Smoky Mountains Trip!
From my perspective, this trip went better than I could have dreamed. From an administrative standpoint, we had zero hiccups (credit to you parents for being so flexible with last minute forms!). Once we were packed and loaded, we made it to Brevard in about 12 hours safe and sound. The first night we pitched our tents and ate some dinner. All of the food there was incredible. Our Christian Adventures guides, Chad and Rebekah, had brought a gas stove and everything necessary to feed us like kings and queens. The weather was incredible, and we didn't even encounter rain until our very last night there.
On our first official day of hiking, we hiked along a service track in the Dupont state forest. It was incredible. Near the end of the hike we swam in a nearby river, climbed on some rocks, and had a really relaxing evening. Our base camp was located next to a natural trout stream so some students went and played there, while others learned how to play euchre at the campsite. I was blessed to lead devotions every night, and we began by sharing where we had seen God during the day. We moved on to talking about what authentic community really looks like. We spoke about how social media and cultural norms have lulled us into complacency. I had lessons planned for each day, but after the first night they were discarded. As we were talking about what sets apart our community as a youth group from other communities, a student suggested that vulnerability was the key factor. That led to another student suggesting we share testimonies, as we would be able to love one another better and support each other in our struggles. I thought that was a fabulous idea.
The second day of hiking was very different. The trails weren't wide or well traveled and we spent a lot of time going up only to come back down again. By lunchtime it was safe to say that we were pretty well worn, but it was so worth it when we reached the top. The view was incredible, and there were some very comfy rocks to rest on. After the hike, a few of the boys found the swimming hole at our base camp. There was a cement platform where the river was deepest that allowed you to jump into the river, and that quickly became a favorite evening activity. After dinner and some games we sat down for devos again. I began by sharing my testimony, and a few other leaders followed suit. We made a point to focus on how we are still people in need of a Godly community that holds them accountable and values their holiness more than their happiness so that we are continually being molded into Christ's image. And students started to share.
I'm Noah. I do High School things. Expect this page to update every Tuesday morning!