Posts Categorized: Adventures

Working on Summer Staff has HUGE impact

Posted by & filed under Adventures, General, Kidder Creek, Staff News.

 

A recent staff impact study  highlights the impact that working on summer staff has on staff.  We already know that spending a summer serving others in great community is life transforming, this study backs it up.

Through the study, summer staff were asked to describe the impact of working at camp had on them.  Their responses were similar to the impact that campers share when asked how camp impacted them.

Leadership.  Impact.  Life.  Grow.  Teach.  Learn.  Relationship.

According to the study summer staff grew significantly in the areas of teamwork, faith, social and emotional intelligence and leadership.  Wow!  Not only are we having an impact on our campers, but also, on the staff we get to work alongside of every summer!

Check out what one of our staff had to say about their time on summer staff team last summer.

 “Kidder Creek brought me close to God in ways I didn’t even know were possible!  I grew up in the church and knew who God was but nothing compared to how I know Him now.  Having meaningful conversations about life and how we see God moving is something I had craved but never knew.  I left something so comfortable back at home and at my old school.  Knowing that God is with me everywhere I go makes anything worth it!  I have given my life to Him and I cannot wait to see where He takes me!”

Please join us in praying for our summer staff.  They have really cool jobs and make lifelong friendships in their time here.  Pray that God will use this summer to impact them in great ways and draw them closer to Jesus while they work alongside of Him and get to see Him do great work in the lives of the campers.

Know a college aged young adult that still needs something to do this summer?  Send them to:

whyiworkatcamp.com

There they can apply for summer jobs at Kidder Creek Camp.  We are still hiring lifeguards, counselors, food service and maintenance staff.

 

 

What’s happening at Kidder? April 2018

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Building Projects, General, Giving, Kidder Creek.

There are always a lot of exciting things happening at Kidder throughout the year.  This monthly blogpost will give you some of the highlights and things we are excited about.

April 2018 Highlights

God has been blessing Kidder Creek the last several years with continued growth in the number of campers that are able to come learn about the love of Christ!  It’s been such an honor to be a part of that growth process!  We hear over and over how kids lives are transformed here at Kidder, so it’s great to have more campers.  More campers =  Greater impact.  Of course, if we have more campers, we’re going to need more staff, but the problem we’ve run into is where to keep all of these wonderfully kind, servant-hearted young adults!

This spring we began construction on two new staff tent cabins that will be meeting a need that  for more staff housing.  These new cabins will be slightly bigger than our camper tent cabins and will have electricity (unlike our camper cabins).

Our awesome summer staff are the energy behind the amazing things happening at camp and we are beyond excited to provide some new digs for them this summer.
Check out the progress so far (we’ll post completed pictures later!)

  

Did you know that YOU can join us in taking care of our staff by donating to this project.  Thanks for supporting life transforming adventures in creation at Kidder Creek Camp!

Donate Now!

*After redirecting to our donation page select Kidder Creek in the drop down menu, please make your donation to the general fund.

Why Adventure?

Posted by & filed under Adventures, General, Kidder Creek, Youth.

Why Adventure?  Better yet, why not adventure?   Through adventures we develop and grow into the person that God made us to be.  He invites us into His adventure, to join Him in doing His work.

 

At Kidder Creek we have ample opportunities to join in on great adventures.  When a child rides a horse for the first time they will carry that with them the rest of their life.   When someone faces their fears and steps off the zipline platform to soar through the trees they embrace life’s adventure.  Mountain biking, rafting or backpacking to a mountain lake with nothing but the necessities of life on your back, one realizes how big this world really is  and the intricacy and beauty that abounds in it!

These adventures teach, allowing us to grow in our faith and discover who we are and what we are made of.   Think about your own life, the times you remember are the times you stepped out of your comfort zone and into your adventure zone.  Growth happens in the adventure zone.  Growth that develops leadership and teamwork. 

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy got it right.  He understood that a life of adventure is a life worth living.  Dare to do mighty things at Kidder this summer and grow!  

Learn to work together with your team while rafting on the mighty Klamath.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a leap and find out what you are made of.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn to stand when everything in you says you should sit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Develop grit while climbing to new heights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get some dirt on your face while riding with your friends.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spend time in creation and connect to the creator.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register today for an adventure experience and grow.  Live the Adventure!

A Glimpse at the 2018 Kidder Creek Summer Staff

Posted by & filed under Adventures, General, Kidder Creek, Youth.

2018 Kidder Creek Summer Staff Highlight

Spring is in full swing and we are well on our way to being fully staffed for the summer!  Meet a few of the awesome staff we have hired so far!


Abi A.

Abi is returning for a second summer at Kidder Creek as one of our Adventure Trip Leads!  Last year she brought so much light, joy and energy to every week’s cabin that she counseled and we are thrilled to have her serving alongside the rest of our staff next summer.  Abi originally came to us from Southern California where she attended Cal Baptist University and played for their water polo team.  After last summer, she proved to be a great example to us all as she followed the call from Jesus and accepted the challenge of moving to a new town and stepping into the unknown.  We are so glad she’ll be back to share her heart, joy and zeal for the Love of God with everyone who comes to camp!



Gerrit

I’m excited to share the love of Jesus with kids through the outdoors and be a positive role model in their lives. The outdoors is often where I connect with God the most and kids need to know that He is not found solely within the walls of a church. 



Maddie

Maddie grew up coming to ranch camp as a camper and now, full circle, we are excited to have here on our Lifeguard and Health Aid team!  From Maddie: “Hey guys! I’m so excited to be working at Kidder Creek this summer because God works in amazing ways and I can’t wait to see how He takes ordinary people and circumstances and turns them into extraordinary situations. He’s taught me so much these past several months and I’m excited to put what I learned to use and have Christ work in and through me as much as possible. I’ve always wanted to work here because I grew up going to Ranch Camp so, I’m excited!!” 


 

Fischer

Fischer is making his debut this summer at Kidder Creek as our videographer!!  He felt the call of God to move west and we couldn’t be more thrilled! From Fischer: “This summer, I am beyond stoked to dive in to camp life and document all of the joy and Jesus present. It will be my second summer working as a camera guy at camp, and I aim to continue investing myself in telling stories that matter, as well as honing my abilities as a videographer. Through capturing God’s work and presence at Kidder, I can use my talents to further His Kingdom, and that’s pretty cool!”


Paige

Paige is returning another year as one of our wranglers!  Paige says: “I look forward to teaching kids how to ride horses and conquer fears throughout their week with us. I’m super excited to help them see God in everything they do. I’m hoping to help them realize that they are loved and important and that there’s a Creator that loves them for who they are. I can’t wait to meet these kids and help them to be a light of the world.”

 


With staff like these, I am sure it will be a great summer!

