It might be tough to imagine warm days and the feeling of a canoe gliding across a glassy lake, but summer is not that far away! Memories from last summer’s experiences are still fresh. The route we canoed provided many wonderful natural attractions: crystal clear lakes, stands of aspens shimmering in the wind, waterfalls, beautiful campsites, vistas galore, great swimming, good fishing. The camaraderie was also exceptional. On one trip, our youngest participant was 12 and the oldest was 74. This provided for a wide array of experience and wisdom. Working together to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses as travel and camping partners proved rich in value. Evening discussions and prayer also gave shape to our time together by grounding us in scripture and spiritual discernment.
I certainly learned a lot. I learned that our identical water bottles needed to be labelled so they weren’t mixed up. I learned that the Therma-rests (ground pads) needed to have “This Side Up” written on them so their ultralight top wasn’t accidentally placed upside down and exposed to the ground. I was reminded how important it is to be patient – not everyone is a wilderness expert. I also stood in awe of each group; of their individual spirit and determination to support and love one another. I saw many great things: families drawing closer together, God speaking through creation and scripture, folks having fun while learning valuable lessons. I felt deeply enriched by our time together. Our participants felt the same, each for their own reasons.
It’s going to be a busy summer here at First Congo. With a High School Youth Mission Trip in June (to Costa Rica!) and Pastor Steve taking a Sabbatical, there will only be two wilderness trips – both will be canoeing in the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area). Sign up information can be found on our website under Wilderness Ministry. There will be a lot of demand this summer and the trips will fill up quickly. Sign up info for the UCCI trip may not be on their website yet but I encourage you to email the camp if you want to attend so you can get on their list before it becomes public!
FCUCC BWCA Intergenerational Canoe Trip: July 19-24. Target group: youth 12 years and up with an adult. Sign up now via our website.
UCCI (United Church Camps, Inc.) BWCA Intergenerational Canoe Trip: August 22-28. Target group: Adults and/or youth 12 years and up. Sign up through UCCI.
Grace and Peace!