The sun seemed to adamantly chase down the cramped-up Goldilocks. Smiles spread across everyone’s faces as we eagerly drove to our epic destination: Moon Lakes. At last, we turned down a dirt road that led us on one of the craziest rollercoaster rides in my entire life. After banging my head a few times on the bus windows, we finally reached the trailhead. Once there, I discovered a new element that I had not anticipated: a blanket of snow spread across the forest floor. I grabbed my backpack and dove down the steep trail, relieved to be off the bus. With a mist covering the ground and tall thin evergreens resembling spikes in the dying sunlight, I felt transported to another world. As we hiked, snow started lazily falling along the winding path, and the emerald green lake gradually took shape between the thicket of trees: we had arrived.

Our breath rose as vapour in the cold air and our faces were flushed as we found a favourable location and began to set up camp, while others tore into their food rations. After a lazy dinner, everyone gathered around the crackling fire to welcome the Sabbath. As light clouds drifted above the somber lake, the mountains sang the “Sabbath Song” with us, while the stars entered the darkening sky. One by one, we left the blazing fire for our tents and fell asleep to the trickling of the creek.

The sun was just peeking through the foggy morning when sleepy boys crawled out of their beds with definite goals: food and a fire to drive away the cold of the night. The sun shone down on us as we worshipped God in the beauty of nature and afterwards prepared our lunch. In the afternoon, some of the guys went on a hike to try and climb up one of the many spectacular peaks that surrounded us. Others gathered firewood for what we knew would be another freezing night. Still others decided to try their luck at fishing in the tiny lake. As for me, I took a much-needed nap. The peaceful day ended with an impactful worship about unity. Soon afterwards, some brothers wriggled themselves into their sleeping bags, leaving the warmth of the campfire. Others huddled around different campfires planning on pulling all-nighters: better to be warm and sleepy, than cold and unable to sleep.

The frosty morning invited everyone to a few hours of chopping wood, cooking, and packing for a long journey back home. The clock seemed to be ticking faster than expected, and before we knew it we had to emerge from this frozen paradise. After a last-minute check for any trash we may have left behind, we swiftly descended the beaten trail. Jumping on the bus, we sped our way back to comfort. Entering the modern world again, we all scrambled to our rooms, ready to remove the smell of smoke that had followed us all weekend and sleep on a comfy, warm bed.

~ Ronald S., Grade 11