For their first high school camp together, the Class of 2017 explored Jesus Christ’s journey to the cross and learned more about the significance of his crucifixion.

Held in mid-October, the freshman camp featured a simulation of the crucifixion of Christ. On the first night, the students were blindfolded and led through the simulation. They heard the cries of a man being whipped and the shouts of an angry mob demanding Christ’s death. An unexpected but memorable moment occurred when the sprinklers suddenly went off. “We didn’t know if this was actually part of the simulation,” freshman David Toda said. “I remember thinking, ‘Is the blood of Jesus splashing all over us?’”

I think they learned a lot about each other, and how each student has different joys and struggles in their lives.

The next day, the freshmen bonded together with games like hide-and-seek, and spent time at the beach. Later that night, everyone gathered at the campfire and were invited to share their personal struggles. They then wrote them on paper hearts which were nailed to a wooden cross, symbolizing their need for forgiveness.

Christian Ministries Director Rob Lockridge describes the freshmen as having had a fun camp while leaving with a deeper understanding of what it means to be forgiven. “I am certain they will remember all the conversations and times of sharing,” he said. “I think they learned a lot about each other, and how each student has different joys and struggles in their lives.”

Freshman Paige Oshiro found the campfire time to be particularly memorable. “I think it was really interesting to hear everyone’s backstories at the campfire and during family group time,” she said.

Student counselors were present to assist with camp activities. Senior Taylor Ishida felt that her role was to lead by example and help things go smoothly at camp. She said, “I enjoyed how open the ninth graders were to what God has to say. I just hope that they continue to remember [the experience] and not just forget about it because it’s camp.”

Lockridge is grateful for the help of student counselors and staff. He said, “This was one of the best freshman camps I can remember due to the involvement and enthusiasm of the faculty, advisers, and student counselors. I don’t know how we could possibly top this camp, but God always provides a way.”

Photographs by Christian Oshiro (’14)