8th Grade Leadership Camp

One of my favorite quotes is, “Begin with the end in mind.” Dr. Stephen Covey

At ZCS we have Threeschool – 8th-grade students in one building at our main campus on Central Ave. One of the reasons for this is the leadership it allows our older students to have, especially once they reach 8th grade. With this in mind, we take 8th graders off-site for a leadership camp at the beginning of the school year. This year, they spent the day at The 3 Mile Project in Grand Rapids.

Middle School Principal Tim Paauw commented, “Leadership Camp was a very special time with our 8th graders, a sacred time. We spent the day talking about how they are created for a purpose, and that God has gifted each one of them uniquely. We talked about how God calls each one of them this year to burn bright for Him by being role models who live out the Fruit of the Spirit as the oldest students at ZCS.”

The experience also included hearing from the family pastor at The Local Church in Grand Rapids, Andy Casper. Pastor Andy taught them how Jesus won by losing. His plan all along was to lose, to die in order to win.” He went on to say, “It’s about welcoming the person who doesn’t have a place, to have a place. A place where gossip is killed before it starts. A place that makes somebody feel noticed and known. YOU can be those people. You can choose to step into the game and play it differently, or play it in the way the world does. Jesus changed the game forever by living His life differently. I hope you follow Him.

8th-grade teacher Mr. Keyser remarked “The kids did incredibly well across the board with the team-building activities in the Ninja area. They were supportive, innovative, and worked very well together. This positivity continued on into the free time where I heard so much support for each other (myself included) as they attempted various levels of the wall. So encouraging for those who maybe don’t always get the encouragement from their peers!” 

“I have been very impressed with the leadership shown by this class,” said 8th-grade teacher Mrs. Williams, “and am hopeful that they will continue to look to God in order to lead the school well In my sectional, my students reflected on their class’ past experiences in order to move forward and grow into even better leaders. They did this with honesty, humility, and eagerness.”

My 7th-grade son turns thirteen next week, making us parents of three teenagers. As our children have gotten older, we see even more clearly the benefits of Christian Education. They have opportunities, not only at church but every day at school, to hear from godly leaders who remind them of their identity in Christ and encourage them to use their abilities to serve God. I’m grateful for all the faculty and staff at ZCS who come alongside parents as we all try to raise our children to follow Jesus Christ with their whole lives.   

Burn Bright,

Tim McAboy 

Head of School

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