Weldon why do you go caving and climbing and adventuring during the off season?

Because Trips Counselors need trips too.

At Camp we learn to overcome adversity through turning to God.  The Leelanau and Kohahna Trips Program provides many opportunities of this nature.  Whether it is a Flag Trip or Challenge, a Pictured Rocks or CT Trip, or your very first overnight on the back property or at Gethsemane, we all are asked to expand our tents, to reach, stretch, and grow.

Well…Trips Counselors need to keep reaching and stretching and growing too.

This fall I travelled with Mitchell Wyly, Jervis DiCicco, and Eric Olsen to Southern New Mexico for a journey into the secret underground world of the Guadalupe Mountain Caves.

Without going into excessive detail, allow me to state that we worked hard for three full days of caving.  Long hikes on rugged mountain terrain to find cave entrances, followed by complicated and challenging vertical rope work –descending 100-300 ft at a time and ascending those same lines, dangling in the dark above one seemingly endless abyss after another.

Of course those are the gnarly parts of the stories that we come home and tell.  The less gnarly, but perhaps far more meaningful parts of the story include sitting around the campstove laughing and cooking with each other.  Snuggling down in the tent knowing we had worked hard and earned our rest.  Friendship, brotherhood, the feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself, a sense of team, a common goal, these are the true elements of any trip.  Whether caving, rock climbing, hiking, or just sleeping out with your cabin in Gethsemane, we all tap into that higher sense of community found on the trail.

And to answer the question set forth above.  We all thrive off of a desire to be a part of something excellent, something that pushes us to be better, and I find that excellence “out there”.