Almost every year that I remember, there are youth groups attended by brave adult leaders who sometime during the summer, and in honor of ancestors, spend a few days learning about pioneers in a profound and hands-on way.
Dressed in clothing of that period and leaving their high tech toys at home, the groups divide into assigned families, load olden day handcarts with the necessities and then pull, push or move them in any way necessary to get where they are going.
The journey? Just like true pioneers, not on any paved roads, but out in desert valleys, trekking along, as they sing, tell stories to one another and when the going gets tough, assisting one another up and down unusually steep and foreboding canyon trails.
I'm sharing a photo of the kids from our church who trekked recently.
The look, I'm sure you will agree, is old — easily a hundred years ago or more. That is, had there been a camera available back then.
Hard to believe I think, that teens of the modern-day world would CHOOSE to do a four-day, campout in the heat and dirt of ... nowhere, really. ... Many of our kids didn't even know where they where were or where they were going. But as one told me: "We had trust in our leaders and we knew we were being watched over."
"Trek was amazing," commented a leader with tears welling up in her eyes. "There we were out in the middle of nowhere, dirty, tired and hot. But that dusty, barren trail became a holy place to us all. ... I'd do it again in a heartbeat! "
... And I'm pretty sure that explains why we, the descendents of those original brave, and faithful pioneers, are here in this beautiful place enjoying what they made possible.
♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.