Siblings Jake and Josie Monson—ages 21 and 17, respectively, at the time of camp—wrote this article together about their experience at this year's LYP Adventure Camp. Jake served on staff, while Josie went as a camper. We hope you will enjoy their thoughts and observations! —Editorial Staff
This year, the Living Youth Programs Adventure Trip took place in the scenic environment of Washington's impressive Mount Rainier. With its powder-white hat surrounded by cotton-candy clouds, the peak made for picturesque views and beautiful photos for the hikers. The glacial whitewater rapids were pristine for our rafting excursion, which followed the hike as part of the overall experience. The adventure trip of 2017 was unlike any other. We had fantastic weather and could not have been more blessed. The fields and hills beyond the trail were washed in sunlight every day, illuminating the wildflowers and western red cedars, and splashing them in vibrant colors.
But this trip was more than purely aesthetic. Its purpose was to help us become stronger in many facets of life. The overwhelming majority of the youth participating as hikers came from concrete jungles filled with the pressures of the world. Reconnecting with God's stunning creation exposed the beauty of the world around us, which we tend to take for granted. Being forced out of our shells, without the luxuries of life—such as air-conditioning, heating, electricity, mattresses, plumbing and (dare we say it?) cellphone reception and technology (What?!?). And yet, we still managed to prosper and made memories that will last a lifetime. It was just a tight-knit group of God's people, strengthening and encouraging one another every step of the way.
As those who have been on "The Hike" before well know, the days can be long and sometimes quite grueling. When the stifling sun beats down and you're sweating profusely, your feet are blistered, your body is sore, scraped and bruised, and you feel as though you can't take another step, ask a trip leader, "How much farther?" and regardless of the real answer, you're very likely to get the response, "One more mile."
As youth in God's Church, we had the amazing opportunity both to meet new people and strengthen existing ties to one another. Daily morning Bible Studies drew us closer to God and to each other in a way that only His word can. Being immersed in a setting of complete reverence to our Father in heaven helped us to understand Him and His plan, and allowed His Holy Spirit to work with us.
We could draw many parallels from the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of this phenomenal trip, but if we leave you with only one, remember this: Sometimes in life, you hit a bump in the road—maybe it's a trial that seems like it will never end and that you can't get through it. But remember, God NEVER tests us beyond what we are able, but always gives us a way to come through (1 Corinthians 10:13). Sometimes, you just need to remind yourself that your journey isn't over quite yet. You just need to make it "one more mile."