Fall retreat sets foundation for school year
by Victoria Bruick, BCHS student
It’s September again, and for Bakersfield Christian High School that means time for the annual all-school retreat. For the ninth year in a row, more than 400 teenage students piled into buses for a three-day stay at Hume Lake Christian Camp last week.
Each year the trip offers fun activities for students such as boating, paintball, hiking and swimming, as well as the opportunity to grow spiritually through the chapels and cabin discussions. Teachers and school staff accompanied the students as counselors and often joined in on the fun as well.
“Hume is a great opportunity for students and staff to build community in a setting off the school site,” said Vice President of Student Life Jeff Ward. “The mountain setting allows for the school family to be less distracted and more accessible to each other.”
BCHS brought in speaker Pastor Shawn McBride from Washington D.C. and worship leader Holly Starr from Washington state. McBride is the founder of Truth for Youth America, a ministry focused on evangelizing, equipping and training young people for the cause of Christ. Starr, an up-and-coming Christian artist, has visited BCHS twice and she led worship at last year’s retreat as well.
“My passion in life is just to talk about Jesus and to encourage other people to think and to share about Him as well,” Starr said. “Worship leading is a tool for me to do that.”
McBride spoke at the school’s Hume retreat four years ago, so though he was known by some of the faculty and staff, he was speaking to an entirely different group of students this year.
“The dynamic (personality) of the speaker and the way he was able to communicate with people was something that really touched the students,” stated senior Wade Fisher.
McBride focused his talks around BCHS’ theme for the school year: Alternative Identity.
“Christians are meant to be specifically different than the rest of our culture and not to conform to things that are not of Christ,” explained junior Logan Archer.
Students were given the opportunity to form stronger bonds with their friends and teachers through cabin discussion times, which were follow-ups to the chapels.
“I love that I now have a closer group of friends who know what I’ve experienced and will keep me accountable,” commented senior Bethany Spiva.
There are many school traditions that are held during the stay at Hume Lake. Wednesday is bookended by two school favorites – Dye Wars and Open Mic Night.
Dye Wars began with students decked in white and war paint and ends in laughter, lots of blue and yellow, and a commemorative school photo. This year the teachers surprised the students and joined the battle with squirt guns and tubs of red dye.
Later, after a full day of activities and chapel, the students gathered around to watch their talented classmates and teachers perform. Highlights from this year included William Crockett leading the school in an original rap and Caleb Hall and Evan Goehring serenading Holly Starr.
By Thursday morning, everyone was tired and ready to head back home. However, Hume is not quickly forgotten.
“This trip helps to set a tone for the rest of the year in what we are about as a school and where we want to go,” Ward said.
Hume is a fond high school memory according to BCHS students and one reason they can’t wait for September.
Download Chapels from Hume 2012 >>