Thursday, April 18, 2013

EMH Students Explore Climbing, Life in Moab

Becca on a ridge
“How much do you trust God? Really trust Him?”

Four high school students recently faced that question in a very tangible way. Ekklesia Mountain High's rock climbing course in Moab, UT, offered six days of challenge, not only in learning rock climbing and basic canyoneering skills, but also in the topic of trust.

EMH Director Ben Little shared his insights: “During the rock climbing sessions, the theme of trust was put into real practice when students had to trust the rope and trust their belayers to hold them.”

Like when they rappelled 185 feet into the inside of a stone arch. Or accomplished a multi-pitch climb, higher and longer than they ever thought they could go.

“We had a lot of variety in our climbing,” said Mr. Little. “We ascended desert spires. We descended into deep canyons. Some students were really afraid of heights or other aspects of climbing, and through the week they were able to overcome that. We used rock climbing to discuss real life: what does it mean to let go and trust God with our lives?”

Micah rappelling into the dome
The experience was formative for several of the students, who opened up and talked about difficult struggles from their past and the healing God was doing in their lives. And as they discussed the challenges of trusting God, the students and staff were able to pray for each other and support one another as they learned to trust each other more.

Senior Micah Ritschard did the Moab course last year, but this year he conquered new challenges. He was able to “lead climb” for the first time, ascending a route while adding protection to the face of the route, without the advantage of a pre-placed anchor above. “Lead climbing may be one of the craziest things I have done,” Micah said. “I just had to keep moving to not let it get to me.”

Becca takes a study break.  School continues "on the trail" for EMH students
And it didn’t get to him. By the end of the week, Micah’s skills and confidence had grown so much that he was able to set up climbs for the group—a big accomplishment.

“We talked about ‘reckless abandonment,’” Mr. Little added. “Instead of holding back or trusting only part way, we want to be ‘all in’—really stepping out in faith the way God calls us to live.”

And of course the desert held other challenges besides rock climbing. Just ask Tori Housenecht:

“Rock climbing was easy. The snakes are what you should watch out for.”

Marielena and Tori "on the edge"...
To see more pictures from the 2013 Moab course, visit the Ekklesia Mountain High Facebook page here, and click the rock picture right under the top banner picture.  

Ekklesia Mountain High (EMH) is a wilderness program of Darren Patterson Christian Academy offered to high school juniors and seniors that integrates approximately 40 days of wilderness adventure and training plus an international mission trip into the school year. For more general information about EMH, please click here.  

And Marielena starting down...

And Tori on rappel.

"Aim to Serve" Gets Good Start

Good food, great testimonies, and fun door prizes marked the kick-off dinner held on Monday, April 15, 2013 for DPCA's Aim to Serve spring fundraising event.  The DPCA school board prepared a spaghetti dinner for all, and Jake White, Hawk White, Becca Wade, and Keely Campbell each briefly shared things they were thankful for and appreciative of as DPCA students.  Parent Gene McManamay shared his testimony of the impact DPCA has had in his family, mentioning the support the school community provides, the deep positive impact of Christian teaching on students and parents, the help the financial aid program has been, and the importance of developing our students' Biblical world view.

Snapshot of Aim to Serve Progress on April 18
Aim to Serve has two components this year: a Clay Shoot team competition and fundraiser on May 5th, and a Serve-a-Thon for DPCA students on May 13th.  During the Serve-a-Thon, students will be out in the community collecting cans for the Arkansas Valley Christian Mission.  Participants in the events are sending emails to friends and family to solicit sponsorships, and all donations can be made directly online or through the mail.  The focus of this year's event is the Tuition Assistance Fund, which is used each year to provide financial aid to families who desire a Christian education for their children but need help with tuition payments. If the fundraising goal of $25,000 is exceeded, a secondary goal will be the purchase of "smart boards" for some DPCA classrooms.

To learn more about the Aim to Serve event, or to support DPCA in this endeavor, please click here. Aim to Serve information is also available at the school website,, and then by clicking the Aim to Serve button on the right.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April, er, Showers?

Wow! We've had some amazingly beautiful scenes around school this morning and a few days ago.  Check out these pictures!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


 by Mr. Curro

The subject of biology is active, alive, and applicable to the lives of every student, young or old. Teaching biology this year to twelve vigorous 9th and 10th graders has been a great caper. During my planning process for teaching biology class, I am always thinking of creative and engaging ways to draw the students into the subject for the day. While teaching the unit on human digestion, the class was specifically focusing on the first two steps. The class were very familiar with the first step: chewing our food in our mouth to break down any substance. However, I desired to demonstrate the second step: where food is swallowed and travels down our esophagus with the help of a process called peristalsis. In order to provide a hands-on way of teaching this concept to the class, students were grouped together and given the challenge of getting a whole banana, which represented the food we eat, through a narrow, flexible, clear tube and into a bowl representing the stomach. As the class began the adventure most groups were skeptical of success, but as they explored how the human body accomplishes the task their imaginations moved into action.
The challenge began to become extremely messy as bananas were squished, smashed, squeezed, and liquefied down the tube. Mimicking the process food undergoes when it enters our body the students used their problem solving skills to reach victory. Even though students had banana in their hair and clothes the demonstration and biology class for the day were a great success.