May Trip – What A Blessing!
This past month I had the privilege of leading a college expedition in the Adirondacks. I have not led a trip since 2011 because my normal job responsibilities keep me tied down to the office. I was excited to get back out into the wilderness with the students and this trip was definitely a refreshing break and a time of renewal for me.
Our trip included 10 participants along with me and my co-leader. We had the Long Lake canoeing itinerary which encompasses about 30 miles of paddling and a couple of one mile long portages.
Some of the challenges we faced along the way were; lots of bugs, our canoe trailer coming unhitched during the last mile to our first campsite, scooting over logs that blocked the small tributary and having one of our stoves break the first night. But, our participants took it all in stride. They kept a positive attitude and learned to work together to overcome their corporate and personal struggles. One participant in particular had a special way of pointing out the good in every situation. Whenever he would notice something that God had provided he would shout out “What a blessing!” This became the unofficial theme of our trip and kept all of us, myself included, counting our blessings. I was so proud of the way each of them embraced the La Vida philosophy and I could tell you story upon story of the growth that took place in each of their lives on this trip.
One story that impacted me involved two girls from Brazil who came on the trip a bit unprepared. Being in the wilderness was way out of their comfort zones. They tended to stick together and find some comfort in their mutual misery. I can’t say that I converted them to loving the wilderness, but I can say that they grew tremendously through their experience. They did things they never thought they could do like learning to steer a canoe, portaging their 75lb canoe one and half miles and spending 2 nights alone in the woods on solo. They gained confidence in their own abilities and in the end learned some valuable, life long lessons. I am so proud of them. God truly blessed me with the privilege of seeing him work in the lives of all our participants these past two weeks. I hope I can lead another trip next year.