This summer we will hire 65 summer staff.  Know someone who might be a good fit for Kidder Creek Summer Staff? Send them to our application page where they can find out more about having the best summer of their lives serving Jesus in a rad place as part of a great community.  www.whyiworkatcamp.com

Brand New Parent Child Camps For This Year!

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Building Projects, General, Kidder Creek, Youth.

There are so many things happening at Kidder Creek Camp as we prepare for yet another summer of adventures in creation with kids, youth and families!  There are some really great New Things that I am especially excited about.

A few years back we started our Mother Daughter Ranch Camp.  It has been so fun seeing moms and daughters playing, riding horses and worshiping together.  In fact it’s been so great that we have decided to expand the options to Fathers and Sons and also to any combination of Parent and Child for mt bike camps in 2018.  Come and enjoy time together and in creation making memories that will last a lifetime.

MD Ranch 18 - Mom & 2 Daughters

Register for Mother Daughter Ranch Camp

Brand new Parent Child camps for this year!

Father Son Adventure Camp  – At this new camp Dads and Sons will worship around the fire, eat meat, laugh, shoot arrows, ride horses, tell stories, talk to God, make friends, get wet cliff jumping and whitewater rafting. Father’s and Sons create memories of a lifetime at this three day adventure camp.  

Timb HA 18 - Rafting

Register for Father Son Adventure Camp


Parent Child Mt Bike Camps  – Shred the amazing trails of Northern California with your son or daughter.  Learn more about God and what it means to ride for Him. We’ll provide ride shuttles, food, recreation, and counselor guides that will push your riding and relationship to new levels.  

MB18 - Blue Shirt Man (M)

Register for Parent Child Mt Bike Camps

Conference Center Summer Staff Highlight: Christa Hansen

Posted by & filed under Adventures, General, Staff News, Stories of Ministry.

Christa Hanson Photo

Meet Christa Hansen! We love stories about how God works in amazing ways not only in the lives of campers and families, but also in the lives of our staff! Christa’s story is an example of just that! We asked her a few questions about her time on the mountain. This is what she said:

What is your past experience at the Herm? How did you hear about us? What inspired you to come and work on staff?

I worked at a different camp in 2014 and had a really awful experience of being overworked and unsupported. I ended up burning out so badly that I left the camp early and felt like a failure. One of my friends who had worked at Mount Hermon encouraged me to give it a try the next summer. He told me that the care for their staff was so much more tangible and that it would be a growing experience for me.

I have a passion for the outdoors, so in 2015, I applied to work on the adventure/rec staff. While I love hiking and other outdoor adventures, I had a huge fear of heights, and the thought of working every day 80 feet up in a sequoia wasn’t appealing at first. God called me to challenge my limits that summer and I took each fear in stride. I felt his presence encouraging me through every obstacle. Before long, I had overcome so many of my own mental limitations and found a home up in those trees, as well as a deep bond with the other members of my team who encouraged me through each moment of that summer.

  • Christa Hansen photo
  • Christa Hansen photo

A lot of staffers mention that it’s the “people” that make camp as special as it is. In your experience, what about the people make camp so impactful?  Do you have any short anecdotes about specific campers or staff members you would like to share?

My entire adventure/rec team bonded like a family. Each of them was so unique and quirky and incredibly dedicated to using their passions to serve the kingdom. I can’t really pinpoint what made them like family. I think it was just the subtle familiarity that comes with sharing life so closely together. Between exhausting joy-filled days in the sunshine, countless games of Catan, and too many trips to the fountain for our wallets or stomachs to handle, we just settled into being a team. When I was overwhelmed, someone always was there to soothe the anxiety, and when I was happy, there were countless people to laugh with. In every area that I felt weak, someone would support me and fill in the gaps, and in every area that I was strong, I felt affirmed and enabled to do good. It was such a beautiful picture of God’s design for his kingdom- unique brothers and sisters of Christ sharing their specific strengths for service.

If you could encourage anyone to join our staff, what would you tell them?

Christa Hansen PhotoIf I could encourage anyone to join Mount Hermon, I would invite the ones who are afraid to do it. To those who say, “I could never do that,” I say, “Come let God rock your world.” Before my summer working on adventure/rec, my fear of heights was almost a deal breaker.  But part way through the summer, it felt like home and I had discovered a new confidence in myself. I remember looking at the staff counselors that summer and thinking, “I could never do their job.” But two summers later, God has called me back to serve as a staff counselor, and I’m going because I am ready to be amazed again by what God has designed me to do. To anyone interested in working at Mount Hermon, I say apply, come with an open heart, and be prepared to work hard,  make incredible friends, have epic adventures, and be reshaped by the Creator of heaven and earth!

Christa Hansen Photo

Has your time on summer staff provided you with any tools (professionally or personally) that have been applicable post camp life?

Yes! I had just graduated college with a psychology degree when I first worked at Mount Hermon. I knew that I wanted to go into counseling, but I wasn’t sure what direction God was calling me to pursue. After working with the families and other campers that came through our adventure/rec activities, I realized what a positive impact getting outside and away from the norm could have on families. That summer, I realized that I want to become a marriage and family therapist, and I want to take families out of their comfort zones through outdoor therapy and wilderness immersion experiences to allow God to work a transformation into their lives through my counseling.

Once I confided this new dream to my staff, I was offered tons of opportunities to grow in that area. Nate, Lindsey, and Donny let me shadow them during their team-building sessions with guest-groups, and I learned a ton about group processes that directly applies to what I want to do as a marriage and family therapist! God works in awesome ways, and little did I know that summer that he was also preparing me to return as a staff counselor this year! I can’t wait to see what new skills I pick up this summer and where God leads me to apply them in the future.

Apply for Summer Staff

Changed Perspective

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Adventures Updates, LOG, Stories of Ministry.

Our staff are not all the same. I know that seems obvious, but it has been a profound opportunity that Mount Hermon Adventures has been able to embrace— the fact that our amazing staff is a complicated collection of individuals. We are all created in God’s image, loved and invited into relationship with Him, but some of our staff don’t know all that when they join our team.

In every interview process, we explain what Mount Hermon is, our mission, vision, values, heritage, and how we use adventure to invite people one step closer to Jesus. We open a conversation that some who we interview have never had—and even though they may not fully understand, they join our team of intentionally missional adventure staff. Every year we hire a handful of staff that don’t yet know Jesus and over the past seven years many of them have found Jesus because of their work at Mount Hermon.

