Written by: Jesse Wagler
Crisp mornings, shorter days, and the scurrying of critters are a sign to all that Fall has arrived. Isn’t it great to serve a never changing God that we can count on? The boys have been busy getting ready for the change of season. They no longer have the desire to cool off in the river but are rather thinking about how to stay warm. The summer was good for us, and the Lord protected our groups as they traveled down rivers and over trails.
Constant maintenance should be a part of all our lives, and for the Highlanders, it is no different. Their winding trail that leads to Chuckwagon has gotten lots of attention. Hauling wheelbarrow loads of dirt and putting in water bars to direct water has been a huge part of their summer. Trail work at camp takes continual work and they have learned that it’s easier to maintain something than to let it get so bad that it consumes your life. They have also been working on repairing their rope swing so that everyone can enjoy a good thrilling ride. Hiking is in their blood, and they are looking forward to conquering the Black Forest Trail this fall.
The Prospectors are currently putting their legs and will-power to a test on the Mid-State Trail. They plan to spend nineteen days hiking some of Pennsylvania’s best country north of Interstate 80. Previous to hiking, they spent lots of their time putting a new roof over their heads. Building a tent takes a lot of teamwork and planning. When everyone helps, the group feels a sense of pride. When they return, they will resume cutting wood to fill their wood tent.
A new chief’s tent now makes its home in the Adventurers’ campsite. The group put time and thought into new creative ways to make this tent different than the average. It features a hand hewn step and an exposed gable sunrise design with the gable tarp behind the design. They took extra time making sure that details were done well. At our maintenance building, the Adventurers noticed and wanted to fix a block retaining wall that was falling down. Today, a beautiful brand new concrete wall stands, designed and built by the Adventurers. Along with all of this, they too have the fervor of trying out their legs. They plan to spend eight days on the North Country Trail in hopes of seeing beautiful sights.
If you would have walked into the Mountaineers’ campsite a week ago, you would have seen a magnificent sight — a group of very young men running around doing something constructive. They just finished a brand new sleep tent and they have ownership in it! The Mountaineers also do the best at discovering God’s creation. It’s hard to walk down trail with them and not have someone stop and pick up a newly discovered caterpillar or a big fat toad. They love it!
When you walk into campsite, you see a round fenced-in area that we call wood corral. This is where groups cut and split wood. Each wood corral is equipped with several sets of new sawbucks. A section of tree with ‘Y’ branches is cut down and planted three feet in the ground, with the ‘Y’ used as a way to cut logs, keeping them off the ground. These little Mountaineers have been working hard on getting new sawbucks because their old sawbucks were in rough shape.
As I watch boys and animals in the woods prepare for winter, I can’t help but consider my own life. Is my campsite in order? Can I see the changing signs? Can people watch me and know I’m living intentionally?
Pray for us as we strive daily to show boys that cold weather isn’t the only thing in life that requires preparation.