Highland Express Trip to Mt. Major

The weekend of November 7th was a busy weekend for Gordon College! Three sports teams participated in Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship games, but it was also an exciting weekend for fall hikers on campus. This year, La Vida is partnering with Gordon’s Highland Express to take students on weekend excursions and while some students cheered on our sports teams, others decided to head north into New Hampshire’s lakes region and summit Mount Major.

Mt. Major Trail sign

With some unseasonably warm weather and partly cloudy skies it was the perfect Saturday for a hike. The group of 21 students led by La Vida staff Matt Galliano-Williams and Joel Cox, split into two groups and took opposite trails to the summit. With such a large group we split in half in order to minimize our impact on the trail and surrounding ecosystem in accordance to Leave No Trace policy.matt and joel



Weekend trips like this are a great way to give students opportunities to explore New England. “Since moving here, I didn’t know where there were nice hiking places,” said Gordon student Liann Van Volkinburg. “This opportunity helped me not only get out of my apartment and take a break from homework, but explore the places around me…It showed how great God can be.” Another student, Carissa Fraser agreed. “I enjoyed the hike a lot! I had a lot of fun and think everyone seemed to enjoy it a lot.”

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Our fall season has come to a close, but be on the lookout for snowshoeing and rock gym events this coming winter!

Photo Credit: Liann Van Volkinburg and Maddie St. Julien



Snowshoeing After Winter Storm Juno

By Abby Foster
It is often a common fact that when a snowstorm hits, we stay cooped up inside, bundled under our blankets, sipping on hot tea or cocoa. However, there are a select few who decide to bare the cold, and go out to explore what the snowstorms have left for them to find.
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Photo Credit: Rich Obenschain and Abby Stroven
Snowshoeing through the Gordon woods last Thursday deemed itself an excellent activity to do such exploring.
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Photo Credit: Amber Dvornski- amariephotography.us
Whether we were breaking the trail or following one previously created, there was nothing that quite compared to the excitement of tromping through the snow, especially when it was with a group of people who, like you, are thrilled with the chance to breath in some crisp fresh air.
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Photo Credit: Amber Dvornski- amariephotography.us
Little excursions such as this one, allowed us to experience the simple beauties; things like small rabbit tracks, little dollops of snow piled along the tree branches, or just the way in which the light glistens through the trees onto whatever is in its path. I found myself asking the question, “Am I in Narnia yet?” No, but the Gordon woods are close enough. ​
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Photo Credit: Amber Dvornski- amariephotography.us
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 Photo Credit: Kristen Li
Abby F Profile PIc-9001_square   ❤ Abby

Abby Foster is a senior at Gordon College majoring in Communication Arts. She worked as a Sherpa last year in the ADK’s and facilitates groups at the challenge course with Adventure Pursuits. She is returning to Base Camp this summer to serve again. She is a crucial part of our staff with her caring heart and warm personality.


If you are interested in scheduling a winter event through Adventure Pursuits, contact abigail.stroven@gordon.edu

Hike Up Mt. Monadnock

Thoughts From Damaris Gibaldi, 2014-2015 LEAP Intern:

I had the privilege of planning Gordon’s 2014 student hike up Mount Monadnock as a part of my internship with the La Vida office. As a “LEAP” intern (Leadership Experience in Adventure Programming), I know how valuable it is for students to have accessible opportunities for outdoor recreation, which is why I chose to plan this hike. After working through all the logistics, advertising, and communication with students, I was so excited when the day of the hike actually came. Along with my co-leader, Misha Johnson, and 12 other students, we took a bus up to New Hampshire on a beautiful November day to hike Mt. Monadnock’s Dublin trail. Not only was it rewarding to see the behind-the-scenes work come to life, but seeing students laugh together on a mountainside was truly priceless. Here’s a quote from Julia Bartos, a junior at Gordon College who went on the hike: “The hike up Mt. Monadnock was a great weekend excursion! We had a beautiful time, with blue skies that gave us a panoramic view from the peak and lots of laughter and fun. It’s the perfect thing to do with friends, and we all had the chance to get to know new people too. Thank you, La Vida, for putting this adventure together!” College memories are made through unique events like this, and we are excited to plan more student excursions in the future.

Photo Credit: Damaris Gibaldi










Boston College Groups

Throughout the years our on campus challenge course has seen many groups of young folks who have been inspired by the idea of challenging themselves, stepping out of their comfort zones and engaging in activities that bring out their leadership potential, none of which have been more enthusiastic than the groups that come from Boston College. They come as part of their leadership class and they take the experience very seriously. They jump in with their whole heart and embrace every aspect of the La Vida philosophy. They read articles about an idea called “Leaderfullness” and they use that theory to make practical application out on the course. Here is a link to a video that one of the BC professors created that shows some of the excitement of this day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3YLNljYcxk&sns=em








La Vida sponsored two snowshoe events with Gordon students, faculty and staff this weekend. One group of 8 students went up north to Maudslay State park to enjoy the beauty of a nice clear day and recent snowfall. Another group of 18 people explored the trails of the Gordon woods on a two-hour hike that took them on several winding paths through the beautiful snow-covered trees.

Participants enjoyed getting out in the wilderness and it was a great day of building community between those who live and work here at Gordon. The theme this year is “together as one”. Our hope is that we can provide more experiences that will facilitate the implementation of this theme throughout the year.

Photos by Amber Dvornski





Photos by Elizabeth Norcini




Classroom Learning Redefined

Recently, the Adventure Pursuits program facilitated a teambuilding experience at the new Activity and Training Center for a class of Gordon students. The class is called “Organizational Behavior” and every year for the past four years the professor of this class, Kent Seibert, has chosen to begin the semester with teambuilding activities. Here is what he has to say about it:

“The team building experience with my organizational behavior students enabled the students and I to build a deep relationship much more quickly than happens in a normal class setting.  It also illustrated teamwork dynamics that we’ll continue to unpack throughout the semester.  Unquestionably the experience adds a dimension to the course that couldn’t be attained any other way.”- Kent Seibert

We are thankful to be a resource for the faculty here at Gordon and we hope to continue impacting students in and out of the classroom.

Photos by Amber Dvornski







First Congregational Church in Hamilton- Family Rock Climbing Night

First Congregational Church in Hamilton hosted their first Marriage & Family Ministry event on Saturday November 9: Family Rock Climbing Night at the Gordon College Bennett Center.  Here is what one of their members had to say about the experience:

“Carving out family time that is also fun can get tricky as winter approaches in Massachusetts. First Congregational Church in Hamilton was looking for a great family outing that would appeal to all ages and La Vida came to the rescue! Over 15 families met at the indoor rock climbing gym at the Bennet Center, and the awesome La Vida staff took over. Kids from age 4 to 15 scaled the walls under the careful eye of the trained belayers. Those that were waiting to climb played games in the courts next door. Parents were able to hang out and enjoy catching up with one another while cheering their kids on. After all the climbing was over, our group retreated to one of the Bennett Center classrooms for a great pizza dinner. There has been lots of feedback to do this event again! La Vida is a great resource to the Gordon College students, but FCCH is finding that they have so much to offer to church groups and families as well. We are looking forward to climbing again sometime soon and maybe utilizing the outdoor spaces when it gets warmer out. Thank you La Vida for a great night!”  Kristen Broughton, member of FCCH

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