By: Emily Holland
Oklahoma Bible Academy remains dedicated in its commitment to promoting unity within its school body. To do so, this year OBA kicked off the school year with two separate retreats for both high school and middle school students and teachers. All high school students, along with several teachers, traveled to Camp WOW in Stuart, OK for a two-night, three-day getaway. They enjoyed low and high ropes courses, waterfront games, late-night parties, teacher-led bible study and worship sessions, individual personal worship times, and class and gender-specific small group discussions. Each class also met to discuss possible community service efforts for the upcoming school year and made plans to pursue such efforts. Bible sessions focused on how to build one other up this year spiritually, physically, and academically. It was a grand time of fellowship and fun!
Interpersonal communication and relationship building were key aspects of the trip for students. Discussion groups focused on reflecting on bible study sessions and looking at how to promote unity within each class individually and the school as a whole. Freshman Sophie Petka remarked of the trip, “I really enjoyed the [discussion] groups. It was really nice to bond with the class and get to know people better.” The trip was also unique in that all classes, freshmen through seniors, were in attendance. Emmaleigh Pendleton, freshman, enjoyed the opportunity to mingle with students outside of her class, “I enjoyed being more connected not only to kids in my grade but the whole high school!”
The middle school students and teachers likewise went to Boiling Springs State Park in Woodward, OK for a one-night stay where they enjoyed a scavenger hunt, games, and a bible study session. The Boiling Springs trip was planned and executed by high school leadership students. When asked about her first OBA event as a sixth grader, Erin Sandwick commented, “I learned to build others up and not tear them down. It was a good experience and I can’t wait for next year!”
Of special note to both students and teachers were the intentional relationships built outside of the classroom that is sure to impact the school year ahead. High school Spanish teacher Amanda Autry recalled, “It’s always good to have fun experiences with students outside the classroom. I got to observe their talents and how they relate in real-life moments.” Students also remarked on the teacher-student bond, Freshman Reagan Miller said, “I loved getting to hang out with my teachers because I got to have a deeper connection and friendship with them.”
OBA’s desire for both trips is to see the seeds of unity spread throughout the year. Students and teachers alike were so grateful for the opportunity to fellowship in a unique way and cannot wait to see how the trips continue to affect the spirit of unity alive in the school body today.