Class of 2017…Costa Rican Adventures
By: WebmasterDate: Mar 25, 2017 Tags: School News
Forty members of the Class of 2017, along with their chaperones (Nathan Yates, Matt Windle, Dana Zambeck, Debbie Wiard, Gloriann Curley, and Marisa Brodhagen) have safely arrived in Costa Rica for their senior trip. To many, your memories of a senior trip may be very different from what takes place at Plymouth Christian. Whether you’re a new parent contemplating this trip for your soon-to-be senior, or an elementary parent wondering what a senior trip looks like at PCA, we want to provide you with information.
At PCA, the senior trip is planned and coordinated through a travel company, Joshua Expeditions. Joshua Expeditions is a Christian-based, purpose-driven student travel company. To learn more about Joshua Expeditions, you can visit their website HERE. Their trips are worldwide and offer the opportunity for students to travel as a group, experiencing new parts of the world, while serving and sharing the gospel as they travel. The following are a few of the reasons PCA administration has selected Costa Rica as the senior trip destination for our students:
- Varied opportunities within the country of Costa Rica for adventure (zip-lining, white-water rafting, Catamaran cruise)
- Great opportunities for mission/service work
- Length of travel time and minimal time change adjustments
- Best value
- Growth seen in students who have experienced international travel
Beginning in the 9th grade, PCA high school students have the opportunity to earn money for this trip through a variety of class fundraising projects. Their level of participation in these projects determines the amount of money earned. For example, sophomore students run athletic game concessions. Both parents and students can work these concessions throughout the year, earning money toward their senior trip. If your family is planning to send your student on this trip, it’s great to get started earning money toward it during freshman year.
Stay tuned to this blog for the latest updates on what our group is doing each day during their trip. Early this morning students departed PCA at 3:25am, bound for the airport. They flew from Detroit to Baltimore and then Baltimore to San Jose, arriving at 12:10pm. Day one is pretty relaxed, with the group enjoying the sun and beautiful weather in San Jose. They have met with their tour guide, Missionary David Mahn, who will lead them through this week. Thank you for your prayers for safety as they travel and changed hearts as they witness the needs in the country of Costa Rica.
Day two in Costa Rica was “amazing” to quote a few of the students on the trip. They traveled from San Jose to the coast where they boarded a catamaran bound for the island of Tortuga. The island of Tortuga is known for it’s abundance of coconut palm trees, white sand beaches and emerald waters. Our students spent most of the day exploring, relaxing in hammocks, playing in the water, banana boats rides, and snorkeling. Fruit was abundant with lots of fresh pineapple, papaya, and coconut. They have now returned to their hotel in San Jose, exhausted from the fun of the day. They need a good night’s sleep to be prepared for a day of white water rafting tomorrow.
Day three in Costa Rica was filled with more adventure. The group departed San Jose, bound for the Saripiqui River, for a day of white water rafting. The rapids were not too intense, allowing for lots of fun. They saw many different animals and birds such as parrots, iguanas, monkeys, and sloths! They were able to jump into the river off of rope swings.
The day ended by traveling to La Fortuna, home of the Arenal Volcano. They spent the evening enjoying dinner and time at the pool and mineral hot spring baths on the hotel property. The next two days the students and chaperones will be serving with a local ministry, assisting with light construction work and ministering to children.
Today was spent serving at a Mana Church in La Fortuna. PCA seniors have been serving at this church for several years, laying part of the foundation in 2013.
Today’s senior class did many different projects for the church, from cleaning the building, painting, clearing landscape and more. The church has a goal to build a Christian college, so our students assisted with clearing a fence and trees in an effort to prepare the property for the project.
They also spent a portion of their day working with kids at a local school. PCA seniors reported that this was their favorite part of the day!They will return to both the church and school tomorrow for more work.
Following their service work, the group headed for the famous waterfall in La Fortuna. It was an adventure, swimming in the river and area surrounding the waterfall. Lifeguards are watching over all the visitors to the area. It was another amazing day in the tropical land of Costa Rica.
PCA seniors and chaperones spent a long day working with Mana Church and a school in La Fortuna. The church’s construction is almost complete and they are beginning to plan for the addition of a school and college on their property. According to Mrs. Curley, “The day was really impactful. The girls finished painting at the church and the boys finished knocking down a fence that is on land where a Christian college will be built.
They made a huge bonfire out of the wood. Then we went to the school and the kids played soccer, colored, and did crafts with the kids.”
This morning was the final day that the seniors would wake up in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano. They checked out of the hotel in La Fortuna and spent the morning at Ecoglide. Here they had the opportunity to zip line through the jungle canopy. They were also able to ride the tarzan swing if they were brave enough.
Following their zip line adventure, the group headed back toward the city of San Jose. This is the final night in Costa Rica, with their flight departing at 12:50pm. Their parents will be eagerly awaiting their arrival back to Detroit at 11:35pm Friday night.