Reflections on Jacob’s Ladder 2019

Jacob’s Ladder was full of enrichment opportunities or our Climbers this summer.

image of JL Climbers at Christchurch School
The 2019 Jacob’s Ladder Climbers. Christchurch School, Virginia

The summer started out with the Seniors (8th graders) adventuring on their “Senior Trip” which included a visit to the Green Bank Observatory, Seneca Rocks, the Cass Railroad and some vigorous hikes in West Virginia. This trip allowed the Seniors to bond with each other and to really think about what it was going to look like for them to fill leadership roles at camp this summer for the younger Climbers.

When all Climbers arrived at camp, we hit the ground running! Each day consisted of morning stretching, chapel, enrichment classes, afternoon activities, gym time, clubs, and devotions. This schedule gives our Climbers plenty of time to be enriched mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. Each week a new set of teachers providing engaging classes for the Climbers about a wide variety of subjects, including coding and video game design, while others involved History, Law, English, fine arts and learning how to play the ukulele! Activity time and club times included things like bracelet making, fishing, water balloon volleyball, and jeopardy.

In addition to our weekday routine, we had some special events as well. Talent Show and Coffee House allowed our Climbers to share their special talents with us! Our Christmas in July was a wonderful celebration of joy and love. Since the Climbers and staff are not together during the holidays, it is a time where we can celebrate together! A plethora of guest speakers came to talk to our Climbers, including a ventriloquist, a historian, and Mr. Lawson, a long-time friend of Jacob’s Ladder. Another amazing part of our summer was the annual Jacob’s Ladder musical, Annie, which provided our Climbers with the important message of HOPE.

Field trips were also a part of the summer. We ventured to the Science Museum of Virginia, where we saw the Pompeii exhibit and watched an IMAX movie all about volcanoes. Climbers who earned all of their “life skills” points were able to go to Jumpology! The enjoyed an afternoon of jumping and climbing all over the trampolines! Challenge Discovery’s Mobile Unit visited camp for a virtual field trip of fun team-building and leadership learning activities.

Giving back is an important tenet of Jacob’s Ladder. There were numerous service projects including gleaning corn for the Food Bank in Lancaster, VA. The Anthem LemonAid stand was a huge success, and we also sold treats to raise money for a ShelterBox with the Tappahannock Rotary Club. Some of the Climbers spent an afternoon working with children at a Boys and Girls Club as well as the residents of a nursing home.

The last night of camp Climbers enjoyed the traditional fancy dinner. It was a special evening where all the Climbers and staff got dressed up and practiced their best dining manners. Afterwards they received their Memory Books and enjoyed a signing party! This summer’s theme was iWonder… and I wonder just how much the Climbers will reflect on this special summer, and how they will implement lessons learned into their daily lives and school years this upcoming fall!

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