Does orienteering, rappelling, leaf rubbings and an 80 person game of Capture the Flag sound like a normal school day? It is when the Texico Conference invites all the grades 5-8 church school students to the Sam Tobias Memorial Campground near Ruidoso, NM.

The first order of business was to pitch the tents and spread out sleeping bags, pillows and blankets. El Paso teacher, Cathie Workman, invited LJA students, Rebekah and Timmy to stay in their school’s tents. Rebekkah and Timmy started working right alongside students from El Paso Junior Academy and soon three tents were up and ready. Derral Reeve, Texico Conference Superintendent of Education, rallied all the teachers, sponsors and students to begin classes which were held in picnic shelters scattered across the camp. Eight groups were quickly organized and while some students went rock rappelling, another group learned how to use a compass in orienteering.

Each day began with worship conducted by the students. After supper everyone enjoyed large group activities. We saw many deer toward evening and then, and only then, did silence reign. One beautiful sight was a mother deer and her twins.

All too soon it was over. It was a good journey with God’s nature and people. Soon and very soon we’ll be together at a much larger Outdoor School, Heaven.

Susan Zimmermann