Spiritually Renewed by Senior Survival

Senior Survival 2013 Courtesy of Alyssia Cutler

Senior Survival 2013
Courtesy of Alyssia Cutler

On September 6, 2013, seventeen South Lancaster Academy Seniors, and five chaperones embarked on a seven hour bus ride up to Jackman, Maine. They left as a class, and after eight days, they returned as a family.

Senior Survival has become an annual event at SLA, for each senior class. The reactions to the trip have varied throughout the years, ranging from, ” It was the worst week of my life”, to ” It changed my life.”

At the start of the week, the class of 2014 showed signs of being a part of the first category. By the second full day, the superficial veil was torn, revealing the true identities of the class for the first time.

The trip consisted of two extensive bus rides to and from Maine, 15 hours of canoeing, one half-mile portage, three campsites, four nights of rain, two storms, a whole slew of fires, team building activities, 19 meals to be cooked, and dirt latrines. Despite these discomforts, good times were had as well.

The Seniors shared an infinite amount of laughs and inside jokes, no drama, studied the last six chapters of the Great Controversy, as a group missed two dear classmates, cuddled to stay warm, and arrived back home as 22 very stinky people – and most importantly a transformed group who left as individual people to a unit that will last a lifetime. 22 lives changed, and renewed their journey with God.

A lot of memories were made, and many funny moments occurred. Most importantly everyone felt and experienced the spiritual aspect and the Holy Spirit dwelling in our presence. To get a glimpse of what the seniors went through, the SLA Pioneer, sat down with individuals to hear their personal experience about Senior Survival.

Senior, Allura Milliron enthusiastically said, ” I LOVED Senior Survival! It was such a great experience to have with your class. It brings you all together more than you could imagine. You learn a lot about yourself, as well as your friends. The spiritual aspect of it is also amazing. You read the Great Controversy and learn so much more and get excited about it as well. When your out there, all distractions are GONE, and its a good feeling to not have to think or worry about anything going on in the outside world. Overall it’s such a great time and hope other classes get out of it as much as we did.”

“To be honest, I wasn’t excited about Senior Survival. In fact, I thought the whole thing was stupid and a waste of time, until today. I love it. This is amazing. I can’t wait to experience the rest of the week.” Frankie Vasquez, said on the second full day of the trip.

Natalia Perez expressed her feelings by saying, ” Senior Survival was one of the best weeks of my life. I leaned to listen to Jesus, that I’m never alone, and that our class is amazingly ridiculous, and I love every single one of them. I was both spiritually and emotionally revived and I personally want to extend that to as many people as I can possibly reach and let them know that they matter and they are loved. The real Senior Survival starts after the actual trip and I’m excited to see all the potential our class has in store to make a change and leave a mark.”

Being a Senior myself and going on this trip, I can vouch for the indescribable things that took place. Living with death chasing us, we only have a set amount of time to be a part of life. To enjoy it. To experience good and bad times. Which means we only have a set amount of time to do something, and make a difference. The class of 2014 recognized this sad but true fact, so we have made plans to impact SLA and the world around us. We have made plans to not follow the path that has been made for years, but rather carve our own, and leave it for upcoming classes, and anyone looking for a place to go. We have a lot of plans to set an example, and tag SLA along on your walk with God.

As a class we also learned that you don’t have to wait until your senior year to start Senior Survival or preparation for it. Start now. Senior Survival is about recognizing where you stand with God, accepting the fact there will be hard times, and figuring out with the help of God, how to survive our battle against the devil. Don’t wait until your senior year. Don’t dwell in surviving, but start your victory.

Former seniors of SLA, or other students that have experienced a survival of their own comment below shairng about your experience! Was the trip a blessing or a curse?



Posted on September 19, 2013, in Spiritual Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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