A Parent's Reflection on the BAC
50+ days is an ideal amount of time for participants to be able to grow and learn valuable skills in the outdoors. But it’s also a long time to be away from home and the normality of day-to-day life. We spoke with Serina about her daughter’s (Victoria) experience with last summer’s Bower Adventure Course, to gain a little insight into how formational this trip is!
What made you most excited about this opportunity for Victoria?
I was most excited for the growth that I was going to see in her! Especially with her relationship with God, and I was hoping for her to become more familiar with the Bible. I was also excited for her to be away from electronics. When she was at home, she spent a lot of time on her phone and I thought it would be good for her to be away from the constant connection. When she called while she was on the course, I was so happy to hear that the girls were not only disconnected from social media, but that they were reading the gospel and that that was the focus.
Did you think this experience was worth it for your daughter?
I believe it was totally worth it. It was even worth her being gone for almost two months, which was really hard. She has memories now that she is going to keep forever. This is something that she did without her mom and something she learned so much from. I think it is going to benefit her when she leaves for college too.
How did you feel Peak 7 addressed your concerns about safety?
I didn’t have any concerns. I knew there was a possibility that she could get injured, but I kept it in prayer and realized that I have to let her go. I knew that there was the possibility but felt like it would be handled well if it did happen and knew that Peak 7 works really hard to keep the kids that go on their trips safe.
What was communication with Victoria like when she was on the course?
She would call when the group had service, and I would ask her where she was, and what she was doing. She would be really excited and would tell me about “pitches,” (a rock climbing term) and other fun things they were doing. She would also share that she missed me and sometimes that she was tired. We talked on the fourth of July, she told me that she could see fireworks since the group was at their base camp near Wenatchee. She talked about the support she had from everyone, how when she was climbing she would feel encouraged to push past her fears. She talked about the food the group ate and how the girls helped in the “kitchen” and told me about funny times and hard times. When she talked about the hard time, she was talking about the times where she was scared or struggling and needed that extra push, and she talked about how she always had that extra support from her group.
Was there a noticeable change when Victoria returned? What were some of the big things she learned?
When she came back home I noticed that she was more patient, even now it takes a lot for her to lose her cool. Being that she has three younger brothers, she is put to the challenge daily, and now she can take a lot before she gets upset. I also notice a change with her being more open, she is still shy, but I notice that when we are out and about she smiles at people that she doesn’t know, I can tell that she has more confidence in herself. Since being back, she plays a huge role in church, more than ever. Being on the trip has helped her be more open and polite with others. She used to be intimidating and that has changed with her. She’s on her phone less and isn’t texting people as much and isn’t really on social media as much. She’s more confident, more social, getting more involved with the church, it’s wonderful. And on top of all that, her relationship with God definitely grew.
What advice do you have for other parents?
I think they should let their kids grow in whatever it is that their child needs, and the BAC is a great environment for that. The BAC is a great experience for the kids. It’s good for them to be in nature, I think when they are out there, positivity and value come into play. I know that when my daughter looks at the sky here in the city, where there is traffic and people and grocery stores, she is able to look at all of that and see the beauty God created.
Given the opportunity, would you yourself want to go on this course?
Heck yeah! After everything my daughter has told me about the BAC, totally.