Cultivating kingdom leaders
The Explore program’s vision is to cultivate kingdom leaders. The roles of experiential education, Biblical study, and reflection, are all integral parts of curriculum, but a role not yet mentioned is that of an intern. Explore interns play a crucial role in building the next generation of leaders.
Who these interns were… “Our Intern Team this year has been a pleasure to work with. When we think of words that describe them, we think of their positivity, their initiative and their character. Each Intern on our team has decided to work with the Explore Program because he or she believes in our vision of empowering and encouraging leaders in God’s Kingdom. Character is the most important factor we want in Interns, and each of our interns have demonstrated lives that are committed to the Lord, and a maturity that has allowed God to inform their values and lifestyle choices. We can trust each of them with large amounts of responsibility. Beyond their solid spiritual lives, our Interns are also consistently positive; whether faced with stress or challenges, they point one another and our students toward positive decisions and attitudes. Each person on our Intern team has also shown levels of initiative that can be rare in people their age. Rather than focusing on what they are entitled to, our Intern team is made up the kind of people make the effort to give to others and to give to our program. The Explore Interns are at the heart of our program, and we are so thankful to work with such an encouraging, talented and inspiring group of young people.” —Dennis & Hannah Landon, Explore Directors
Prairie has been praised for the degree of student involvement in the leadership of the school. All interns hold an administrative role in the Explore program. They are trained, and spend hours working in the office with the Explore directors, and fellow interns. Whether the intern is developing promotional material, planning recreational and educational events, improving curriculum, or communicating class details with professors, they are hard at work inside and outside.
Travis Pengra, from Woodland, Washington, is finishing his second year with Explore, and is completing his Jr. internship year. Travis spent this school year facilitating Red Team and his focused skills were rock climbing and mountaineering. Before coming to Explore, Travis spent three years at Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR. studying Human Health and Kinetics on a track/cross country scholarship as well as a theatre scholarship. Travis is often found playing volleyball, going for a run, snowboarding through powder, or laughing with (and sometimes at) his friends. Travis pursued the internship because, “I love the mission and vision of explore and want to be a part of it and help others experience what I have learned. It is also equipping me for my future occupation.” Travis will be moving on to the Sr. intern position and his future plans are to work in camp/outdoor ministry programs in Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. Travis has been an energetic, and idea-generating influence on the intern team this year. While on Mountaineering specialization this winter he was able to roll with the punches after the team was forced to evacuate, and paralleled the challenging experiences of the trip with James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
Melissa Smyth comes from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and is finishing her third and final year in Explore. For Melissa, this school year held leading Red Team, teaching kayaking and telemark skiing, and helping the students learn Greek for one of their bible classes. Before coming to Explore Melissa spent two years at North Idaho College near home and worked at a bakery. Melissa is a coffee connoisseur, loves to go backpacking, spends time crocheting, enjoys beautiful days of telemark skiing and kayaking. After graduating this spring with her BAMOL (Bachelor of Arts of Ministry in Outdoor Leadership), Melissa will be returning home to work during a year of transition before deciding where to go next. Melissa has been an valuable asset to Explore in her Sr. internship through her ability to organize assignments and syllabi, because she cares about students, and that they understand class details in the confusion of moving between Prairie and Camp Bighorn. As she taught kayaking this fall, Melissa was able to share firsthand the lessons she learned when experiencing the rapids as a first-year student two years ago.
Katie Freedman is from Lubbock, Texas and is completing one year of internship that has included both Jr. and Sr. intern duties. Katie spent this school year co/facilitating Silver Team, focused in kayaking, and taught the challenge course while at Camp Bighorn. Before coming to Explore Katie spent a year in Cambodia with her family as her parents served in medical missions. She will be graduating this spring with her Associates of Arts of Ministry in Outdoor Leadership and will be attending CAN-IL with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the fall. She hopes to become a language surveyor and would love to return to Cambodia. Katie is an artist, plays the piano excellently, has an eye for photography, loves the outdoors, and enjoys road trips. Katie is the “Jr. intern that everybody thinks is a Sr. intern.” She showed her maturity this year by stepping into teaching challenge course in the fall, sharing her desire for authentic community with the student body.
Challen Iron, from northern Saskatchewan, is finishing his second year in Explore, and completing his Jr. internship year. Challen spent the school year co/facilitating Silver Team, teaching telemark skiing, and also focused in kayaking. He is the second of eight children in his family and worked at Higher Challenge Wilderness Adventures Camp as well as harvesting wild rice with his grandfather in Saskatchewan. He is an excellent writer, enjoys playing the guitar and piano by ear, and succeeds at every skill Explore provides. His team has stopped making “Chuck Norris” jokes and has started making “Challen” jokes. Challen decided to do the internship because, “I find this context an excellent environment to not only grow, but serve as well while I continue to seek clarity in plans for life beyond.” Challen is a man who lives by his values. He evidenced his character this year as he stepped into his student’s lives. He willingly asks the hard questions, and affirms qualities he sees in his students.
