Pine Forge Academy Keeps Spirits High
Story by Tracey Jackson
School started with high hopes and bubbling excitement as students and staff reunited on the campus that has become a second home to so many. It soon became apparent, however, that the anticipated dip in morale would be monumental.
With the stress of a steadily raging pandemic and continued political discourse in the country, the students’ and staff focus was continuously tried.
To combat this, members of the United Student Movement (USM), the dormitory deans, the Spiritual Life committee and the Guidance Department began packing the schedule with more activities to relieve student stress. The goal to maintain as normal a year as possible became most important.
The result was a semester full of activity beginning with the 14 Days of Spiritual Enrichment program, highlighting the year’s P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens) theme. Guest speakers Lola Moore Johnston, senior pastor of Potomac Conference's Woodbridge (Va.) church, shared a virtual message with the Kimbrough Hall female residents, and Robert Mann (’95), the supervisor at Science and Engineering Services (Md.), did the same with the Handy Hall male residents.
Due to the pandemic, the annual Columbia Union SALT Conference was canceled, so the USM quickly assembled a Leadership Conference where student leaders met together with their sponsors, Kohren Joseph and O’Shayne Rankine, for a bonding weekend.
The administration added more mental health days to the school schedule, including additional rest time and stress relief seminars. They planned outdoor activities, including basketball, volleyball, relay races, kite flying, Sabbath nature walks, outdoor theatres and a vespers bonfire.
Another way Pine Forge Academy (PFA) students traditionally manage stress is through their music ministry. Sharing the message of God’s love and care through song is a long-standing hallmark of the school. Under Jarrett Roseborough, musical director, the choir produced an outdoor video featuring PFA’s “Ministry in Motion” praise dancers.
As temperatures dropped and the school remained COVID-free, more activities and gatherings moved indoors. Meeting together for church services in the gymnasium was a definite morale booster for everyone. This allowed for a successful Parent Weekend, where parents and students participated in and presented the divine worship service via Zoom.
Other indoor activities included old-fashioned socials, basketball and volleyball tournaments, fashion shows, Holiday Spirit Week, the 2021 Senior Class Presentation, the annual Thanksgiving dinner and off-campus trips to a roller skating rink (pictured, Freshman Bryson Blair) and a corn maze.