A highlight of the senior year is the senior trip at The Wilds Camp & Conference Center in Brevard, NC. We have reflected on its significant value as the trip was hanging in the balance this year because of the coronavirus—can we preserve it, or must we cancel. Can we safely transport and house all the seniors through the week? When we return, do we create risk of a COVID-19 outbreak and jeopardize the rest of the student body and University students?
Praise the Lord! The seniors and sponsors going on the trip were tested for COVID-19, and each received a negative test result. We were able to work through many additional details to allow the seniors to attend camp this week.
But why is this trip such a big deal?
We regard The Wilds senior trip as a capstone event in the students’ educational life. Let me explain.
During a great week of camp, the seniors are confronted again by the question, “What will you do with Jesus?” While BJA seeks to provide an excellent educational and extracurricular program, a student can graduate as a top athlete or a brilliant debater or even as the valedictorian of the class and still miss the purpose God has for that student whose focus is on self instead of the Lord. Removed from the distractions of normal life and sitting under the direct preaching of the Word of God, the seniors have an unobstructed view of their personal relationships with the Lord and what decisions they need to make to follow Him.
Additionally, the seniors make memories and cultivate relationships they will have for years to come. As they look back, they will recall the special relationships with their classmates—some they had known for a long time and others newly acquainted.
And, then, seniors return to campus with a renewed vision which cascades down to the underclassmen. Having the senior trip early in the year enables the seniors to encourage the other students through the remainder of the year.
The seniors will return tomorrow and, as is the tradition, will be welcomed by the juniors who begin their anticipation of their own trip next year.
Would you join me in praying that God will do a tremendous work in the hearts of our seniors—a work that will spill over into the lives of others to produce fruit for our Lord and Savior?