Best weekend ever!
Saturday was the last day of the Big Sandy Camping trip. I feel like an elephant just stepped on me multiple times. And what does that feel like you may be wondering? Pain, and the interesting question of, did that just happen to me?
The Big Sandy trip was most defiantly the most fun I have had since I have been here at Advanced EXCEL. I don't know about you, but I am a big fan of camping and anything that has to do with outdoors, fire, and hiking. They defiantly had us stretching some muscles that I didn't even know I had. Let me tell you, that was an unpleasant feeling.
The first day we got to the ALERT campus we got settled into camp and ate lunch. After that we all headed over to the volleyball field. We played a bunch of games and had an awesome time. That night we went to Mrs. Farr's house, who is the wife of Mr. Farr who runs the Alert cadet program. She challenged us with a really interesting topic: mentoring. This made me think for quite a while. I have just finished EXCEL, where they mentored me. I am going through AE where they are again mentoring me. But Mrs. Farr is talking about me mentoring someone? That was a totally different thing! I had never really thought about it really. I mean, I knew that someday I would be helping other girls, and teaching different classes, but it just never occurred to me that I could start mentoring other girls in the way of the Lord. This was a really simple, but awesome discovery.
Mrs. Farr went through some different points on successfully mentoring girls. We talked about how in the Bible it says, Admonish the unruly, encourage the faint hearted, and help the weak, so in simple terms, when mentoring, I need to correct the wild ones, encourage and push the one who think they are too small or not good enough, and help in whatever way you can the ones that are too weak to help themselves. She also told us when mentoring someone there are five steps. First you show them what to do. Then you teach them how to do it, then you do it with them, then they do it. Then when they can successfully do it on their own, the cycle starts over again, and the person you helped goes on to help someone else. I was really encouraged by all that she had to say and it made me want to get out there and start trying it out!
That night it was really cold, but we managed to all live to see the next morning, and thaw out by the nice warm campfire the ALERT staff made us. They also made us all our meals, which were all very tasty. They were all pretty much amazing.
Some of my favorite activities we did throughout the weekend were the river crossing, and the rope course. They river crossing was where you are in a harness, and they hook you to a rope that goes across the river, and you have to get all the way across by kicking your legs and pulling with your hands. It was cool to look down and see the water a foot under you, but know you’re not going to fall, or probably not going to fall. Anything could happen though, it’s a fifty fifty chance!
The rope course was really challenging for me since I am pretty short, because on a lot of them you have to reach across to grab a rope or your partner, but in my case, me and my partner Chrissy just had to trust each other and fall, knowing that when we leaned on each other the weight of each other would hold us both in place. This was an awesome way to learn teamwork, and trusting your partner! I think we did well for two short girls!
Another one of my favorite things we did was the rope swing. There was a little platform on both sides, and a rope in the middle. You grabbed the rope and swung to the other side. You know, the whole Tarzan and Jane thing? Our team had seven people, six of us girls and an ALERT staff guy. Everyone went by themselves across except one of our leaders, the staff guy, and me. We all went across at the same time. My strategy was to grab the rope as high as you can, curl up in fetal position and hang on for dear life! I am proud to say that we got across successfully every time. It took our whole team sixteen seconds to get across. Yes, we won.
I think all in all everyone had a blast the last three days. We got to do some really intense and fun activities, learned about team work and leadership, and I am pretty sure we all know quite a bit more about each other. Even though I still feel like an elephant trampled on me multiple times, I would gladly do it next weekend again if it meant being able to have a fantastic with all my friends and eat more smores.