Camping | The Ultimate Team Bonding

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Words that come to mind when we recall our camping adventure last week:

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This trip was greatly anticipated for months by certain team members and greatly dreaded for months by other team members. It was definitely a comfort stretch for some! As we began packing all of our gear up, we double checked that we had everything that we would need--from toilet paper, to the steaks, to the canoe, to baby wipes, to the guitar. It all went quite smoothly due to everyone pitching in some major help.

We arrived at the campsite on Sunday evening and unpacked, set up camp, and built a fire before the sun set. Shortly after, we broke out the hot dogs, condiments, croissant dough for sliders, Nutella, strawberry jelly, honey, marshmallows, chocolate, Reece's, and graham crackers. We spent the evening laughing, eating, talking, singing, and simply enjoying one another. We turned in somewhat early so that we could be ready for the next full day.

Monday morning came, and most of us woke up to the sounds of a crackling fire and the bustling of breakfast prep. Will and the guys on team joined forces and made everyone coffee, eggs, bacon, and pancakes. No person has had a better breakfast! After clean up, we spent some time as a group together in prayer and meditation on the Word. Thankful for the time we set aside to reflect on Christ, meditate on Scripture, talk about prayer, and pray for each other. After our time of prayer, we all geared up for our hike to "The Cave"! With backpacks full of water, snacks, sweaters, cameras, and one bandaid, we set out on our trek.

Little did we know what we were in for.

As we scaled one of the mountains, the steepness was a challenge for our team. Former team member Matt Reid led the way. At one point of our ascent, it was so steep that some of us were sliding down instead of progessing up. In addition to scrapes, cuts, tears, and fears, all the more present were helping hands, encouraging words, whistles of success, and high-fives of victory as the last of our team members made it to the top of the most challenging section of our hike. A sigh of relief and accomplishment was exhaled by all.

We made our way across the spine of the mountain, yet we had a difficult time trying to figure out where the cave was. Without a map, we were going by verbal directions from previous hikers. After much exploration, Christy and Matt finally found the cave! We all made our way up to where they had discovered its mouth and began to make our way, one-by-one, into the cold and dark center of the mountain. Thank goodness for flashlights and headlamps! We explored every crevice, hole, and tunnel. The hike down was obviously easier, and we all arrive back at the campsite with only a few scrapes, cuts, and bruises. Praise the Lord for the safety that He gave us! A five hour hike would make anyone hungry. Steak time! We had a gourmet meal of marinaded meat, corn on the cob, fried potatoe slices, soda, and chips. We all were WELL taken care of!

The rest of the afternoon consisted of canoeing on the lake, playing card games, sitting around the fire, following a herd of sheep, and fellowshipping with one another. We ate a leftover and "whatever-you-want-to-roast-over-the-fire" kind of dinner; played our own version of Mafia; sang songs around the campfire, and hurriedly packed everything up because we heard the storm rolling in. It rained and poured throughout the night, but no one blew away, and all tents stayed intact. The rain held off just long enough for us to cook a solid breakfast (what's better than more eggs, left-over steak, bacon, and pancakes?) before we had to pack everything away in the vehicles. With all of the able hands available, we packed up our entire campsite and were headed back to Salt Lake City within roughly an hour's time!

A quick stop at Starbucks made the rain and wetness much more bearable AND memorable. We unpacked and cleaned everything off in the rain once we arrive back in SLC. A shower, a cup of hot coffee, and a cozy evening was in order that evening.

And thus ended our incredible camping trip! Looking back, we all learned things about ourselves, about each other, and truly enjoyed being together even when the adventuring became pretty crazy. We are thankful to be back and now focus on getting ready for heading out to our first church to serve with. Praise the Lord for times of rest, investment, focus, and fellowship with one another.

It was voted that camping should be put on the calendar as an annual team activity!


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