Adam came to us in the hiring process humbly disclosing a background of some poor, adolescent choices that could cause some employers to shy away from hiring him. Impacted by his humility and openness, we asked him to join our team. At first, Adam worked primarily in our recreation area— helping overnight guests in the McAfee Fieldhouse, leading archery and helping with our community recreation leagues. He emerged as a hard worker, responsible, engaged and most of all questioning what made Mount Hermon different. As Adam continued to learn and grow in his position, he was also learning and growing as part of the Adventures staff community—participating in staff activities and building relationships with staff. He added skills to his repertoire by serving as a Redwood Canopy Tour guide, working on the adventure courses, and developing teams as a Team Building Facilitator.

One day, Adam called Laura Messerly, our Adventure Operations Director, to let her know that he was going to the doctor because of a toothache. The toothache led to the discovery that Adam had a brain tumor. He called to tell Laura the situation and was sad he wasn’t going to be able to work as much.

Upon receiving this devastating news, the Adventures staff rallied around Adam, prayed for him, assisted with care and meals, and showed him love. Initially, the doctors gave Adam a very low likelihood of survival—but Adam continued to join us for work as he was able through his brain surgery and chemotherapy treatment. It was during this dark time that Adam came to understand what a relationship with Jesus was all about, the saving knowledge of Grace, and the power of a loving Christian community.

Adam’s treatment went on for several months, and he continued to work as he was able, sharing his journey with us. His growth during this time was tremendous. His presence blessed staff and guests. Eventually, Adam won his battle with cancer and began the long road to recovery, gaining his strength and stamina back. As he began to discover that there was life ahead of him, he intentionally gave back to the Mount Hermon community by mentoring younger staff, leading by example, and even sharing his story at our men’s Boot Camp program.

After several years with Mount Hermon Adam’s time on staff drew to a close and we were sad to see him go, but excited about the next chapter of his life. About a year after Adam had left I ran into him at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. He shared with me how grateful he was that we had hired him all those years ago and given him a chance when other employers might not have. He shared about how grateful he was for the community and the impact it had on his life and during his fight with cancer. Lastly, he wanted me to know how much being on staff at Mount Hermon had changed his life, and the lives of many other staff and that what we do was special and had great impact beyond the guests that we serve.

Adam’s story is just one of several where a staff member has encountered Jesus while working at Mount Hermon. We are honored and blessed to work with some of the most amazing people, experiencing grace and life-transformation together.

Adventures Photo

Sequoia Aerial Adventure Opens

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Adventures Updates, Building Projects, LOG.

sequia-aerial-adventure1000

Built in 2008, the original “Sequoia Ropes Course” replaced the “Canyon Course,” which suffered much damage in the winter of 2008 when a large tree ripped through the challenge course during an ice storm. The new course built in its place was intentionally designed for family camp guests and team building programs, incorporating unique design elements that allowed it to be used by an intergenerational audience. The Sequoia Ropes Course had 12 elements, or activities, and a tandem zip line at the finish.

In 2010 Mount Hermon Adventures was formed, taking the Redwood Canopy Tours, also built in 2008, and the renamed “Sequoia Adventure Course,” surrounding these experiences with other adventures and programs. People from around the world started coming to see the majesty of the redwood forest from the perspective that only our adventure activities could provide. Along the way people overcame fears, laughed deeply, connected with friends, strangers, and their Creator.

sequoiaGirl1000 sequoiaThreePeople1000sequoiaGuy1000

At this point the Sequoia Adventure Course was used only by guests of Mount Hermon programs and our Team Building events. We saw interest in the Sequoia Adventure Course grow and we began fielding multiple requests every week from individuals that wanted to bring their friends and family to Mount Hermon for an aerial adventure experience. These guests were hungry for adventure, looking for new experiences, and excited to direct their own adventure experience in a unique way.

In 2014 we began offering limited numbers of individually registered day guests the opportunity to access the Sequoia Adventure Course. We were quickly overwhelmed with the response and began planning on how we could expand the course to maximize the “teachable moments” a guest would encounter on course. Due to a generous donation in 2015 we were able to bring this vision to fruition!

sequoiaConverge1000After months of hard work and preparation we’re ready to announce the Grand Opening of the Sequoia Aerial Adventure!  Over the winter months we expanded our existing Sequoia Adventure Course by adding two new levels of challenges and the exciting “Quick Jump” free-fall device. A new way to experience the redwood forest, this aerial adventure combines balance and partner challenges high above the forest floor. The Sequoia Aerial Adventure now offers 30 activities graded by difficulty into “tracks” that guests can explore at their own pace. Like the “ropes course” of 20 years ago it is terrifying, it is exhilarating, it leaves you wanting more. During the expansion we also rebuilt much of the existing course, using the newest technology to promote long-term tree health, reduce annual maintenance, and ensure compliance with all regulations. This newest version of the Sequoia Aerial Adventure is one of the finest adventure courses in the nation!

While we’re excited to launch this expanded program we’re even more excited at how God has used Adventure over the past eight years to draw new guests to Mount Hermon. This newest adventure is just the next step in an expanding ministry that uses activities as the tool to draw people into relationship through intentional experiences in creation, and new opportunities to encounter their Creator.

Meet Laura Messerly, Adventure Girl

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Kindling, Staff News, Stories of Ministry.

Laura-racing-croppedOne of our brightest and most shining faces in the world of Adventure and Recreation belongs to Laura Messerly. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Laura and you’ve seen her smile, you know what I mean.

Laura is our Adventure Operations Director. She interacts with our wonderful adventure staff (ranging in number from 50–150 depending on the time of year). I’d love for you to get to know Laura a bit better. I know you too will be blessed by her beautiful, optimistic spirit.

Tell us how the Lord brought you to Mount Hermon?

I found out about Mount Hermon through a professor while in grad school. I found myself moving to California in early September 2011 to begin as an Adventure and Recreation intern. Even though I left after my internship year ended, the Lord had other plans for me.

I moved back home to the East Coast. The next eight months following the internship could best be summarized as “soul searching,” all the while never quite being able to shake off the fact that Mount Hermon had won me over. A week into my first full–time job in North Carolina, I learned of a new full–time position open with Mount Hermon Adventures. After quite a bit of internal struggle and prayer, and lots of frustrating silence from God, I decided not to pursue that position. Despite my decision, a little piece of my heart was undeniably still at Mount Hermon and that little piece did not seem to be shrinking. Instead, it was making it increasingly difficult to be present and effective in my current role. After two long, challenging, extremely powerful months of relying on God, on a whim, I checked the Mount Hermon jobs site. I was unexpectedly flooded with emotions (and tears) to see a full–time position for Adventure Operations Coordinator sitting there on the list. I knew it was the perfect fit! I returned in April of 2013 to begin serving in this role.

Share some of you passions outside of Mount Hermon.

I have always loved the ocean and about a year ago decided it was time to learn how to surf! There were many, many months of falling down and getting back on the board, and falling down and getting back up . . . but I am now standing up consistently and having a lot of fun out there in the waves!

