Vision and Philosophy

Adventure Club Vision and Philosophy

costa mountains

What Do Students Need Most in Their Lives?

Secure Self:  Students need to discover who it is God made them to be, to learn to love that person as God does, and to then use that person to God’s glory.

Community:  At this point in their lives, students need true friendships with others, both adult and peer, that satisfy their deepest social needs; they need to learn how to be with and interact with a wide variety of people; and they need to learn how to create and then work toward mutual goals.

Spiritual Growth: Today’s GRCS students come to us with widely ranging spiritual experiences, which presents a chance for us to grow richer as a community, but that also presents a need—students need opportunity to come to know God and develop a passionate relationship with Him.

What is Adventure-Based Programming?

The goal of Adventure Club programming at Grand Rapids Christian Schools is to serve students grades 6-12 with regular outdoor activities that develop them physically, socially, and spiritually.

Physical Self: Activity is good! The majority of students do not participate in competitive school sports and yet still want to be active. The club model challenges students at their individual ability level, exposes them to a world of non-traditional sports they perhaps never knew existed, and creates experiences that will develop patterns for lifelong fitness.

Social Self: By nature, clubs are non-competitive, non-selective and highly social. We do outdoor adventure activities with other people! In particular, outdoor adventure activities provide space and a context for students to develop trust and friendships on a deeper level.

Spiritual Self: Students with direct experiences with nature better understand themselves, the creation, and their Creator. God speaks to us through creation, and natural places combined with intimate communities foster rich spiritual growth.

waterfall rappelThrough Outdoor Adventure-Based Programming, Students Learn:

Confidence:  Students who are in control of their bodies and who face and overcome challenges feel more in control of their lives. In this way, adventure activities build students’ confidence in ways that carry over into all of life.

Challenge:  We sometime shy away from challenging kids because we fear the effects of failure, but students need opportunities to test themselves and to push against their felt limits. On the rock wall, paddling a river, or being self-sufficient while backpacking teaches students to manage risk rather than shy away from it and to embrace challenge rather than never have tried at all.

Leadership:  Outdoor Adventures enables students to discover their leadership style and then put it to use in real-world situations. Leadership abilities developed in a wilderness context have a 1 to 1 carryover to the rest of the students’ lives.

Play:  God delights in our play! He gives us the ability to celebrate and enjoy this life we’ve been given. Play is not something reserved for children and we need to encourage areas of play in the lives of our students. God is pleased when we make play part of a balanced life.

Wholeness:  For any individual, natural places serve as a form of therapy, allowing us respite from the pace, intensity, and overload of everyday life. Nature has healing qualities. It is good for mind, body, and spirit.


Adventure Club programming thus creates a place for students to discover who it is they really are, to feel confident and proud of themselves, and to nurture truly meaningful relationships with each other and with God.