Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Most religious Brigham Young University, least religious Sarah Lawrence College.
click here for article.
One of CCO's core value is "We love college students". Wherever they are. From the most religious campus to the least religious campus. Here is an example from the Atheist/Christian roundtable at last year's Jubilee conference. Click here for the video.
CCO: Transforming College Students to Transform The World.
Howie getting ready to snap another one.
Joy beginning to display the baby bump met
Howie and I at the end of a long hike.
Howie Shultz, photographer extraordinaire, has started posting photos from the Alpine Pilgrimage. They are amazing! Click on the link below to have your breath taken away by the beauty of creation.
Howie's photo album
If you are inspired, registration for next year's trip will open soon. You can get more information about the Alpine Pilgrimage on the CCO website by clicking here.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Getting ready to set out for the day.
A breather on the trail.
Leaving Col du Bonhomme on the way to Col de la Croix du Bonhomme. A little snow school lesson was necessary to prepare for this section.
Finally at the refuge-an old dairy farm. A home cooked meal with our closest 93 hiking companions! Heart food to prepare our tired muscles for tomorrow's climb over the Col de Seigne from France into Italy.
The old man...The Mont Blanc. Keep the mountain on your left and a 100 or so miles, seven valleys, 11 mountain passes, and 3 countries later you will return to where you started but you will have changed as Renee Dumal wrote:
When one has been to a mountain top
One has only to come down again
So why bother in the first place?
One climbs...One sees
One descends...One sees no longer
But one has seen
There is an art of conducting oneself
in the lower regions
By the memory of what one saw higher up.
"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage." (Psalm 84:5 NIV)
During the month of June, we got lead a group of 17 participants on the CCO's first Alpine Pilgrimage. Inspired by the CCO president Dan Dupee's experience of a sabbatical a few year ago, we worked with Dan to design and offer a trip for CCO donors and board members and their family. Our destination, the Tour du Mont Blanc, has been named one of the world's 25 greatest treks. The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is a 100-mile trail (with 30,000 feet of elevation gain and lost) through France, Italy and Swizterland that circumnavigates the highest peak in Europe.
Our theme of pilgrimage offered a chance for the 17 participants to experience the way CCO staff use the wilderness to help students grow in faith, character, and leadership. The famous trail actually follows in some places old Roman roads used for pilgrimages to Rome centuries ago.
The thousands of photos (literally) taken by the group tell the story of how God's creation still speaks to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see (psalm 19).
The pilot trip was very well received and we have already received request to do offer another one next year.
Here are a few shots to enjoy (special credit to Howie Schultz for the most beautiful pics in the lot).
A moment of reflection on the trail
The group in Chamonix
Thursday, April 15, 2010
We are delighted to welcome Jamie Z. to our team as the OLT Administrator. She graduated from Penn State in December and has a perfect combination of skills for the job. In addition to being an accomplished outdoor leader with a winsome personality, she's organized and gifted in administration. (Not a combo you find in too many people!)
Jamie will be spending about half of her time working in the main office managing communications, record keeping, and a lot of details that go into making it possible for our staff to go on adventures with students. Her acceptance of this job is an answer to a few years of prayer for more administrative help for OLT.
The other half of her time, Jamie will be leading those adventures for freshmen orientations, fall and spring break trips, and LDW during the summers! She has been involved in Crux, a CCO outdoor program at Penn State University Park with Steph Wessel. She was a participant on LDW Wyoming during the summer of 2008.
Please join us in praying for Jamie as she begins to raise significant financial support and attends CCO's New Staff Training in June.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Does your life have distinct “ah-ha” moment? For me (Joy), it was LDW 1996 in Wyoming. I grew up in a Christian family, at a Christian camp, and attended Messiah College. But, I didn't realize I was living bad theology. I lived as tho’ I needed to earn love by being perfect and independent… until LDW. Living with people who didn’t stop loving me because I hurt them or needed some help from them woke me up. God softened my heart just enough so I could receive their grace. I learned from them that I didn’t need to earn God’s love either. Oh, what freedom!
