K-West Kampers who stay for two weeks get to experience the ropes course. And almost always, they love this fun, exciting and optional activity. Our ropes team is a special group of people who get to encourage kids every day. The members of the K-West ropes staff include Luke Crane, Jon Thompson, Bri Coon and Sarah Tinsley. The ropes staff also included Mr. Drew Morrill for the first half of the summer.
Luke Crane is a graduate of Appalachian State University as well as the Kanakuk Institute. He will be taking classes at Dallas Theological Seminary this fall to obtain his Masters in Christian Leadership. Luke was a nine year Kamper at Kanakuk and this is his eighth year on staff.
Jon Thompson just graduated from Oklahoma State University. He will be continuing his education at the University of Denver for a Masters in Real Estate and Construction Management. Jon has worked at K-West for three summers.
Bri Coon earned her B.S. and Masters from Carson-Newman College in Tennessee. This fall she is moving to Branson to attend the Kanakuk Institute. This is Bri's second year on staff at K-West.
Sarah Tinsley will be a senior at Columbus State University this fall. She is double majoring in English and Political Science & Sociology. This is her second year on staff at Kanakuk.
The K-West ropes course is a special part of a Kamper's experience at Kamp. Luke Crane, head of the ropes staff said doing the ropes course provides the thrill of being twenty-five feet in the air and for some Kampers, possibly a once in a lifetime experience. He also said that the staff has two main objectives that they try to accomplish with each Kamper. The first is teamwork. All of the thirteen events at the course are designed as partner events. Teamwork builds communication, encouragement and trust in another person. The second is faith. When Kampers arrive at the ropes course, the staff goes through a quick orientation and they tell the kids about knowledge based faith (knowing that the belays can hold their weight) and active faith (actually stepping off the platform.) They contrast James 2:19 and John 3:16.
For the Kampers, there are life lessons that can be learned on the ropes course. Some kids come face to face with a fear and have the ability to work through it one step at a time. It is rewarding for the ropes staff to be able to help Kampers who are crippled by fear. As they trust the staff and listen to instructions, they gain the confidence to eventually step off the platform.
There are also applications for faith that can be gained on the ropes course. Kampers may grasp a better understanding of how the Lord never leaves us. They see that with each step, their belays follow right behind, never leaving them. Just as the belays are stability for the kids as they progress through the ropes course, Kampers are reminded that the Lord is our a Christian's stability when the world seems shaky and uncertain.