HS students embark on academic trips

A recap of the 12th Grade Trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona from Mr. Slonaker:

After flying into Las Vegas, we drove by Hoover Dam and headed up to Utah to our hotel near Zion National Park. The next day, everyone opted to rent the special equipment needed to explore The Narrows at Zion. The Narrows is at the far end of the park and follows the Virgin River back towards its source as the canyon walls draw closer together but remain just as steep. The trail is walking alongside and in the river. It was an amazing experience and was easily a favorite adventure. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the other parts of the park on various trails.
Our next day was our journey from St. George, Utah to Flagstaff, Arizona with several stops along the way. After stopping by River Rock Roasting Company (where the coffee quality is matched by the amazing view) we explored some Sand Caves, the Belly of the Dragon, Horseshoe Bend, and the cliff dwellings in Walnut Canyon National Monument. After dinner, we enjoyed some quality time together at the hotel.
Our final full day was spent exploring the South Rim of Grand Canyon. Part of the group ventured the trail into the canyon while other groups explored the views from the rim trails. We left the park and then had dinner in the iconic town of Williams, AZ (which is the inspiration for the fictional town of Radiator Springs in Disney's Cars movie) and then spent the evening gazing at the stars at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. The clear skies allowed us to see the milky way without a telescope and amazing views of Saturn and its moons through the various telescopes.
Returning to us from last year's trip was our fantastic tour guide, Cortland Ellis. Cortland had this to say: "You have an amazing group of seniors, and I'm so grateful that I got to connect with them this week. They are really special, and I'm excited for what God has in store for them in the future!"

A recap of the 11th Grade Trip to serve the community from Mrs. Henry:

During the 11th grade trip, the junior class acted as a team and developed a strong camaraderie with each other as they shared God’s love with the broader community in Ohio. On Tuesday, they learned about veterans at the National Veterans Memorial Museum and honored their lives at Greenlawn Cemetary. At the end of the day, students shared their respect for men and women who serve our country and reflected on the sacrifice of life that some have given. The experience reminded many students of the brevity of life and the importance of putting their trust in the Lord. Some students even expressed a desire to serve the country in the future.
On Wednesday, students volunteered at Mid-Ohio Food bank to provide the community with various food items. Despite the fast-paced work there and the heat outside that day, students didn’t complain. On Thursday, they cleaned, gardened, and stocked food at Center of Hope. The organization shared a short message with students on how Jesus honored and valued all people, regardless of how the world perceived them, which connects to Center of Hope’s desire to value all people who come in their doors, regardless of their socioeconomic status.  Students saw their mission statement in action as people came into the organization for food and clothing later in the day, and many students reflected on the welcoming atmosphere there and their own desires to better care for people in their communities. 
On Friday, students helped sort donated toys and coats at Maywood Mission. Despite the large task in front of them, students worked together to set up an organization system that worked, and they highlighted their thankfulness for each other at the end of the day. It was beautiful to witness the students come together as a class and strengthen their relationships with each other as they served God by serving each other and their community.

A recap of the 10th Grade Trip to New River Gorge, West Virginia from Mr. Hermetz:

The 10th graders had a blast on their trip to the New River Gorge! We had a great time going through Galatians 6:7-10 talking about what it means to reap what we sow and not grow weary in sowing in the Spirit for the good of all those around us, and we got to make some food and enjoy the campfire.
Our adventures down the river showed us some tremendous growth in the students in a short amount of time. It was an unforgettable experience for everyone and we can't wait to see how God continues to use this time to help our students grow closer to Him!

A recap of the 9th Grade Trip to Washington, D.C. from Mr. Pettit:

This year's trip was a great experience. Despite the heat and a lot of walking, we had a great time. In four short days, we visited the Gettysburg museum, battlefield, and National Cemetery (the site of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address), Ford's Theatre, the Smithsonian museums of Natural History, American History, and Air & Space, the Holocaust Museum, the World War I, World War II, Martin Luther King Jr., Vietnam, Korea, and Lincoln memorial monuments, the Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, and the Museum of the Bible.
At Arlington National Cemetery, four of our students participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and we had the privilege of welcoming a veterans' Honor Flight, which turned out to be from Columbus. Each day we focused on a different virtue associated with the places we visited, like courage and self-sacrifice. It was a meaningful experience that we hope will impact the students for years to come. Thank you to Mrs. Ladd, Dr. Houston, and the parent chaperones who helped make this a great trip!