That is a big reason I’m still involved in LDW. In January, Francois and I facilitated an overnight retreat at our home for the 8 instructors who will be leading this summer’s trips. As the applications are coming in, Francois is spending time coaching and helping the paddling team get ready (including a graduating senior who was on the trip in ‘07). I continue to supervise Kelly, the LDW Manager, whose job it is to recruit students, organize the logistics, and make sure the instructors are ready!
It’s time again for students to sign up for LDW 2010. Would you pray for full trips (35 students) so that many students can be transformed by the truth that God wants to teach them through this powerful experience and for the instructor teams as they continue to prepare for these 4 and 6-week wilderness expeditions? Please pray also for the 12 spring break trips going into the wilderness from Arkansas to Ecuador in the next few weeks. These trips can be pivotal experiences of faith development for college students.
(photo © Andrew Rush)
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
But the article also describes some concerning trends among students and how framing some classic outdoor activities (like the three-day solo we do on our summer trips) need to be adjusted to meet the needs of this new generation.
"Many college students seem to suffer from horro vacui, a fear of empty spaces"
"You don't have time to dedicate to your friends or to yourself--or to thoughts that you haven't been taught to think."
Wow! that last quote is both bewildering and downright scary. Yet another reason the Jubilee conference and the CCO ministry to college students is important.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The spiritual A La Carte is certainly visible on many college campuses but what about the trend we see in Europe. A few weeks ago the Taize community held its annual meeting. 30,000 young people came from all over the world to attend. Take a look here.
How do you understand the response to the worship students find at Taize?
Monday, January 04, 2010
We head into 2010 looking forward to what God has in the plans for us including a exciting opportunity for the Outdoor Leadership Team to support the work of the CCO's development department. Check it out!
Thanks for all your prayers and support that make our work of equipping CCO staff possible. Through them, college students get a chance to discover a different way of living, the way of Shalom and abundant life.
A little family vacation visiting Francois' dad.
Speaking of resurrecting traditions, in December Paul Harbison, Joy and Francois taught a classic four-day workshop called Working With Groups. The intensive training has been a foundation of CCO staff training for many years but had fallen off the radar. With 14 participants, we explore how groups work and how to facilitate groups from Bible studies to Spring break trips. (picture to come)
Which brings us to the end of the year. Francois defended his dissertation proposal.
A harrowing experience but not as hard as saying good bye to the best dog in the world just before the holidays. We miss her much.
The university is looking to find more constructive forms of activities to engage the students and has asked Becky to resurrect the outdoor club. The Waynesburg Outdoor Experience (WOE!) was one of the original CCO outdoor programs 25 years ago!
What a tradition!
Becky was on the sea kayak training Francois led last year and she will leading this summer's Crossings trip for graduating seniors.
October brought staff seminar and the gathering of the Outdoor Leadership Team.
Sean Purcell (on the left) came down from Canada to teach our staff about the philosophical foundations of Christian outdoor education.
We welcomed 9 new staff to the Outdoor Leadership Team. Lots of training and administrative needs to get these folks up and running has kept Joy busy this fall.
November brought the ninth annual kayak-a-thon on the Pittsburgh rivers. A gorgeous day for a 25 mile paddle! Joy was in charge of this rather complicated event. Everything ran smoothly as all her planning paid off. She kept us the 20 paddlers organized and well-fed (Thank you Chick-Fil-A) during this dawn to dusk fundraising event.
Starting with last summer!
Francois taught two leadership classes at the University of Pittsburgh. Joy helped out with the teaching of the communication modules. We have really enjoyed training CCO staff and other students with the Core Communication material from Sherrod Miller.
In September, a few of us headed to Philadelphia to run an orientation program a new CCO partner, Williamson Free School of Trades.
We met some fantastic young men starting their next educational step. CCO staff Dan Hayner is loving these guys as the CCO staff at Williamsom. We look forward to helping them develop their leadership programs using wilderness trips.
A few weeks later, we gathered the outdoor ministry folks and headed to Erie to run an orientation for middle school students for another potential new CCO partner, Family First Sports Park. We spent the day with 200 students!