Just after cresting the ridge and being greeted by a dazzling lake, the beautiful morning began to morph into a dreary afternoon. Colorful tents were erected on the shores of the alpine lake to combat the increasing wind, rain, and dropping temperature. Not to be discouraged, we fired up our stoves and cooked some ramen. With new warmth, we crowded into the cabin for evening worship. Our songs drifted over the rugged terrain as we sang our hearts out in praise to the Powerful God who had created the mountain on which we rested. Afterwards, we received an inspiring message on our purpose as kings and priests in God’s army.

The weather never fully cooperated, but we just kept cooking, worshipping, bonding, and enjoying the incredible outdoors as a dorm family. Sabbath afternoon presented numerous opportunities for hikes. Some summited the nearby mountain, some climbed for a view of another nearby lake, and some explored the hillsides around our camping site. Exhausted from the previous day, and wanting to avoid the incessant rain, I opted for a relaxing nap.

Throughout the weekend, we were presented with God’s desire for our lives here on earth. Our theme came from Revelation.

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. – Revelation 1:6 KJV

To study this principle, we delved into the life of Joseph, taking note of his character traits: Integrity, humility, patience, and unwavering faith and trust in God’s plan. These were all displayed in his actions and attitude, despite the incredible hardships he experienced. He was a true king and priest, and a role model for us all.

Tough times draw people together, and this weekend was no different. The hard hike, inclement weather, and thought-provoking talks served to unify the guys in common experiences, goals, and faith. Hiking up, we were acquaintances. Hiking down, we were brothers.

-Matthew J. Grade 12