Welcome to Endure 2019! As staff, we hope and pray the week for your student is transformative and discovery-filled.
Sunday is marked by beginnings. Students and their parents check-in, meet staff, receive information, and students pick up their gear for the week. Peter David Gross, Wheatstone Ministries Executive Director, kicks off the afternoon with a welcome talk, a summary of the week’s theme, the rules, Wheatstone’s values, and most importantly, the student’s small group assignments.
Small groups are integral to the week. Mentor lead small groups give students a concise slice of community to love well. Through rigorous discussion and group activities, they will glimpse what it means to care and to love others well under the guidance of their mentor.
After some ice-breaker games in their small groups, students have their first session with Dr. John Mark Reynolds, President of the St. Constantine School and Founder of Wheatstone Ministries. Dr. Reynolds considered one of the central questions of the week, based on the dialogue Laches. “What is courage?”
Dr. Reynold’s opening proposition is that the opposite of courage is not cowardice but rather an insistent urge to hurry. It is a frenzied mindset that is never still. It fears boredom. This mindset, he explained, occupies people with the distractions of consumerism and over-scheduling. They have no time to consider themselves — who am I? — or their purpose in life — why I am here? These questions are made more urgent given the certainty of death.
To ancient scholars like Plato, preparing well for one’s death may be the one worthwhile goal in life. The cultivation of virtues, like courage, are considered vital aids to facing death well. Thinking of death is not popular, fearful rather. Considering courage brings about questions such as, “How do I know if I am courageous?” “Is that a good thing?” “What is good?” “What is worth seeking?” It is these questions that begin turning students toward understanding themselves and their small group mates during Monday’s outdoor activities and Tuesday’s first discussion.
Let’s make something worthwhile. Let’s build the first steps into a life that is fundamentally different and better than the one you have now.
Heavy stuff for camp, right?
Wheatstone believes that young people are capable of more. We tell them that this week they are not children to us. Neither are they adults. We want to show them how they can better grow into the people Jesus made them to be. God has created us for flourishing. The more we learn can endure with His hope and His love, the better we can begin to flourish and mature ourselves.
The night ends with a theatrical reading of Laches — the dialogue for this week by Plato. It’s like a big slumber party around a read-aloud. With the words of the dialogue echoing into the evening, students start to make a real beginning.