Dalton Wynne is from Custer, Washington and has been a volunteer intern with Explore for the last two years. As a Sr. intern he has spent the last school year leading Green Team, teaching rock climbing and winter survival, and working on program team planning Explore events. He chose to do the internship because, “I was going through a transition of asking God, “What does being obedient to you look like?’ and God opened the door of working at Camp Bighorn and then moving in to Explore.” Before coming to Explore Dalton spent two years at Whatcom Community College studying Aeronautical Engineering and working at Camp Bighorn during the summer season. He enjoys unicycling, long boarding, going out to movies and eating Taco Bell, and hanging out with his girlfriend, Abbie. Dalton is planning on going into youth ministry and, in June, will be starting an internship in his home church with the Jr. and Sr. high school. Dalton chooses to be a huge relational presence with the guys in Explore. It is not an uncommon sight to see be walking along and see Dalton teaching a couple students how to unicycle. He invites people into his life, and through this has opportunity to coach students towards Christ.
Abigail Lee spent most of her growing up years in Billings, MT. but was born in Uruguay, South America. She is a volunteer intern and is finishing her Jr. internship year. Abigail spent the school year facilitating Green Team and focused in rafting and telemark skiing. She chose to do the internship because, “I wanted to learn how to be a disciple and lead; Explore seemed to be a perfect fit.” Before joining the Explore intern team, Abigail acquired her Cosmetology license at the Academy of Cosmetology in Bozeman, MT. In the last two years of high school she spent her summers working at Camp Bighorn. She will be continuing on to the Sr. internship position in the fall and would eventually like to study business and chemistry and incorporate those into her Cosmetology license. Abigail spent many years taking and teaching Irish dance, and enjoys singing, likes to spend a day canoeing on the river, or skiing down the mountain, and genuinely loves being with people. Abigail came onto the intern team this year as a volunteer intern–meaning she had never gone through the Explore program before. Her intuition, work ethic, and quickness to pick up experiential education philosophy has impressed both Explore directors, and fellow interns alike. As a non-traditional intern (not taking classes while at PBI), Abigail has given her time to developing materials for an Intern Scholarship fund.
Faith Doty is a Montana native from Polson, Mt. Faith has been with the Explore program for two years as a volunteer intern. During this fall semester Faith worked as a Sr. intern teaching rafting and conflict management. During the spring semester she moved to Explore’s second year program to serve as an assistant field director; this position included going on an exciting 17-day backpacking trip in Death Valley, CA. Faith is an administrative and responsible lady who loves to be outdoors, enjoys learning and teaching, and loves to cook and be with people. Before coming to Explore she completed a one-year certificate in Worldview Studies through the Institute for Creation Research. She worked four summers with Camp Bighorn, and also spent many hours working for her fathers tree pruning business, nannying, and waitressing at a local bistro. Faith plans on moving back to Montana to work and go to school at MSU in Bozeman, MT. Faith has had an immense impact on the intern team with her positivity and maturity. She is often found with a dorm room full of girls laughing and bringing wisdom to many situations. She has been a huge help to the directors as she works to organize curriculum and develop promotional material.
This year Explore will be saying goodbye to Dalton Wynne, Faith Doty, and Melissa Smyth; all who have contributed to the program in a valuable way. We are sad to see this phase end, but we will bless them as they go, for we know that God has great plans.
Explore is pleased to welcome Jared Palmer, Kate Milner, and Frank Martens to the intern team next year! Jared and Frank have been students in the first year program this year, while Kate did her second year with Explore2. All three are excellent people, quality leaders, and loads of fun to be around. They will be joining Travis, Challen, and Abigail after graduation to form the intern team of 2013-2014. We are excited to see this new intern team grow and develop, and are confident in their potential leadership in Explore.
According to a study by NOLS (http://www.health.utah.edu/prt/nols/transfer.pdf)), the instructor plays a vital role in the transfer of learning—that is, any teaching that stays past regurgitation—thus interns are not selected haphazardly. Each individual Explore brings on as an intern is intentionally evaluated to affirm that the internship will be a good fit both for them and the program.
Our interns work hard throughout the school year with the Directors and with the students. Not only do they give of their time during the school year but also through the summer. One of the requirements for the internship is that each intern gives up their summers serving on Camp Bighorn’s volunteer summer staff. The Bighorn summer experience is a vital role in each interns personal development and as they prepare to welcome the students in the fall. With the desire to help our interns, we have created an Intern Scholarship fund. The hope is that this fund can cover the cost of room and board for each intern.
If you would like to have a part in building the next generation of leaders please consider the option of donating to our Intern Scholarship fund. Click on the applicable link below, select ‘Other’ in the Designation box, and specify ‘Explore Internship Fund’.
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