Explore Writing Contest Winners

[Learn more about Outdoor Leadership at Prairie College]

New Student First Place ($2,000 Scholarship) – Haley Kieftenbeld

In that good ol’ book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss writes, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain in waiting, so… get on your way!” The Explore program at Prairie Bible College will be the compass guiding me towards my mountain in the distance. This program will provide me with a foundation towards God’s greater purpose for my life through bible and ministry, leadership development and wilderness skills. Instead of walking the path alone I am choosing to travel this part of the journey with others at Prairie.

Whether we face trials or triumphs, I believe through forming strong relationships we can support each other and continue the ultimate goal of building God’s kingdom. So, by investing a year into personal development I hope to be transformed in body, mind and spirit to better face challenges and learn from my mistakes. I pray Explore will sculpt me into a better version of myself. To transform my heart to let go and let God, help me build meaningful relationships, equip me for service in His name and spread His love in day-to-day life.

Lastly, I hope to become a better leader, friend, sister, daughter and child of God. Through this opportunity of living in community and being immersed in His creation, I will be one step closer to pursue a future dream of providing safe and inclusive outdoor opportunities for persons with disabilities. Now, my backpack is packed, my shoes are tied and I am ready to get on my way!

Returning Student First Place ($2,500 Scholarship) – Navid Shokohzadeh

In the past three years, I have been in Canada at Prairie College in a program called Explore. This school and program (as well as friends and teachers) have really affected my relationship with God, and the vision of my future. The Explore program is a unique program that has taught me how to be an influential leader, as well as be a leader who stays calm in the toughest environments. It has more significantly grown my relationship with God. Using the outdoors as a venue, the teachers of the program are able to facilitate a place that fosters growth. I was able to let God fix pains, fears, and things that held me back in my heart, and see a grand new vision for my life. From doing glacial travel in the Albertan Rockies, exploring the Tibetan Plateau in China, to doing an eighteen-day backpacking trip in Death Valley, God was able to use the wilderness to bring me to a place of maturity and gave me a vision of bringing spiritual growth to others.

I wish to do mission work after my internship in the Explore program in the areas I call the ‘Top Three.’ They are what I think are the three most influential areas in Asia, which are Japan, Korea(s), and China. I wish to incorporate what I have learned from Explore, all the biblical knowledge from Prairie, and the love and care from teachers, family, and friends to reach out and help develop the next Kingdom leaders. I also wish in this process to help those countries in lowering the high suicide rates and spiritual oppression that is ongoing.

Returning Student Second Place ($2,000 Scholarship) – Joshua Martin

Camp ministry is what I have been called by God to do. My desire is to empower and disciple others. Camp is about connecting with creation and the Creator. It is a place where people come to encounter Jesus and build a personal relationship with Him. Young leaders are empowered to step out in faith. They are given new challenges and opportunities with the chance to respond in courage. Through deep personal relationship with peers and leaders, there is space for intentional growth and spiritual development. Being equipped to work in a place where life transformation occurs requires a unique variety of skills and training. Leading in this environment requires a passion for ministry and heart for people.

Participating in the Explore program is a blessing because it is able to develop necessary skills needed for camp ministry. Explore is more than just qualifications and learning about leadership and scripture. Much like camp prairie is very relational and community based. Explore inspires and shows the interconnectedness between knowledge and experiences. Prairie has met and exceeded my expectations and has taught me relational skills with many opportunities to practice leading. The team-based approach allows me to develop new skills while getting feedback. Hearing constructive criticism challenges me and helps me grow. It has shown me more of the characteristics and traits that I need to be an effective leader in camp ministry.

I am excited about returning to Explore, and the adventures to come.

Join us for a year of outdoor leadership training in the Canadian Rockies. We are still accepting applications for Fall 2019. 


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