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Crandall University Launches ClayStone Gap-Year Program

January 17, 2018

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Crandall University Launches ClayStone Gap-Year Program

Crandall University’s ClayStone Program was successfully launched in August 2017! Eight students spent the fall semester learning about wilderness, cultural and life skills. As a partnership between Crandall University and Camp Shiktehawk (Bristol, NB), the ClayStone Program is an intensive discipleship opportunity for students.

The program began with an intensive, one-week course looking at the major themes of the Bible. At the conclusion of that course, the students began a series of wilderness adventures, camping and hiking at Mount Katahdin in Maine; sea kayaking on Grand Manan, NB; and rock climbing in Welsford, NB.

Throughout these wilderness adventures, the students were also working on two additional university courses: Introduction to Communicating and the Christian Way.

For the next leg of the journey, the students earned certifications in open water and river canoeing through Grand & Spednic lakes and down the St. Croix River, and then as the temperatures began to drop, they headed to the Fundy Footpath. Using all of the camp craft skills they had developed to date, the students set out on a 5-day hike of this world renowned trail.

As the students experienced, the wilderness can present many good challenges, not the least of which can be related to first aid issues. How to provide critical first-aid response to situations in remote areas is a critical skill to learn. After the completion of the Fundy Footpath trek, the students spent the next 5 challenging days earning their Wilderness First Aid certification.

Having completed several outdoor wilderness experiences, the students settled back in to the facilities at Camp Shiktehawk for a 5-day experience with the Maliseet First Nations community in Tobique, NB. The students enjoyed learning about the history and experience of this local first nation people group by attending a traditional meal with the Elders from the community, participating in a blanket exercise and travelling to some sacred sites in the Maliseet territory.

The students then spent another week in an intensive course focused on the idea of cross-cultural missions, all the while preparing for a three-week cross-cultural/missions trip to the Dominican Republic.

This trip was in coordination with a group of 40 churches in the community and region of Sosua, DR. The students helped plant cedar trees along a watershed area that provides drinking water to the community. These trees served to stabilize the ground from erosion. The students learned a great deal about the ecosystems of that part of the country. They were also involved in several ministry outings and helped to provide a fresh paint job for two churches.

Upon the completion of the Dominican Republic trip, the students returned to Crandall University to complete their program. As a “pilot” program, this year’s ClayStone Experience spanned a single semester. Going forward, the program is being extended to a full academic year with additional winter wilderness skills (skiing, winter camping, etc.) and an extension of the time spent in the Dominican Republic from 3 weeks to 6 weeks. Dr. Jon Ohlhauser, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, had the honour of providing directorship for the first year of ClayStone, and Crandall University is happy that the new full-time (long term) Director and Assistant Director for the program will be Dale and Twila Stairs.

For young people looking for a great discipleship program with many opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, there is no better program offered in Atlantic Canada!

For more information on the ClayStone Experience gap year program, or to apply for the 2018-2019 academic year, visit crandallu.ca/claystone. Applicants with their deposit paid by April 30 will receive a $1000 bursary.

Crandall University is Eastern Canada’s leading liberal arts university devoted to the Christian faith. Crandall offers undergraduate degrees in Arts, Science, Business, Education, and Technical Education as well as graduate degrees in Organizational Management and Education. Founded in 1949, Crandall University is provincially chartered to grant degrees and certificates, and is located on a beautiful 200-acre campus in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Crandall University ClayStone Gap Year Program inaugural class

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