Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Faith to Conquer Fear

Once every four years, the youth in our church congregation gather together to do a reenactment of the pioneers crossing the plains.   It's meant to be a meaningful experience that teaches them not only about the hardships that our pioneer ancestors had to face, but it also gives them the opportunity to see that they can overcome hard things in their own lives as well.   

They call the experience, "Trek."  

There were 180 youth and 50 adults divided into Trek "families"...

Everyone dressed up in period clothing from the mid 1800's...

and together pulled their belongings in handcarts for 11 miles in 2-days.

They forged the  Rappahannock  River and trekked through the beautiful rolling hills of central Virginia.

The scenery was lovely...

as were the participants.

I played only a small role there, but enjoyed immensely the time I spent with these fantastic youth.

I loved seeing their friendships strengthen.... 

and although the task of getting two girls completely outfitted for a pioneer trek beforehand proved to be a little more stressful than I anticipated...

it was a delight to see what a good experience it turned out be for them.  

They worked really hard together...

and learned the value of hard work, working together as a team, friendship, and keeping a positive attitude.   

I enjoyed walking with them for the last mile of their trek.  In addition to seeing more glorious vistas like this...

I couldn't help but smile as I watched their exultation at finally reaching the end of their journey.  

I know firsthand that a ton of work goes into activities like this, but I also know firsthand the growth that the participants experience is absolutely amazing.  I am grateful for  all those who help make it happen.   

Facts about this year's trek:  
180 youth participants
50 adults
held at Marriott Ranch in Hume, VA 
scheduled to last 2-1/2 days
ended a night early because of predicted floods on Saturday
I ran the branding station again.  
we branded about 250 leather bracelets as a Trek keepsake
average family size was about 14 people
Emma was a part of the Palmer family
Cami was a part of the Calderwood family
the theme was "Faith to Conquer Fear"


Charlene said...

So nice to see another trek in a different part of the country!! Looks like they had a great time too!

Rachel said...

Your pictures make it look so majestic! Great job capturing it all!

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