My sister now works at Mount Hermon up at Outdoor Science School so I enjoy spending time with her! And my awesome roommates!

What’s new on the horizon for you in your area of ministry this year?

We always seem to be growing and changing at Mount Hermon Adventures, thanks to our fearless leader, Nate! We have recently added two new levels to our Sequoia Adventure Course, (now called the Sequoia Aerial Adventure), and are excited about our Grand Opening in March. We have been going through the various preparations; exploring the course, training our staff, discussing how it will operate, creating new staffing models, marketing and hiring more staff.

How can we pray for you?

More staff! More housing for our existing and future staff. We are hoping to hire 38 staff this spring (not counting summer staff) to run our programs and courses at full capacity! Housing is a huge, tricky and very expensive factor here in Santa Cruz for all of our staff.

Next time you are in the Adventure Recreation neighborhood make sure to stop by and say “hi” to Laura, our Adventure Girl!

Explore the Mount Hermon Adventures site

Laura-Ellen-mountain-top

Best Job in the World

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Adventures Updates.

Seated in the sky for hours at a time is a good feeling.

Coming down from time to time to meet a new group of friends only to usher them into the experience of a lifetime makes each day unique. Majestic redwood trees older than America remind that there are bigger things at work but also that you play a vital role in the story. The sounds and smells of nature, the laughter of strangers becoming friends, the sense of accomplishment and success, the soft morning light radiating through the fog—this may be the best job in the world.

Sunshine, redwoods, smiles that stretch across all corners and eliminate the empty places leading into a straight line towards growth and change—Mount Hermon Adventures staff live the dream daily. The Redwood Canopy Tours, Sequoia Aerial Adventure, Recreation Programs and more are the tools staff use to invite guests into more intentional ways of living—living deeper. The redwood forest that is the setting for most of these adventures isn’t just pretty, it’s unreal, and it serves as the metaphor for everything that takes place. Redwood tree roots don’t go very deep, only 12-16 feet down. These titans of the forest live lightly on the land—but they grow best in community. Those same roots spread out in all directions, connecting, intertwining, fusing in a dense web of interconnectivity. In the same way our team uses adventure to help people understand their relationships from a new perspective, recognize their connections, and celebrate their strengths.

As the sun sets each day actions become memories—many of which are quickly forgotten. The memories made at Mount Hermon Adventures though are sticky—resurfacing at interesting times in the company of friends, when the light is just right, of when a challenge presents itself. The memories made by the staff and the friendships they make last a lifetime.

Mount Hermon Adventures is asking people loving, adventure seeking, team playing people to join them in transforming lives through adventure.

View open positions

Team Building with Fresh Lifelines for Youth

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Adventures Updates.

Working with other people is an essential skill

Mount Hermon Adventures Team Building program recently hosted a return group from Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY). FLY is an award winning non-profit dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence, crime and incarceration of teens. Through FLY’s unique and powerful combination of programs-legal education, leadership training, and one-on-one mentoring-youth get off probation, engaged in school, and back on track with their lives. We’ve worked with FLY for years to include Team Building and Aerial Adventure experiences into their curriculum as the catalyst for creating lasting change in the lives of these young people and their mentors.

One of our all-star facilitators, Gretchen Heim, worked with the FLY team and reflected on her experience:

“Along with my co-facilitators, we created a series of activities and initiatives that built in difficulty throughout the day, ending in the big finale… Sequoia Aerial Adventure! The activities we do with the students are not only fun, but also educational. Not the kind of education you get from reading a textbook, the education of interacting with other people. Working with other people is an essential skill in breaking a cycle of bad decisions, which is one of the many reasons why team building activities can help prepare people and teach them about working in a group, communication, leadership roles, and trust.

The first activity we facilitated seemed just like any other tag game but we used that tag game to later talk about what it looks like to step out of our comfort zones. Many of the students preferred when they stepped out of their comfort zone saying it made it more interesting and fun! From that first game we asked if that was something they would be willing to try all day… to continue to step out of their comfort zones, and try new things. That they might surprise themselves and end up having a lot of fun… but most importantly LEARNING something about themselves and others!

They all agreed and that started the day off great. These students were full of energy and ready to have fun! Through the other activities/initiatives we discussed topics of

  • What it looks like to work together as a team
  • Importance of communication
  • Sharing ideas
  • Taking responsibility

The students were willing to share about what they learned and how it could apply to their lives back at home. All these topics come up in the games, but there is a transfer of learning that must happen in order for team building to be successful. They took what they learned from one activity to help complete the next. The morning of activities and initiatives were wrapped up and one thing that stood out for this group was the ability to ask for help.

Out on the Sequoia Aerial Adventure they had to communicate with their partners to go through various challenges. Students had to ask their partners for help when completing the challenges. Some of the students really pushed themselves and completed an obstacle with their eyes closed while their partner guided them through verbally. Trust, communication, and team work all rolled into one! The activities we did in the morning gave the students confidence to try out harder obstacles. Lots of students stepped out of their comfort zones, that was just one example of many.

The zip line at the end was a reward for most of the students. After all the hard work and challenge the zip line was a fun finish to the end of the day.

My personal favorite part of the day is the final debrief or discussion of the day. This is where the magic happens and things get put into perspective. It is a time for students to reflect on what happened, so what does it mean that it happened, and now what will they do differently because it happened.

I loved facilitating for this group of students. My hope is that they take what they learned with them and apply it to their daily lives. The really wonderful thing about it is that everyone takes away something different. Some students might have overcome their fear of heights, while others overcame their fear of sharing ideas, while others realized how beautiful the redwood trees are! That is another reason why I like the final debrief, you realize how unique we all are. Mount Hermon’s motto is lives transformed. I truly believe this happens with every team building experience, not only for the participants, but the facilitators lives as well.”

Team Building at Mount Hermon

Check out Fresh Lifelines for Youth and the good work they do in our communities flyprogram.org

An Adventure Two Decades in the Making

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Adventures Updates.

It’s been quite the journey

The new Sequoia Aerial Adventure is the culmination of an adventure story that I started twenty years ago. I’m thrilled to share a part of my journey with you and excited for your story to include a Mount Hermon chapter.

1995: I graduated from High School, and like most graduates didn’t have too many ideas about what was next. College, sure, but beyond that the horizon looked far away. That fall as a Freshman at a small liberal arts college in Oregon I experienced my first “ropes course.” I put on a harness, got tied into a climbing rope, and ascended a big Douglas Fir tree only to jump off a tiny platform and attempt to catch a trapeze bar. It was terrifying, it was exhilarating, it left me wanting more.

