Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Finish Line - The Journey Begins

What an incredible past few weeks! These past days at Qwanoes have been so jam packed I have so much to share with you all. First and foremost, the students have officially graduated and are now moving into the next season of life. That is why although the program has come to an end here, the journey for them is really just beginning. We talk all year how the program does not just exist for the year itself, but rather for every year that follows. So it brought us great joy to see everyone finish so strongly, and we are so excited to see where God will bring them all next.

Kaleo Program 2014

I put together a short film showcasing some of our memories from the year.

On thursday the 17th last week at 3pm all of the students graduated! It was an amazing time of celebration, and also bitter sweet because we knew our time was coming to a close. We are so excited to see what God has next for these amazing leaders, the potential moving out of the program this year alone is massive. This is truly a group who allowed God to do some transforming work in their lives, and will go forth and serve many in love for the glory of his name.

I am going to share a few pictures from our grad day, and then share some of our last moments together in the Kaleo program.

Wednesday we held a reception to meet all the parents of the students. 

Worship for the ceremony was led by Ian Friesen alongside Kelsey Pettinger and team of other students. It was great to see them lead together representing the many times throughout the year we had come together to worship. 

This years graduation address from the students was from this years Valedictorian Stephanie Pauls. The other winners of awards were as follows; Community Award was received by Riley McRae, Leadership Award was received by Ian Friesen, Ministry Award was received by Jonathan Loper, Adventure Award was received by Cara Tetro, and the Academic Award was received by Stephanie Pauls. 

Later after the ceremony we took a few pictures outdoors despite the rain!


So to finish off this post I am going to share a few pictures giving a snapshot of some of our adventures in the days leading up to graduation. 

We went indoor and outdoor rock cimbing!

The students also helped to run an amazing Jr's Retreat! 

The weekend right before graduation we had a closing retreat to reflect on the year, and also encourage the students going forward. We stayed at a beautiful cabin called The Knoll.

We also visited the world famous Kinsol Trestle.

I will cherish and value this year and the students for the rest of my life. The amazing opportunity to walk alongside this group of  young men and woman, who continue through all things strive to surrender their hearts to the shaping work of Christ, has brought me immense joy! The students of Kaléo 2014 have blessed me greatly with their immense creativity, immeasurable passion and most importantly their zeal for the Lord. 

I could write pages and pages of our amazing adventures, the incredible things we have all done together throughout this year. The amazing things God has done in the lives in each and every one of these students. 

Levi VanderKwaak, a Kaleo Program intern and the writer of this years blog.
So thank you so much from all of us, myself Levi, and the whole leadership team over at Qwanoes. Thank you for following our journey this year! It has been an incredible 8 months and God has been working in every step of the way. We have appreciated all of your prayer and support throughout the year. 

Until next time,


Kaleo program intern.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Studies in Christian Worldview - Modernity and Postmodernity

The students just finished their last weeks of lectures closing off two of their courses from this year! They still have a few assignments left to complete, but most of the academic portion of the year is coming to a close. They finished off Camp and Youth Ministry this week, which I will tell you more about soon, but today one of the students Kyla Guneyler is going to share about the course they had just taken lectures for the week before. 

A few of the books on they read for this course.

This class is in a way hard to explain what it was about because we covered so many things. However I really enjoyed how Professor Grant dug into the history of modern thought and went through explaining the enlightenment and how our culture got to the state of our thinking today.

We looked at how our culture has transitioned connecting the main influential people in the movement and the big thinkers of different generations.The overall subject matter covered a lot with the enlightenment and the movements of modernity and postmodernity.

Grant was a really inspirational as a teacher, he has been working so hard on his goals and now is in a place to teach for years to come— he is the youngest professor we have had this year and it was cool to see his passion. 

I think it’s interesting to see how other people perceive human desires, human processes and where they come from in regards to how it relates to everyday life

It’s important to know what culture you are in so you can live in the world, but not be of it. If you don't know anything about it how can you relate to the people around you in life that don't believe the same things?

From this class I have learned something that I will remember for the rest of my life—Things are not always the same as face value and there is so much more than just ‘surface level’ behind thoughts and actions, there is always something that is rooted beyond that, and so much more underneath the surface.


Students have been making the most out of some of the rainy weather we have been having!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us this week Kyla! I look forward to filling you all in with more stories next week.

Until next time,


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Crabbing at Qwanoes - Cooking Crustaceans

Today I want to share with you from one of our afternoon events last week that is truly only something you can do on the coast!

On friday afternoon we went  down to the Qwanoes beach—literally a 5 minute walk from Pacific Woods Lodge which is where the classroom and students bedrooms are. We had ourselves a crab cooking feast! This is a first for all of the students, catching crabs on the dock, and then cooking them right after on the beach—doesn’t come any fresher than that. It was such a blast and a great break from the current readings and papers the students were working on. It was so much fun to open the crabs ourselves and enjoy the crab meat with some melted butter. Instead of explaining much more, this blog post will be primarily a photo essay, I hope you enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out some of our community fun on the coast! The students are currently finishing up Introduction to Christian Worldview with Grant Poettcker, we will definitely have some stories from the classroom coming soon.

Until next time,


Monday, March 24, 2014

French Beach Camping - Lifelong Leadership

 This past week we had an incredible time camping together on the West coast of Vancouver Island! We pitched tent for two nights within 100 meters of the Pacific Ocean at French Beach Provincial Park. It was an incredible time of community, relaxing, reading, and learning about how to be lifelong leader wherever life takes our students after the Kaleo Program. This year is almost over—Can you believe it?! We definitely can’, but it is certainly settling in that it’s less than a month till graduation. 

Sarah H, and Kelsey W, walking up to the campsite covering from the beach.

The camping trip provided the perfect balance of time spent with each other, time to go about and explore the beautiful beach front park, opportunities to reflect and learn about leading in the future, and also plenty of time to read the course material for their next class. 

Chris, Dawson, Jon, and Ian exploring the beach front. 
While camping we were divided into 4 groups that would separately prepare their own meals.
(pictured is Dawson and Jessica)

Lots of time to connect and read

The students each had 3 books with them as they were preparing for the course which just started today, Introduction to Christian Worldview with Grant Poettcker. There was lots of discussion happening all around camp about the contents of the books throughout the trip, the books are some of the more challenging philosophy books they will read this year, and most were enjoying the challenge. There was lots of re-reading pages to try grasp the concepts, but certain enjoying the moment where the idea 'clicks'.

Our three days also had a focus on learning what it meant to be lifelong leaders. This was incorporated through some interesting yet challenging group games and also Devo's during the mornings and evenings that were lead by the leadership team (Andrew, Lyann, Ashley, and Levi).

Trying to communicate without sight and sound proved to be quite a challenge!

We also had one of the most impressive tarp structures I have ever seen.
We dubbed it the coliseum, truly is a piece of art.

For our last leadership game it involved trying to build a structure with your team out of random things from the beach. The creations each team made were great and everyone had fun despite the rain. 

Our time at French Beach was definitely a highlight for a lot of us. So good to just spend time with each other in creation. The weather was pretty cold, and it did rain, but it all added to a comping trip that we are sure to never forget!

Thanks for checking in on what's been happening in the Kaleo Program! We have a lot more to share in the coming month, so keep checking back every thursday! 

Until next time,