This year I had the amazing opportunity and privilege of participating as a flight instructor at the MAF Aviation Adventure Camp. This camp is a truly unique, once in a lifetime opportunity for teens interested in aviation. The week begins with 12 high school aged teens meeting, most of them for the first time, at the MAF headquarters in Nampa and riding on a bus for 2+ hours along highway 55 northbound to Cascade, Idaho.
The camp is primarily geared towards aviation. The days consist of flight and ground school instruction, building gliders, learning about ground and air navigation, as well as many other adventurous non-aviation activities. The days are packed full. We are going from sunrise until bedtime and the week flies by (pun intended!)
When the kids arrived at camp, I really had no idea what to expect. I volunteered for the camp last minute and was excited to see what God had in store for the week. The bus arrived Sunday evening at “The Depot” in Cascade. Twelve kids piled off the bus full of energy and enthusiasm. You would never know the kids just met three hours earlier. The activities commenced immediately, with team building and ice-breaker games after dinner.
Starting Monday morning, each student got a half-hour flight lesson with a CFI. The rest of the morning was spent building a glider, which was later used for flight competitions. Over the course of the week, the students learn to taxi, take-off, maneuver, navigate, and land an airplane. This is an amazing accomplishment for just one week of flight training! Each student showed incredible personal motivation and maturity in their ability to learn, participate and grow throughout the week both as an aviator as well as a Christian.
Every day, along with the aviation activities, we had morning devotions and evening speakers. We heard from MAF pilots who spent most of their lives serving Christ in other countries through aviation and technology. The students were able to hear firsthand, miraculous and inspiring stories about how God has used, and is currently using MAF around the world to share God’s love and mercy with people who otherwise would never even have heard the name of God. The campers also learned about schools such as Moody Aviation, that equip their graduates with all the tools and skills needed to apply to be a pilot/mechanic for Mission Aviation Fellowship.
The week gives students a full dose of what MAF stands for, the real-life application flying for MAF, and how they can be involved even right now. As an Advocate, I was able to share with the campers how even as a civilian charter pilot I have opportunities almost daily to share about MAF and be a witness for people around me. I was so honored to be able to spend a week working alongside MAF staff and volunteers, who give 110% of themselves every day to further the kingdom of God. I know each one of our campers left camp feeling enthused for their futures and I cannot wait to see how God uses them.
By Rebakah Walsh