1998: I was encouraged to apply to be a Resident Assistant for the Freshman dorm and given the job. Part of the training was a one week “Walkabout” in the wilds of eastern Oregon. We’d hike, climb, melt snow for water, watch a bear eat most of our food, evacuate a teammate with a torn ACL and eventually get chased out of the woods by a huge wildfire. It was harrowing and exhausting but created some of the deepest friendships I’ve ever experienced. How could you grow so close so quickly?

2000: Graduated and newly married my bride and I embarked on a career of leading people through all sorts of experiences outdoors. Ropes courses, bike trips, backpacking, rock-climbing, rafting—it was all fun but the most powerful part was watching people’s lives be transformed by adventure. Something about challenge and support, difficulties and real success left people with a better idea of who they were and what was really important.

2010: Mount Hermon Adventures is formed, taking the Redwood Canopy Tours that had been operating since 2008 and surrounding it with other adventures and programs. People from around the world started coming to see the majesty of the redwood forest from the perspective only a zip tour can provide. Along the way people overcame fears, laughed deeply, and connected with friends and strangers.

What I saw happen on long trips in the wilderness was happening in a two hour experience seven miles from Santa Cruz!

2016: People were hungry for adventure, looking for new experiences beyond the screen, and excited to direct their own adventure experience in a unique way. Sequoia Aerial Adventures is born by taking the existing Sequoia Adventure Course and adding 20 new activities and the free-fall experience known as the quick jump. A new way to experience the redwood forest, an aerial adventure combines balance and partner challenges high above the forest floor. Like the “ropes course” of 20 years ago it is terrifying, it is exhilarating, it leaves you wanting more—and it has more with 30 activities of increasing challenge even the most hearty adventurer will find something to challenge themselves.

Come experience for yourself an adventure decades in the making. Sequoia Aerial Adventure will become an exclamation point on your journey of adventure! Grand Opening March, 12th and accepting reservations now for all of 2016.

Start Your Adventure

Velocity Bike Park Update — January 2016

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Adventures Updates, Velocity.

Felton Meadow/Velocity Bike Park Town Hall Meeting

Mount Hermon is excited to announce a public meeting about the Felton Meadow/Velocity Bike Park project. Felton Meadow is a 14.4 acre parcel bordered by Graham Hill Road, the Felton Faire Shopping Center and Mount Hermon’s existing properties. With over a 100 year history in the San Lorenzo Valley, Mount Hermon is proud to steward this important piece of land.

Saturday, January 23
1:00 to 3:00pm
Felton Community Hall

6191 HWY 9, ADJACENT TO THE FIRE STATION

On Saturday, January 23rd from 1:00–3:00pm we’ll be hosting an informational and question and answer time at the Felton Community Hall at 6191, Highway 9, beside the Felton Fire Station. We’ll be discussing our proposed plans for property improvements, community based programs and how you can be involved. We will also give an update on our Environmental Impact Report process and have a time to answer your questions.

There is no need to RSVP—just come and bring a friend! We look forward to seeing you there!

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Strangers Aren’t Strangers on the Redwood Canopy Tour

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The encouragement that was shared through their zipline experience started a friendship that might not have happened anywhere else.

The Redwood Canopy Tour offers our guests the opportunity to not only see redwoods from an incredible vantage point but also to challenge themselves and grow in a variety of ways. A guest challenging her fear of heights is something we see every day but it’s not very often that we see an entire tour group of strangers really coming behind one nervous guest to support them.

Recently I had the pleasure of leading a tour with a woman who was visiting from out of state and had traveled alone. She had booked the tour by herself and was on a tour with seven people she had never met before. As we started the tour she made it clear that she was terrified of heights and wasn’t sure if she should go. We got to the first zip line and she wanted to turn around. Immediately the seven other folks in our group rallied behind her and encouraged her to go on. And she did! By the end of the tour she was whooping and hollering with the rest as if she was never afraid.

She pushed herself through her fear

When we were all on the ground again, many hugs and laughs were shared. She commented on how far she had come and how proud she was of herself that she had pushed herself through her fear. The group had only spent two hours together but you would never know by looking at them after the tour. They shared phone numbers and even made dinner plans for that evening. The love that was shared through their zipline experience started a friendship that might not have happened anywhere else.

Working at the Canopy Tour I get the opportunity to encourage and challenge people out of their comfort zones. I also get to bring people together who might not normally seek each other out. And through those opportunities I get to watch each of those individuals lives change, including my own.

Jamie Reichel has served at Mount Hermon in a variety of capacities through the years and is currently a Daily Operations Supervisor for Mount Hermon Adventures.

Experience Redwood Canopy Tours for yourself!

Adventures Staff Working Together

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Staff News.

There is a team mentality throughout the entire staff as the part-timers and summer staff work together to offer excellent adventure and recreation programs to our guests.

Mount Hermon Adventures is a great place to work year-round! It’s especially exciting in the summertime when we welcome an additional 14 new staff members through our summer staff program. These 14 summer staff come from across the country from various colleges to be a part of our team for 10 weeks during Mount Hermon’s busy Family Camp program. The Adventure/Recreation summer staff are fully trained and work with our guests to facilitate our aerial adventure courses, climbing walls, target sports, and general recreation activities.

A unique part of our Adventure/Recreation summer staff experience is that our summer staff work directly alongside our part-time adventure/recreation staff. Our part-time staff is made up of folks from around Santa Cruz County. They are fully trained as well to help facilitate our adventure and recreation activities year-round. It’s great to have our summer staff and part-time staff work together throughout the summer months. The part-time staff are gracious to the summer staff as they take time to help them with their training and aren’t shy to give helpful tips and tricks along the way. There is a team mentality throughout the entire staff as the part-timers and summer staff work together to offer excellent adventure and recreation programs to our guests.

The summer staff bring a bright-eyed and energetic presence to the team while the part-time staff bring a well rounded and seasoned attitude. Put together, these two perspectives help each other out a great deal in the summer. In the past, there had been a bit of a separation between the two staffs for no real particular reason, however, the past few summers have been very different. During the summer, many from the two staff groups hung out together in their free-time; going on hikes together, sharing meals together and other fun activities around Santa Cruz.

We find ourselves being blessed daily by the experiences and encounters we have with our guests

As our staff seek to serve our guests as best we can, we find ourselves being blessed daily by the experiences and encounters we have with our guests. Admittedly we find ourselves having the same transforming experiences that we try to facilitate for our guests. One such story happened on our outdoor climbing wall. A family of four came to the climbing wall and the son and daughter had signed up to climb and the parents came, cameras in hand. We helped harness the young son and daughter and we headed to the wall to climb. As the kids started climbing the parents had their cameras out to capture the moment. The daughter was struggling to get up the wall and all of a sudden the brother who was almost to the top, stopped, and called out to his sister by name—encouraging her to keep going and telling her she was doing a great job and that she could make it. The parents then added their own words of positivity and encouraging words to their daughter. It took some extra time, but the daughter made it up the wall and rang the bell in excitement as her family clapped and cheered! Our staff who worked the climbing wall that afternoon were so encouraged by that experience. As a young manager, it was very encouraging for me to see a family so positive and encouraging to one another. It was such a beautiful example of how we can love one another with our words and actions. That family inspired our part-time staff and summer staff who were at the wall that day and decided to start blessing the rest of the staff with loving and encouraging words.

