Print Friendly, PDF & Email
20160921-calvin-crest-002 | The Feather Online

The 8th graders took their annual outdoor education trip to Calvin Crest, Sept. 12-16. Counselors Reese Brown and Alex Rurik reflect on their experience.

Every year the 8th graders embark on a trip to Calvin Crest. JH teachers, Hallie Rojeski and Terry Richards, select a handful of high school students to be counselors for the week. Two of this year’s counselors, Reese Brown and Alex Rurik, share their experience.

Reese Brown

When I got asked to go to Calvin Crest as a leader I was filled with excitement. When I went to Calvin Crest in junior high, it was the hardest year for me, as it was my first year at FC. So when I got asked to go, already I knew that it was going to be a great opportunity to get the kids involved with each other.

While at camp I had the opportunity to go on three of the four trails. I was fortunate enough to go on the Miwok, Orienteering, and the Sequoia trail. After going on all the trails, the Sequoia was the best one.

On the trail there were huge trees that towered over you like looming giants, and small insects that were like little pebbles beneath you. The kids seemed to love this trail and were very interactive with all the landmarks that gave information about the looming trees.

Working at Calvin Crest was former FC student Zed Fries. He was happy to talk about school and wanted to know if any of the same teachers and coaches were still here. Along with Zed, there were many other leaders. This year all of the staff seemed pretty talented, and blessed. Since I was there in 8th grade, there was a new cook, store clerk and counselors.

Being able to be a role-model for the junior highers was a huge blessing. This was my first year as a leader for the campers, and I am glad it was this year because of how easy it was.

One of the most prevalent things when I went to camp were the drama or the pranks. They were unforgettable. In a cabin not to far away, there was an “accident” with bug spray that made it so no one could be in the cabin.

Thursday night was loaded with activities such as skits, songs, astronomy, create your monster, and a special talk about Mr. Richard’s special hat. On the last night there was an opportunity to confess your faith and become and Christian along with vowing to keep abstinence.

The last morning was one of tiredness, excitement and exhaustion. We almost got out all smooth, however a student almost left in the wrong car and one of the leaders had to run down the hill at to catch up and stop the car.

It was a pretty fun week. I was excited when I was asked to be a counselor and was not disappointed. I hope that next year I will have this opportunity again.

Alex Rurik

In the middle of June, JH teacher Terry Richards approached me at Hume Lake and inquired if I had interest in counseling for the annual week-long, eighth grade trip to Calvin Crest. I walked away from the conversation feeling both honored and enthusiastic because my response to this challenge was “absolutely.”

It definitely felt weird thinking that less than two years ago, I went on the same trip at the beginning of eighth grade year. My experience as a camper was phenomenal. Friendships within my class were strengthened as well as forming new friends.

The one friendship that impacted me most was with my cabin leader, Jordan Castro. For the rest of the year until he graduated, I enjoyed looking up to him and conversing about the inside tips of high school and receiving various advice from him. Creating friendships like this was a huge reason I wanted to counsel well.

My week of Calvin Crest was marvelous and I can not wait to hopefully return next year. Although it took a little getting over the weird feeling of being in charge and carrying that extra load of responsibility, I soon relaxed and enjoyed myself, and enjoyed the company of the amazing guys in my cabin. I would not trade this experience for anything else. –Alex Rurik

Going into the week I was not nervous, but felt prepared and excited to lead whatever group of guys were entrusted to me. I credit most of this readiness to my older brother, Austin. The last two summers, Austin worked as summer counseling staff at Hume Lake, meaning he filled in as a counselor in whatever camp that needed him. He was also my counselor for two weeks.

With all the experience he gained over two summers, and to be able to watch him for two weeks helped me immensely in readying myself for the week. We discussed tactics and ideas for weeks leading up to Calvin Crest, many of which I used and were successful.

Even with all this preparation, I really had no idea what to expect going into it, but trusted God in whatever may happen. On the morning up, fellow sophomore Reese Brown and I rode up with Terry Richards, which allowed time for last minute questions.

Upon arrival, the students and cabin leaders unloaded their supplies in their cabins. I trudged up the hill and met my five students in the cabin Cedar, the same one I stayed in two years prior. I quickly discussed simple rules such as no phones or food in the cabin and they went on their ways to meet everyone at the dining hall. Leaving, it felt completely strange to be in that position.

The first day went pleasantly smooth. I learned how to belay people at the rock wall along with Trevor Trevino and Katie Jacobson, the place we were to work at during free time. Afterwards the whole group met at the dining hall for lunch. I am pleased to say the food for the week rivaled the best camp food I have experienced.

The week as a whole went amazing. The students were crazy and fun, but knew when to stop messing around and be respectful which definitely blessed the staff, teachers and cabin leaders. The education trails, survival, Miwok, orienteering, rock your world and giant sequoia, were extremely fun for me to be apart of and help out on. I loved relearning the different parts of each class and reminiscing on my former experience.

By the end of the week, group leaders Hallie Rojeski and Terry Richards both agreed that this group was the best they had lead in their seventeen years going to Calvin Crest. Also, the seven of us cabin leaders were asked if we would help out during the summer and consider joining the staff. So as a whole, the week went fantastic.

The only bad part besides no hot water in the showers was the reminder of the schoolwork I was missing through the week and needed to make up. Every so often my phone would get a notification from powerschool reporting that I was marked absent in a class, which meant in my mind that I had that much more homework to complete. That stress during the week definitely hindered me a little.

20160921-calvin-crest-003 | The Feather Online

The 8th graders take a number of classes throughout the week, one of which being the Giant Sequoia trail.

One thing that helped make this week so amazing was the cabin leader group. Because Reese Brown and I were sophomores going with five seniors, they were able to speak life and encouragement into us. We as a group had a ton of fun with each other and I can speak for Reese as well as myself, we will miss them next year. Thank you guys.

My week of Calvin Crest was marvelous and I can not wait to hopefully return next year. Although it took a little getting over the weird feeling of being in charge and carrying that extra load of responsibility, I soon relaxed and enjoyed myself, and enjoyed the company of the amazing guys in my cabin. I would not trade this experience for anything else. Go Cedar!

For more information on Calvin Crest visit,

To read last years Calvin Crest reflection article check out, Junior returns from Calvin Crest with new perspective.

These authors can be reached via twitter: @alexrurik23 or @Reese_Brownie and via email: Alex Rurik or Reese Brown.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

Your voice is important to us. Share your opinion in the comment box located beneath the Related Posts section.