I'm flying to Portland today in preparation for Westminster's Summer Seminar in Washington, which starts tomorrow and runs for the next ten days. We've got 22 soon-to-be-seniors and 7 staff (none of whom are pictured above) going on the trip. Here's a tentative (read: weather-permitting) itinerary:
July 10, Saturday
Rendezvous with students/staff in Portland, OR
Transport to Forks, WA (yes, I know this is where the Twilight "saga" is set, but no, that's not why we're going there)
July 16, Friday
Hike Mt. Hood (Copper spur: 7.8 miles)
July 17 and 18, Saturday and Sunday
Raft Deschutes River
July 19, Monday
Holiday Inn Express, Portland, OR
July 20, Tuesday
Core classes include:
- Is This the Way It’s Supposed to Be?
This core will introduce the tension of needing a vital raw material, yet wrestling with the consequences of acquiring that resource.
- The Biology of the Old Growth vs. the Modern Lumber Industry
This core will explore the idea of an old growth forest juxtaposed with a replanted forest: Can we simply replant and expect to sustain the old growth ecosystem?
- The Way It Should Be: Systems That Function
This core will explore ecosystems functioning as they were intended to and seek to understand that species work towards the benefits of the entire system due to a “biological Invisible Hand”.
- The Cedar as Central: The “Buffalo” of the Pacific Northwest
This core will explore the Native American view of the old growth cedar as central to their survival and how the same cedars are central to the survival of Forks, WA. Students will understand the centrality of the cedar to an old growth ecosystem and its species. A comparison will be drawn to the buffalo on the Great Plains. What are the differences between the White and Native American views of these natural resources?
This core will explore author Lynn White’s claim that a Christian worldview with its notion of dominion is ultimately responsible for the ecological crisis. Students will also interact with Francis Schaeffer’s "Pollution and the Death of Man" as a counterpoint to White’s ideas and will seek to explore a proper Christian view of dominion with an emphasis on sustainability.
- Mt. St. Helens: A Theological View of Restoration
This core will explore the gradual, natural restoration of Mt. St. Helens and the parallel idea of God’s restoration of Creation from a Reformed eschatological position.
- The Economics and Politics of Logging: What Will It Cost You?
This core will explore the costs of proper dominion. Considering that the whole Old Growth debate is driven by the economics and politics of rationing a scarce resource, students will be introduced to the notion that proper dominion will be costly to their generation.
Students are to have read The Final Forest: The Battle for the Last Great Trees of the Pacific Northwest by William Dietrich and written an introductory three-page response essay before the trip. They'll then submit five revised journal entries, culminating in a five-page essay due at the end of the month. I'm responsible for the reflecting/writing/grading aspect of the trip, as well as for publishing a book compilation of the students' best writing and pictures.
All in all, it should be fun. If I see Edward or Bella, I'll say hello for you…