Josh and I leave today – Wednesday, July 4th – for a 5-day parent/teen extreme camping trip. We will drive three hours to a camp in Ohio where we will experience various obstacle course events and then we’ll load up in a van and drive several more hours to a primitive camp setting near Beckley, WV.
Our group of 8 or 10 will spent Thursday caving, Friday whitewater rafting and Saturday hiking before we head home on Sunday. In between we’ll cook over an open fire, worship under the stars and dig into God’s word together.
If all of that sounds exciting and exhausting… you’re spot on! It is both of those things and more!
To be honest, I’ve done this trip 6 times now so it’s very familiar. But this will be Josh’s first year to go and that makes all the difference in the world. His four older siblings each got turns going and the memories we made are priceless.
Doing the different challenges with each kid has proven to be very interesting because they each have their own likes, dislikes and comfort zones.
Doing the blind (totally dark) crawl in the cave with Elijah, our oldest, was memorable as we could hear each other breathing heavy from being nervous. But he absolutely loved the whitewater rafting.
Sam, our second oldest who is now a U.S. Marine, thought the blind crawl was a piece of cake and even a bit boring; but he never did go up to the high ropes course.
It was especially meaningful two years ago when our family was going through a very difficult season of life. It was the girls’ – Mykaela and Kyrsten (twins) – first year to go. I was brought to tears watching them challenge and encourage each other as they did things way outside their comfort zones.
So I’m eager to see how Josh enjoys our adventure. What parts of it will stretch him and how will he respond under pressure? Five full days away from the familiar getting to know ourselves, each other and God a little better.
It’s fun to do all of this in a planned, prepared way. But life doesn’t always work that way. Actually, it seldom works that way. The challenges come at us when we least expect them or feel ill-prepared to handle them.
But that’s when we learn something new about ourself and the God who is orchestrating this journey.
P.S. – I look forward to hearing from you but won’t be able to respond until we get back from our trip.
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.