past week.” They are thinking differently about how their gifts of leadership can be used in God’s Kingdom.

Thank you for your prayers and support that make it possible for me to be part of the story in which students like Lauren and Jeremy get a glimpse of their role in the redemption of God’s Kingdom.

~ Joy