Winter Campout

“Good evening girls, you need to be ready to load the bus by 8 o’clock tomorrow morning,” Brianna announced over the PA system in the girl’s dorm. I wasn’t packed at all, so setting homework aside, I headed to my room and began pulling merino thermals, wool socks, jackets, and snow pants out of my drawers and packing my backpack. “Elouise, ELOUISE! Can you please come and check my backpack!?” I called down the hallway as I swung my body into her room.

“Sure, I’ll be there in a few seconds,” my lovely dean replied.

The next morning, I stuffed down a hearty breakfast in the cafe and then said goodbye to my friends. Halfway there I was already asking myself why on earth I even signed up for this crazy campout, but my friends quickly tried to convince me that I would have a lot of fun, and that it is better to go on this adventure and regret it than NOT go and regret not going.

When we arrived, we had a word of prayer to start the weekend off on a good foot and unloaded our belongings. We trudged up the trail and started digging. It was hard work, but we managed. The sun began to set, chilling the air, so Corinna, Elouise and I decided that our shelter would do and that we should head over to the fire. Mr. Pasos shared a worship thought, after which we sang the Sabbath Song and retired to our various dwellings.

The next morning, I woke up to see a cool, turquoise light streaming through the snowy roof of our shelter, and after checking the time, I dragged my body out of its warm cocoon and headed out to the fire pit, hoping that some brave soul had already stirred the fire. After a yummy breakfast of stewed apples, we headed to Joffre Lakes to hike.

After arriving there, we strapped on our snowshoes and took off running. I was with the lead pack, and within an hour we had arrived at the third lake, a hike that was advertised to take two hours. The snow-covered lake backed onto a stunning glacier — it was everyone’s favourite location. A friend who just came for the day had delivered us some delicious hot chocolate and vegan marshmallows which we eagerly devoured. We spent some time eating our snacks and taking photos. On the way back down, my friends and I decided to go off route and follow the river. We slid down the hills and ran through the forest, pausing for a moment to listen to the happy chirping of the birds as we contemplated how wonderful our Creator God is.

Getting back to base that evening, we sat around the fire and shared lessons we had learnt that weekend: lessons of faith in God and how He has a plan no matter what. The sun slowly disappeared over the majestic mountains and each group gently drifted off to their beds for some much needed sleep before heading back to campus the next day.

I’m so glad I took the advice of my friends. I had an amazing time and wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

 

– Jewel M. -Grade 10