Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Great Sand Dunes 2014

Hiking for miles with 50+ pound packs. Learning to cook an entire meal in one pot over a tiny stove. Climbing a 13,000 foot peak. Hiking over a mountain pass in a howling windstorm. Learning to keep walking even when cold, wet, and hungry. Struggling with altitude sickness. Discovering giant seesaws made from fallen trees. Worshipping together under a blanket of stars. Laughing, laughing, laughing. Learning to trust. Becoming vulnerable. Letting go of burdens. 
These are a few of the many adventures that Ekklesia Mountain High students and teachers experienced on The Great Sand Dunes backpacking course, August 18-28. Ten juniors and seniors, three instructors, and one instructor-in-training spent ten days in the wilderness in the first of their four core courses. 
“This is the foundational course for the year, and we went into it wanting to establish what kind of community we are going to be,” said EMH Director Ben Little.  “We want to be intentional in creating a community centered on openness, trust, growth, and encouragement. We want the students to see themselves as a family...”

The students were challenged in many ways during the 10-day course.  One commented:

 “I learned a lot about myself through this course. God reminded me of several areas he wanted me to grow and develop in as a daughter of God, such as my true identity, my dependency on Jesus, and how I need to work on putting Christ first in my life.”
There's more! To continue reading  the full article, and see more of the course photos, click here to continue to the EMH blog page.

Ekklesia Mountain High is a boarding and day-student program for high school juniors and seniors at Darren Patterson Christian Academy, in which approximately forty days of wilderness experience and leadership training is integrated with rigorous academics in DPCA's Biblically-centered environment.  To learn more, please visit the school's website at, and the EMH program's website at

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