Josiah Anderson, Vanguard '21

Where are you from?

Phoenix, Arizona

Why did you choose to pursue the Vanguard Gap Year program?

I’ve been coming to HoneyRock for summer camp throughout high school, so I’ve known about Vanguard for a while. It seemed like an exciting thing to do after high school. I liked the idea of a break from full-time academics and more of a work-oriented focus with academics sprinkled in.

What has been your most memorable moment so far?

Definitely my wilderness assessment trip! It was just five of us Vanguards hiking to different HoneyRock campsites and we had such a blast! We had a great time taking in all of the nature.

Which HoneyRock activities and events have you been enjoying?

I love broomball! It’s one of those games where everyone is on a level playing field because we’re just running on ice. Even if you come up against someone really good, you know they’re going to fall on the ice at least a couple of times. In addition to broomball, I’ve also been having a fun time going big hill tubing.

Do you have a favorite spot to hang out on camp?

My favorite spot is the fireplace in the dining hall. It’s a great spot for big gatherings where you can make a big fire, hang out, and maybe listen to some music.

What work rotations have you done and how have they been going?

I did grounds first because over the summer I had a full-time job that was pretty grounds heavy; I felt pretty at home. It’s for the people that prefer physical labor over anything else—it’s a rewarding job.

I’m working in the kitchen currently and I love it! It has opened up a whole new world because I’ve never made food before, or at least without the help of a microwave. The professional staffers in the kitchen are fantastic teachers, which is helpful because I don’t find cooking super intuitive.

What daily HoneyRock rhythms have impacted you?

I would say morning staff devotions. It’s a great way to start the day. It’s a place where people have something to teach—something that’s on their hearts that they want to share.

What is a practice that Vanguard has provided in your life?

Being here has helped me rediscover the practice of reading a Psalm or Proverb every morning at random. It’s not formulaic, I just open my Bible and see what the Lord has to say to me that day.

How have Grads and Fellows been influencing your time at HoneyRock?

Given the fact that the Grads have a lot of class, they’re not around as much as the Fellows, but they always try hard to hang out with us Vanguards. It would be easy for them to just stay cooped up and work on homework, so it means a lot to see them engaging with the whole community. The Fellows are around all the time so it has been nice getting to know them. I think they’re all amazing and really fun to work with! The Program Fellows, the Fellows that do most of the planning for Vanguards, do a really good job for people who need somebody to talk to. 

What is one interesting or intriguing thing you have learned recently?

I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to bake than I thought it was. Watching my mom bake, it seemed to be a daunting task as she makes it look so easy, but I just recently made caramel rolls and it was really enjoyable.

What is your favorite part about living in the Northwoods?

By far the winter activities! Living in Phoenix, I never really have winter sports as an option, so being able to enjoy the snow has been great!