The quality of our adventure and recreation programs for summer Family Camp couldn’t be as good as they are without these two groups of staff coming together and working collectively as a team to help see lives transformed.

Check out our Summer Staff Opportunities

Mount Hermon’s Youth Basketball League

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Adventures Updates, General.

Organized sports in a safe and fun environment

Many of you have heard of Mount Hermon’s Redwood Canopy Tour or Sequoia Adventure Course, but many of you probably don’t know that Mount Hermon also runs a youth basketball league every winter. This is a wonderful time for local kids and families in the San Lorenzo Valley to come together for friendly competition, learn good sportsmanship and teamwork. We focus on students in first through fourth grade and introducing them to organized sports in a safe and fun environment. Parents and coaches volunteer their time after work and on weekends to mentor these young players and demonstrate good character.

Every year it’s amazing to see families in our community come together and support one another through sports. It is also great to see the players grow in their hands-on skills in basketball but more importantly, their growth in life skills. Last year we witnessed many players learn and understand the basics of organized sports, how to compete, how to work as a team and how to ask for help. They learned that having the help of those around them is better than trying to do things alone. While it’s always great to watch kids learn important lessons it’s also a great reminder to us adults who try too often to go it alone when we should be relying on those around us to help us get through life.

This years season starts in December and lasts for 8 weeks. Registration is now open and we’re excited to get the ball rolling! Also new this year is “Family Fun Day” where we’re opening the doors to some of our adventure and recreation activities so the whole family can enjoy Mount Hermon. We’ll have Discovery Grove, the Climbing Wall, Archery and more; all open and available to player’s families. We’ll even host a delicious BBQ lunch. If you live nearby and have a first through fourth grader we encourage you to consider registering today!

Season starts December 1st

Find out how to register

Why Experience Is Better Than Stuff

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Adventures Updates.

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—

It’s written into the fabric of our nation. But why are people not happy when we have so much stuff to be happy about? Why does that new phone or car or pair of shoes not satisfy as deeply or as long as we might wish? It’s because all the stuff of our lives is external while our experiences, and our memories of them, are internal and literally a part of how we think. Dr. Thomas Gilovich, psychology professor at Cornell University has found the following to be true:

"Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods," says Gilovich. "You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences."fastco

A friend and mentor of mine has said to me that “everything that has ever happened to you has prepared you for where you’re at right now,” which is an encouraging way to think about my experiences and what I’ve learned both good and bad. Those things that make me feel happiest are the times I’ve shared laughter with friends, accomplished a goal with my co-workers, or even come through a struggle or hardship with the support or my community.

"We consume experiences directly with other people," says Gilovich. "And after they're gone, they're part of the stories that we tell to one another." fastco

It’s those stories and the relational fabric that they create that really provides happiness. I think we all know that when we’re old and wise and reflecting on our lives we’re not going to regret the times we spent with loved ones. We’re not going to say, “you know, I really wish I would have had a bigger house. That really would have made life so much better for me.” What we are going to say is, “I’m so glad I spent time with my kids.” Or, “That trip I took to Italy with my wife sure was worth it!”

The things that really bring happiness are those things we do together with other people.

We all have a limited amount of time and money to spend each day, month and year. Mount Hermon Adventures is all about providing places, spaces, and opportunities where people’s lives are transformed. Will you join us for an experience that lasts a lifetime?

Start Your Adventure

Sean’s Redwood Adventure

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sean

At Mount Hermon Adventures we get to serve guests with a variety of needs. The nature of our activities means that very often we’re helping people conquer a fear of heights, to trust in themselves and their friends, or providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience. All of our work is important but there is nothing we love more than being able to make adventure happen for folks who weren’t expecting it. This month we bring you a staff story of one such guest named Sean.

Sean has Cerebral Palsy which means he struggles with balance and uses a wheelchair. He has been denied the opportunity to try many things, such as zip lining. Most of the time Sean’s mother stayed with Sean on the ground and let her husband have the adventure. This time Sean was going to have an adventure and so were his mother and father.

It was our pleasure to take the family out on the Redwood Canopy Tour and allow them to experience the coast redwood trees from well over 100ft. up. Sean loved the freedom the zip lines gave him, the rush of going fast, the wind pushing against his face, and the feeling of soaring through the trees. It was beautiful to hear the laughter of our group echoing down to the meandering creek while taking in the unique perspective on the world begin 140ft up a tree offers. It was amazing to watch Sean’s parents absorb the delight in his face.

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Sean’s mother was nervous of heights, so while her son was learning to relax and let the harness support him, she was working through her own battle. Such fears have turned more than one guest back before, however, that was not the case today. Sean was able to see his mother work through her own challenge by not letting her emotions overwhelm her, but instead by learning to trust in something unfamiliar.

— Linda Williams, Daily Ops Supervisor


Having the opportunity to talk and have a great time with the Sean and his family was an incredible experience. They all were very lively and witty which I greatly admire. We had wonderfully nostalgic conversations about Disneyland, as well as sharing and discussing our splendid Coast Redwoods which is a personal favorite topic of mine. During our adventure Sean informed us that we were the first location to take them out on a tour, which brought me pride in serving and being able to provide them this experience as well as in Mount Hermon for accommodating their needs.


Serving Sean was an enriching and fulfilling experience that I am glad I was able to be a part of. A personal goal of mine is to enable others in any capacity to challenge themselves as well as exposing individuals to nature and the outdoors, which made this an extremely fulfilling experience.

— Cameron Leonard, Daily Ops Supervisor


Need to get away, laugh and feel the rush and freedom of soaring through the trees. We’re here for you.

What is Mount Hermon Adventures?

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Mount Hermon is a Christian Camp and Conference Center started in 1906 as the first camp of it’s kind west of the Mississippi. The founding members sought out a special place where families could connect with one another, creation, and the creator. For over 100 years Mount Hermon has stayed true that original vision by offering programs for families, individuals, kids and more.

All along Mount Hermon has used the outdoors, adventure and recreation as tools to teach people how to have right relationships. In the early days it was hiking, creek walking, basketball and tennis that helped people refresh and reconnect. Today we use zip tours, adventure courses, kayaking, mountain biking and more to draw people in and provide memories that last a lifetime. Although the activities have changed over the years the heart is still the same—to see peoples Lives Transformed.

