It’s time again for the annual Gull Lake Adventure Race.
Now going into its third year, the three phase race is a fundraiser for the Gull Lake Centre’s Leadership Training and Discipleship program.
Steve Roadhouse, executive director at Gull Lake Centre, said he came up with the idea after a colleague, who had participated in an adventure race in the mountains and suggested that the camp do something similar.
Roadhouse modified the race so that it would work at Gull Lake Centre and the Adventure Race was born.
“Basically, I just took everything that I love and smashed it into one event,” said Roadhouse.
Racers start the race with a cycling phase.
Second, there is an orienteering phase where racers use orienteering skills to guide their teams to different activity stations.
Finally, there is the head-to-head phase where race teams face off against each other in a number of fun activities and games.
Gull Lake Adventure Race was started to help fund Gull Lake Centre’s Leadership Training and Discipleship program.
Roadhouse said that the program is important to train today’s kids to be tomorrow’s leaders and in particular, mentors.
“I hope what sets our program apart a little bit is its focus on mentorship,” said Roadhouse. “I think that’s something that our culture is sorely lacking right now. I don’t know many people who have had someone that is older, wiser and more mature take them under their wings and say, ‘I’ve been down this road, I want to help you walk down this road too’.”
Mentorships benefit both people involved in the relationship as well, said Roadhouse.
He added that he himself has three mentors and is mentoring three different people, saying that those relationships are some of the richest relationships that he has.
People often think they can do everything on their own and that asking for help is a sign of weakness, said Roadhouse.
“We want to be independent, we want to kind of make our own way and asking for help can be difficult,” said Roadhouse. “So there is something really beautiful about a mentorship where both people realize they are getting some value out of it.”
Gull Lake Centre’s Leadership Training and Discipleship (LTD) program is a three year program for high school students.
It begins with one week of training where they learn how to run camp, but Roadhouse said the real training takes place during their practical segments where they help run camp.
Roadhouse said that when trainees in the program come to help run the camp during the summer, they are not given a set job, but a mentor and they do whatever that mentor does.
He added that each week of the year they get a different mentor so they get experience with different mentors doing different things.
Students are mentored outside of the summer as well.
Roadhouse said students in the program are responsible to contact their mentors throughout the year, set up meetings and build that relationship.
Roadhouse said that there is a minimum for students to participate in the program for three weeks during the summer and they can participate in as many as eight weeks.
Add this to three weekend retreats included in the program and time spent completing projects with mentors throughout the year, and students in the LTD training could invest as many as 500 hours a year into the program.
The purpose of the program, said Roadhouse, is to create more mentors in the world.
“Afterwards, because they have been mentored, they will be mentors,” said Roadhouse.
“We are training mentors, which will hopefully have a pretty significant ripple effect going out from here.”
While the program is extremely valuable, it is also quite expensive to run. Roadhouse said the program costs $90,000 to run each year.
Gull Lake Adventure Race aims to recover a third of that cost.
Every year, racers are given a welcome package and have the chance to win prizes. Roadhouse said that this year’s prizes include GoPro cameras, Camelbacks, Garmin watches and other cool outdoor gear.
So far, there are seven teams registered in the race. Roadhouse said he would like to see between 10 and 16 teams signed up by race weekend.