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Nothing Beats A Good Fire!

By Joel Bates

Nothing beats a good fire!  I love to sit beside a campfire on a cool, early spring evening, listening to it crackle and hiss as I breathe in the waft of wood smoke.  I have found myself lingering near its warmth until I absolutely have to move away to give my hot skin respite.   I always sense a deep, mystifying satisfaction of being connected to something age old, relishing something man has enjoyed from creation, and knowing I, too, can create this marvel with three basic ingredients: fuel, oxygen, and ignition. 

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Posted on June 15, 2017
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Stronger Than Each Storm 

By Leah Fuller

As I donned my rain jacket and stepped out of the car, my eyes anxiously searched the darkening clouds.  Pregnant with moisture, they rolled menacingly toward my hilltop, and fear creased my brow.  Weathering a severe storm was not in my plan for the 24 hours I was intending to spend isolated in a hidden valley.  But the invitation was clear, and I had been craving solitude and eagerly anticipating this wilderness venture.  I felt compelled to step away from the safety of my little Chevrolet and answer the invitation.

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Posted on May 15, 2017
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What's In Your Mind?

By Becky Colvin

“Supper’s ready!  Let’s say the scripture passage, and then we’ll pray.”
“What?  We can’t eat until we say the whole thing?”
“I haven’t learned the next part!”
“I’ll never get it right!”

These comments abound on our Challenge trips because the participants must memorize scripture as part of the experience.  As incentive, they must recite the assigned passage before everyone can eat supper.  These passages are longer than the random verses students memorize for the moment to gain team points at church camp.  Depending on the length of the trip, they may commit to memory entire chapters.

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Posted on April 19, 2017
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Where Is That Smell Coming From?

By Marley Butler

Ah, the aroma of supper cooking over the campfire mixed with the odor of students’ bodies drenched in sweat!  There’s nothing quite like the smells of a wilderness expedition, smells that will transport me back to the adventure every time I encounter them for years to come.  Then there are other scents that I would prefer to avoid forever.

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Posted on March 15, 2017
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Pretenders

By Leah Fuller

“I have something to prove, don't I?  Who me?  Yes.  Let's face it.  If we knew every moment where a leader doubted their own course, faltered in their vision or wrestled with fear we probably wouldn't follow them.  So sometimes it's just safer to keep pretending.  Maybe you've felt this way too? Maybe no one will notice that the person I want to portray —that strong, courageous, capable leader—isn't the real me.” 

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Posted on February 15, 2017
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Getting Back on the Bicycle

By Leah Fuller

With only a twinge of anxiety, I let go of the bike seat, slowed my run to a trot, and watched Anna's precarious balance carry her down the bike path.  In the 3.5 seconds it took to slow my trot to a walk and begin to pat myself on the back for a job well-done, I witnessed perhaps the most classic bike wreck in history.  As soon as she realized that I was no longer holding onto the seat or running beside her, her mind went blank and all reasoning ceased. She steered sharply to the right, released both handle bars, and attempted at once to become Supergirl.  Her momentum carried her forward, arms out-stretched. She came to an abrupt halt two and a half feet later—sprawled out, face down, entangled in the metal heap of her bicycle. 

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Posted on January 12, 2017
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