We had a wonderful time at the Enchanted Rock Camp Out. Our theme for the weekend was Elijah, and the settings in and around the rock, by the small creeks and springs, and even in the cave, evoked the places the prophet of old must have tread. Sabbath service was spent in a natural cathedral, the granite boulders standing as pillars, the spreading blue sky and white clouds the dome. The view was inspiring, and reminded us of the hand of God in creation.
Our weekend activities included hiking, caving, hiking, climbing (for the TLTs), hiking, bouldering, hiking, studying nature (primarily the cacti at ERSNA), and hiking, among others. (Yes, we put on quite a few miles all told, not only for the backpackers, but for all the club members.) We set up two campsites, the base camp, where the Friends, Companions and Explorers stayed, and the outpost camp, a little over two miles away, where the Rangers, Voyagers and Guides practiced backpack camping. At night, under a spectacular canopy of stars, we were serenaded by the coyotes.
The Pathfinders displayed excellent trail behavior, watching out for one another, providing assistance when needed, and making sure that all our activities were completed by the whole units, not just a few individuals leaving their cohorts behind. The Pathfinders and staff helped each other overcome uncertainties (can we really hike in with all our gear? can we cook over a small tin alcohol stove? can we sleep in a tent away from home?), overcome nervousness and fears (the cave, the cliff, the dark), and emerge from the weekend more confident, more united, and spiritually refreshed (even if our muscles were tired).
The weekend ended with a special Happy Birthday song for staff members Cathy and Connie, who spent their birthday out in the wild.
So what is next for the SAIL Pathfinders?
In March, we will be focusing on First Aid skills, and the TLTs will be helping review and train skills. We will also have the opportunity to take part in another evangelism program at the Church. Also, don't forget to bring your papers on endangered animals and marsupials to the next club meeting, so we can finish work on those honors. April brings the church camp out, and the SAIL club has been asked to plan some activities for Sabbath and Sunday morning. In May, we have the Central Texas Pathfinder Olympics, and the Texas Teen Pathfinder Backpacking trip. And keep watching for announcements, as we are looking to plan another club camp out before we finish up the year at the beginning of June.