The last couple of years I have had the opportunity to work for Teen Bible Academy, an outpost of Camp Wawona, and this year was one of the most adventurous years of all! We started with Staff Training Week in Wawona, Yosemite, then went backpacking a short 25 miles, then took a couple road trips through California with an amazing group of kids!
Staff week is always amazing because it involves hiking and getting to work and sleep in the most beautiful national park! This year, one of our hikes was to pre-hike our backpacking trail. Unfortunately for us, there was no trail and we ended up bushwhacking 6 miles through the Yosemite and Sierra National Forests. Our second hike was on Saturday, where a friend of mine, Kevin Canavan, led a group of us to a swim hole at Chilnualna Falls. It was an amazing and relaxing afternoon, but unfortunately Kevin passed away just two weeks after that hike. I still thank God that I got the opportunity to hike and talk with such an amazing and caring guy.
The second week was backpacking week – 7 days in the wilderness with no access to the outside world! Usually the hike to our location is maximum 4 miles, but since our pre-hike didn’t work out the new hike in was 7 miles (so we thought). After 2 detours that may or may not have been my fault, and after realizing we underestimated the milage, we arrived at Biledo Meadow after 13 miles carrying 30 pound backpacks!
This was one of our hardest and favorite days, because the struggle made us all so much stronger! Not to mention our lack of water for the first 7 miles of the trip, and the fact it was all uphill. A couple days later we hiked another 6 miles to our second location – Iron Lakes, and at the end of the week we hiked the remainder to Beasore Road. I’m still so proud of our kids for hiking from Wawona to Bass Lake – what an accomplishment!
The next week was spent in Arroyo Grande, by Pismo Beach and San Louis Obispo. On my day off I spent time exploring the new city and found Avila Valley Barn! It was an amazingly relaxing day and I have to say the weather in that area is absolutely gorgeous! If in the area, I suggest going to Coffee Express for local coffee and baked goods, then checking out downtown SLO and the surrounding apple farms. Pismo Beach is a must for sunset, but if you have a 4 wheel drive car then you HAVE to head to Oceano Beach for a fun drive to admire the last light!
The remainder of camp was spent doing service projects in Fresno, and our group grew so close that by the last day we all truly felt like a family! Hopefully Summer Camp ’17 will be just as amazing.
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it!