When The Students Are Away, The Staff Will Play

My ascent attempt.

Typically summer break at Bethel College means a time to catch up on work, tackle special projects and be productive in a relaxed atmosphere. I’m not sure if this falls into any of those categories, but the staff in the Information and Media Services decided to climb the antenna tower for the campus radio station.

This wasn’t one of those “I double dog dare you” type of situations. We had a legitimate reason to do so, or at least that is what we told ourselves.  I had wanted to take some photos of the Bethel campus from a unique perspective to use for the school’s website. And my inner adventurer really wanted to climb the 200 foot radio tower, and prove I had conquered a previous fear of heights.

So on a mild June day I donned my safety gear, strapped on a GoPro camera and began my ascent while a small group of staff, students, and cameras watched on.  I made pretty good progress for the first 100 or so feet.

Then the wind began.

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My view as the tower began rockin’.

The wind caused a slight rocking of the tower.  And the higher I climbed, the more the tower rocked.  I was within 30 feet of the top of the tower when my once conquered fear of heights decided to return.  I hurriedly snapped a few photos with my camera before making a hasty retreat to the bottom of the tower.

Then one of my student workers decided to show me up.

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Dylan Jantz striking a pose during his ascent of the tower.

Dylan Jantz is spending his summer days working in the IMS office. And after I made my attempt to climb the tower, Dylan decided he wanted to give it a try.  And he did well.  He managed to make it up to the top of the tower despite the wind, and take some beautiful shots of of the campus.  He even managed a Snapchat or two from a couple hundred feet above the ground.

The photos have turned out pretty great, and the video from the ascent was even better.  But I am wanting to make another attempt later this summer when there isn’t any construction going on (the Fine Arts Center is currently getting a facelift), and another student worker is wanting to make the ascent as well.

Here’s hoping we will make the ascent once more.

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