LCN Article
2023 Adventure Camp West: An Olympic Success!

November / December 2023

Jonathan Bueno

Fifteen campers (ages 15–20) and seven staff members enjoyed a very successful Adventure Camp in June, in the Olympic National Park in Washington state. Campers split into two hiking groups to tackle the North Coast Trail because of a park limit of twelve per hiking group. The two groups of eleven started at opposite ends of the trail, meeting in the middle on the second night out. 

The sights along the rugged coastline were spectacular, with many sea stacks, beautiful rockfaces, and a lush, mountainous forest hugging the coastline. Look for photos at and on the Living Youth Programs Facebook page.

The groups had to work hard for those sights, as beaches were mostly covered in rocks, pebbles, boulders, and driftwood. Tides were never a danger, though they did affect the times we could set out each morning—an educational experience for everyone. 

Basecamp on the first night was at the Forks Motel, with orientation on Sunday, June 25, taking place at Bogachiel State Park, about ten minutes south of Forks. Both groups finished the hike around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, then went together to the Hoh Rainforest where they hiked the “Hall of Mosses” trail. It was a very impressive change of scenery.

Basecamp on the last day, Thursday, June 29, was at the cabin of a Church member. It was a great spot to end the activity, with everyone enjoying a bonfire and cookout. We had only relatively minor injuries—a few scrapes and one twisted ankle that seemed to improve toward the end of camp. 

The Bible Study topics included “Creation Speaks: What the Creation Reveals About the Creator,” “Second-Generation Christians,” “How Adventure Camp Can Teach Us Agape Love,” and “Loyalty and Faithfulness.”

One highlight for me was noticing the difference between our group and another youth group of similar size that was camping near us on the third night. As I was waiting to use the restroom, several from the other group were there, and it was obvious that these were kids from the world, acting without a moral compass—very different from our Church youth. Several of our staff commented on what a good group of young people we had. One hiker I met along the trail even commented about the good behavior of our young hikers.

It was inspiring and encouraging to realize just how different our kids in the Church are from those of the world. Of course, this was just a small sample or cross-section of our Church youth, but it is noteworthy, nonetheless. From the onset, we tried to stress the importance of keeping God involved in what we were trying to accomplish at the Adventure Camp—and it seems that message came through.