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Mount Hermon Adventures was launched in 2010 by combining the Redwood Canopy Tours, Team Building program and all the other activity areas and programs together under one roof. We now serve over 50,000 guests a year across a diverse portfolio of programs including the Redwood Canopy Tours, Sequoia Adventure Course, Discovery Grove, Team Building, Velocity, and multiple adventure and recreation programs at our various camp facilities. All these amazing programs are rooted in our history and adhere to our core values:

  • Mount Hermon Adventures strives to have facilities and programs of the highest quality with attention to detail, aesthetics, and sustainability.
  • Mount Hermon Adventures employs only the highest quality staff that are: honest, passionate, life long learners.

  • Mount Hermon Adventures programs all take place in the context of creation and integrate the mind and body. These are “real” experiences that cannot be replicated anywhere else.
  • Mount Hermon Adventures staff instruct, lead and share from a place of deep knowledge and passion.

  • Mount Hermon Adventures uses activity to draw people out and inspire them to new ways of thinking and living.
  • Mount Hermon Adventures believes the best conduit to deliver transformational programs is through their staff.

It is our heartfelt desire and passion that all our guest experience these core values through their participation in our programs with the goal of Lives Transformed.

Adventures in Grace

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By Rob Calame, Adventure Manager

Summer is upon us, friends! The arrival of this busy new season goes hand in hand with sunshine, BBQ’s, beach days, and more! For us here in the mountains it also means a few weeks of training for our new staff in preparation for the thousands of guests we serve each summer. Though a daunting task, this season of training has continually proven itself to be one of my favorite times of year.

There is something special about being given the opportunity to spend a solid week working side by side with a group of young adults, all the while teaching, coaching, and imparting as much knowledge as possible in an effort to prepare them for the months to come. There are few things like witnessing that “Ah ha!” moment when something just clicks in a person’s brain and you know that they not only understand how to do something, but more importantly, the “why” behind it.

This past week we were training staff on our Sequoia Adventure Course. The course is essentially a large obstacle course, suspended about 30-80 feet up in the redwoods with breath-taking views of the trickling creek and lush forest below. In addition to its gorgeous location, the Sequoia Adventure Course offers a variety of activities with a wide range of difficulty and therein lays its true beauty. One minute you may be relaxing in a large cargo net, and the next you could have the opportunity to leap for a hanging rope like the king of the jungle with your heart ready to pound right out of your chest. The element of choice our guests are given in regard to which activities they choose to attempt or not on our Sequoia Adventure Course can be an amazing teaching tool for all ages, especially when the choices guests make don’t always work out the way they were expecting them to.

A key part of our course training revolves around the concept of assisting guests when they find themselves in situations they just can’t seem to get out of on their own. Sometimes that assistance comes in the form of an encouraging or instructional word, and other times it may mean providing some physical support with a hand or even some other helpful piece of gear. Regardless, guests are usually very apologetic and quite sheepish when finding themselves is such situations, especially when the physical support is needed and the rescue gear comes out. During the rescue portions of our training I found myself cautioning our staff over and over with this bit of information; “when going out to assist a guest on an activity, their first words will almost always be ‘I’m sorry.’” No matter how adventurous or physically fit they may be; no matter how nervous or justifiably scared they are, you will almost always hear a profuse apology as soon as you get out on the line with them. Saying this to our staff over and over got me thinking though; how true is that for all of us in life? We often find ourselves in new and unfamiliar situations, and yet we have such a hard time giving ourselves the grace to make mistakes and then learn from them.

This idea of grace can make all the sense in the world when dealing with others, and yet when it comes to how we handle ourselves, grace can be the most elusive of concepts. Our world can move so quickly and be so incredibly busy that we forget or ignore the fact that we are always continuing to grow and learn in our own lives. We have a tendency to put such high expectations on ourselves in terms of our work, our families, and even our faith that it makes it impossible to succeed by our standards. It’s almost as if we stack the deck against ourselves. Whether it be the desire to have a picture perfect family with the most well-behaved kids in the neighborhood or the notion that you should be able to flawlessly traverse a vertical cargo net hanging 80 feet up in the air on your first attempt, we don’t give ourselves the grace we need, and more importantly, the grace God calls us to. And there, high up in a redwood tree in the middle of my rescue training with 14 young adults, I was reminded that it’s not our standards that mean a thing, but rather it’s God’s standards that mean everything.

In our busy culture today it is incredibly difficulty for us to accept God’s grace and the love that he so freely gives. Where is He calling you to give grace today?

Unique Guests on the Redwood Canopy Tour

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By Steve Brown, Redwood Canopy Tour Director

Over the course of the year we see many different guests on the canopy tour and of course they all are unique!  Some folks are traveling the world, some are checking zip lining off their bucket list while others are using the zip tour to help conquer a fear of heights.  A few weeks ago we had a woman call in to see if her two friends who were partially blind would be able to go on the canopy tour.  Our office staff were great and let the guest know that we would do everything we could to make their tour possible.  We were excited to make it possible for two partially blind friends to zip line together.

Their tour date arrived and Linda Williams and myself were ready to help our two guests through the course.  We came up with a game plan and were excited to lead them, little did we know how wonderful they would be at ziping!  I also forgot to mention that they only spoke Chinese so we had to use pantomime (limited success) and the international language of fun to communicate.  Like all guests they participated in the ground school, and we saw they were comfortable in the harness and we felt confident in how they zipped so we took them out on course.  We decided to let them to zip by themselves on the first zip which is nice and mellow.  We then decided to tandem zip with them on the next two zip lines that are a bit faster and then have them on their own for the last three zips.  Through the course of the tour they couldn’t stop smiling.  What little conversation we had showed me how much they enjoyed their time on the canopy tour.  I was so thrilled to have them zip with us, to see the joy on their faces as they zipped from tree to tree.

As I reflected back on the experience we offered these two young men, I am so proud and thankful that we had the opportunity to serve them.  Serving is what we do at the canopy tour, we take people out for a unique experience, zipping through the redwoods, providing them an opportunity to connect with nature, each other and themselves.  It makes me think of the way Jesus served those around him, whether in big or small ways he loved and served those around him everyday.  Its a privilege to serve and while it may be fun, it is work and we do it for the Lord.

Every Retreat Can Be An Adventure!

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Guest Groups.

Mount Hermon offers incredible one-of-a-kind adventures in the redwood forest – and tour programs are growing quickly! All our activities have been designed to be both fun and challenging, good for individuals and groups, and multi-generational. All our activities are run by expertly trained staff to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience; we love to see our guests building memories with friends and family. We invite you to explore how these options might enhance your retreat, engaging guests with God’s creation and each other. Your retreat coordinator can provide details about availability and pricing, and help you determine which options would be a good fit for your group. Below is an overview of our current options.


