Editor's Note: This article was submitted to Patch by a member of the BCS PTA.
Bethany Christian middle school students recently hiked the 3.7 mile round trip from Chantry Flats to Sturtevant Falls. But this event was not just another extra-curricular activity at BCS, it was a new club formed by middle school teacher, Ryan Kloostra. Mr. Kloostra is passionate about getting students out into the community beyond the scope of the school campus.
BCS Adventure Club's purpose was two-fold: to expose 12 to 14 year olds to the national park in Sierra Madre’s backyard, and to encourage students to serve in their community.
Students were encouraged to take in the beauty of the mountains as well as pick up trash along the way. They were able to put this toward their community service hours at BCS.
While on their hike, the students and two teachers ran into a ranger who mentioned how understaffed the Forest Service was. He was very appreciative of The Adventure Club’s cleanup efforts and said that there is no way he could do it all himself; he mentioned that it takes volunteers to keep the park looking good.
Helping out in the community and having fun go hand-in-hand is what it's about for Bethany’s Adventure Club.
“Besides multiple fun water mishaps involving creek crossings, waterfall ponds, and a lot of unexpected rain, it was a great afternoon,” said Mr. Kloostra. The rain and cold weather didn’t distract the students from having fun. They ended their hike by roasting hotdogs and s’mores over a campfire after they overcame Cardiac Hill and returned to The Chantry Flats picnic area.
Many of the the 31 students had never been on a hike or even been in the San Gabriel Mountains before. Mr. Kloostra felt it was a very positive experience, so much so that the next Adventure Club trip is planned to North County San Diego at a state beach.
For more information about Bethany Christian School please visit bcslions.org.