This past weekend, there were three different campouts offered to students. Below are some pictures and accounts of each campout.
Stryen Cabin Campout
“It’s not about the hike or where you’re going—it’s about the people and the food; that’s what camping is all about.” (Christian M.) Prior to and throughout the weekend, these words were repeated by various individuals who had chosen to spend their weekend in a hidden corner of the world: Stryen Cabin. The mountain air, babbling brook, and quaint log cabin beckoned. And so, equipped with food-laden packs, our group of fourteen set out for a grand weekend adventure filled with friends, food, and fun.
After the steep hike up the hillside, we were soon greeted by a wide array of smells, such as vegetable oil, popcorn, trees, and various other aromas as they bounced around the cabin along with our memories-in-the-making. Singing campfire songs around a wood-stove; packing people into the loft like a can of sardines; late-night snipe-hunting; frying doughnuts; concocting maple candy, french-fries and other gourmet dishes; boiling rice all weekend; sharing stories of faith-building experiences; consuming two fresh pineapples; talking with friends while listening to the rain outside; creating inside jokes never to be forgotten; laughing through it all…
Quite concisely: camping.
Overall, looking past the scrumptious food, the cozy cabin, the invigorating fresh air, or the serene peacefulness of the forest, what was the biggest highlight of the weekend?—Spending time with friends. Friends with whom I can talk about anything and everything, friends with whom I can laugh, friends I know will be there in the bad times and the good, friends that will pick me up when I fall, friends that will ultimately point me to my Best Friend—friends that will last an eternity.
Seton Lake Campout
Early Friday morning, our adventure was off to a timely start as we loaded our luggage and piled into the vehicles. After arriving at the lake, we launched the boats and rode out to the Cleveland’s cozy houseboat. We enjoyed the picturesque view while relaxing under the beautiful spring sunshine and the heat from the wood stove. This was the beginning of a super fun, restful weekend filled with yummy food, friends, plenty of time in the hot-tub, and God’s beautiful creation surrounding us. We enjoyed laughing, reading, and singing around the campfire which the boys kept nicely burning throughout the weekend. Sabbath was peaceful as we studied God’s word together, drawing us closer to Him and to each other. Although a storm rolled in Sunday morning, bringing cold wind and waves and making the water sports we had planned to do rather impossible, we kept warm inside the houseboat. We arrived back that evening, cheery, rested and ready to jump back into school.
Stein Valley Campout
As I woke up Friday morning, the weather forecast predicted rain, but I was still going camping! We headed to Stein Valley to stay for the weekend. Around 9 a.m., we started down the trail on a rather long, but beautiful hike. While most of us had hammocks, Ryan and William built a forest shelter when we arrived.
Sabbath morning, we awoke to a threatening, cloudy sky. We all sighed, fearing rain. It misted a bit through church, but God blessed the weather. As things got miserably wet, I kept praying that God would clear up the weather. Finally around 2 pm, God worked a miracle, and it stopped raining. It was truly faith building and incredible to see God work, just for us. The rest of the day, we enjoyed talking and relaxing.. As the evening progressed and it got dark, the temperature dropped very quickly. Thankfully, most of us stayed warm despite the chill in the air. After waking up early Sunday morning, we ate a hearty breakfast, packed up, and headed back down the 14 km. trail. My friend, Lance, and I hiked together where, at one section of the trail, we got lost and came across a set of cliffs with many Indian pictographs. By the time we reached the bottom, we were ready for a dry place to sleep, and happy to stop hiking. However, despite the weather, we had lots of fun. This last weekend was truly a blessing.