Redwood Canopy Tour

Canopy Tour

Soar through our unique forest and experience the giant redwoods from 150 feet above the canyon floor. This is the ultimate shared experience as small groups are led through a two-hour experience of seven platforms, two sky-bridges and six zip lines of up to 440 feet in length.


Sequoia Adventure Course

Sequoia Course

The Sequoia Adventure Course is our most popular ropes course with 14 different high course elements that range from 30 to 80 feet above ground. All participants wear a harness, helmet, and are connected to overhead cables with double safety lanyards. The course is supervised by our expert staff who coach and encourage each participant.


Discovery Grove

Discovery Grove

Discovery Grove is the perfect experience for those who are new to ropes course activities and want to start a bit closer to the ground. The course consists of 7 different high ropes elements, from 5 to 20 feet above ground, and ends with a zip line. The course has been designed specifically for participants aged between 7-11 years old (older is OK).


Team building Packages

Team Building

Team Building programs are an intentional way to transform the way your group approaches challenges, communicates, and works toward common goals. With years of experience, Mount Hermon facilitators will guide your group through low and high activities to bring your group together like never before. Mount Hermon Adventures will work with you to custom design an experience that will meet your goals. Our programs can focus on a variety of themes like effective leadership, creative thinking, appreciative inquiry, and group synergy.


Outdoor Climbing Wall

Climbing Wall

Provide an opportunity for your group to not only strengthen their climbing skills, but also give them the chance to encourage and coach each other as they climb.


Ocean Kayaking

Kayaking

Give your group a special morning or afternoon outing to experience waves, the kelp gardens, and possibly even sea otters, seals, and dolphins. A peaceful trip to the ocean can be just what your group needs during their time away. Each tour is approximately 2.5 hours round trip.


Archery

Archery

Practice perfection with our staff at the shooting range by challenging each other with accuracy or by improving your personal skills.


Mountain Bike Tour

Mountain Bike

Take advantage of the beautiful scenery located in and around Mount Hermon by participating in a mountain bike tour. Our guides will take you around camp as well as off campus through the beautiful redwood forests. Tours can be personalized for all types of fitness levels.


Contact your event coordinator today to reserve these activities for your group to enjoy!

Adventure Man!

Posted by & filed under Adventures, LOG.

adventure-man

 

Interview by Kerry Phibbs

In April 2010 Mount Hermon was truly blessed by the arrival of Nate and Allison Pfefferkorn. Now, just three years later and with our Adventure programs exploding, Nate is an integral part of this ministry. We thought you might enjoy learning a little more about Nate and his passion for Adventure Recreation in Christian camping.

Nate, tell us a little about your family and how the Lord brought you to Mount Hermon.

Allison and I had known about Mount Hermon for years. We were living and working in Portland for Team Synergo—a design–build company specific to the challenge course industry. I was contacted about a position Mount Hermon had managing the Redwood Canopy Tour, Team Building program and challenge course facilities.  I loved my work and the people at Team Synergo, but it required lots of travel. With two young daughters at home I felt like I was neglecting my marriage and my parenting responsibilities. Within three months after we decided, we had sold our home, moved, and were settled at Mount Hermon!

Give us a sound bite of your ministry philosophy within the world of adventure recreation.

I have a passion for God’s creation and have seen firsthand the transformative power of combining meaningful activity with being outdoors.  My goal at Mount Hermon is to use creation as the powerful setting in which we create unique and memorable learning experiences. We work with overnight guest groups, Mount Hermon programs, and the general public (day–use guests.) In all cases our philosophy is the same, it is just our language and methodology that differ.  The final end goal of all we do is to draw all our guests one step closer to Jesus.

What’s exciting on the horizon in Adventure world?

Adventure is becoming a key component of the Mount Hermon story.  Guests want to participate in an adventure experience, but most people are limited by time, materials, experience and even physical ability.  Part of the reason our Redwood Canopy Tour is so popular is because it allows guests to have an adventure in a safe environment where all the equipment, training and expertise is provided for them.  This allows the guest to really focus on the experience, their feelings, their friends, and to consider the impact of the adventure on their broader life.  Moving forward, these types of experiences will continue to grow in popularity and impact. We are looking forward to being a leader in how to use and program adventure for Jesus, and in training other programs in how to do this as well.  In the upcoming months and years, look for expanded cycling programs, off–site day adventures of rock–climbing, kayaking and surfing, recreational tree climbing, and more aerial challenge experiences.

Please join us in praying for Nate and the whole Adventure team! Pray that as they grow in numbers they be bound together in purpose and unity, and that each guest that participates in an adventure or recreation program be drawn one step closer to Jesus.

Join us at the SF Mountain Bike Festival

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SF Mnt Bike Festival

 

The Mount Hermon Adventures Race Team and event booth will be at the FIRST Annual San Francisco Mountain Bike Festival, hosted in McLaren Park, Saturday September 7th from 9am-5pm. Our friends at Alpine Bike Parks that are helping us design our bike park have been a huge part of designing  the McLaren Bike Park as well.

Activities include a youth BMX area, beginner MTB riding zones, a professional bike jump demo, and races. The event is FREE to attend!

The headline event is the McLaren Short Track Challenge, a competitive event on a urban Cross Country course. Mount Hermon Adventures will have several racers in the event and a booth showcasing our proposed bike development at Mount Hermon, the Redwood Canopy Tours, and upcoming Mount Hermon retreats and events.

If your in the area on Saturday stop in and see us – or better yet, grab the family and your bikes and come participate! Hope to see you there.

Cambria Crusher

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Cambria Crusher

 

Once upon a time Mark Bradshaw, Conference Services Manager, Mount Hermon Adventures Race Team Member and avid cyclist, had an idea…..”What if a group of folks woke up early, left Mount Hermon by bicycle and rode down Highway 1 to Cambria?  It’s only 165 miles away and there is plenty of daylight still in August.”

Thus an idea was born and a crew was assembled.  Mark organized a tight time schedule for the day, food and a support crew.

On August 19th after a final equipment check and prayer the crew left Mount Hermon at 5:30am.  Happily the trip was successful!  All it took was 4 granola bars, 6 energy gels, 2 turkey sandwiches, 1 pbj, 12 bottles of water, 2 Gatorade, 1.5 king size Snickers, a cappuccino, and one magical iced tea! (That’s just what one person ate!)

It was an absolutely breathtaking ride with long climbs, sweeping descents, fog, sun, wind, redwoods and views that stretch for miles.

Wanna come along next time? Look for this trip to be available in a more leisurely three day format in the Spring/Summer of 2014 as we continue to add new programs!