I Won't Forget:
1. Waking up for sleeping bag coffee for the very last time and laughing because we smell so badly
2. Christmas Morning! Hannah and Alaina put on their Christmas sweaters, crawled over the girls singing "Santa Baby" to wake them up and then showed them the Blow-Pops that Santa had left for them
3. Biscuit scramble with sprinkles that tasted like a two cup of sugar cookie dough
4. "It's the best and hardest week of your life-- you'll meet Jesus face to face in these mountains."
5. Erin's life story
6. Hiking through 3 major creeks on the way to the Trail Head and soaking our boots more than we had all week
7. Screaming and running to hug Rachel when we saw that she had come to pick us up from the trail
8. Taking our hair down and putting on red lipstick for our return to base camp-- girly hiker girls
9. Watching the selfless, genuine, loving, patient, joyful friendship between Alaina and Hannah all week long-- it was such a beautiful example of how God calls us to love our friends
10. Three Minute Shower-- the most needed shower of my whole life
11. Closing Content-- "Remember when ______", Hannah sharing "God is true regardless of how we feel-- Scripture is always true." Reading The Silver Chair from C.S. Lewis
12. Hannah Novelli's life story
13. Running to the camp store to buy Wilderness clothes, popcorn and Diet Coke from the store, getting our Chacos (or bibles or journals) branded with "WR" for Wilderness Ranch
14. Hugging all of our friends when they returned from their trips in the mountains-- Amy and Emily from Noblesville, Abby from North Central, Darian and Molly from Carmel, the HSE co-ed group
15. Going to the Map Room so Hannah and Alaina could reveal the route on a giant map and all the secrets of the whole trip (40 total miles, packs weigh 30-40 pounds, 2nd longest route, most technically challenging)
16. Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner at a huge table for our trip-- the best bread you've ever eaten, fancy Hot Chocolate, Big Cookie, singing and dancing on the benches-- the happiness was palpable
17. Final Club singing In The House Of God Forever and Beautiful Scandalous Night
18. "Life is too precious to lose because you're hanging on too tightly to something that just can't give you life in return. I hope you realize how precious the gift is and how much God loves us."
19. Story of the 5,000-- "There was so much noise and commotion but that little boy saw there was a need and gave his lunch, everything he had, and he got to be right next to Jesus the whole time. I bet they were sitting together, just talking, while the food was passed through the crowd and everyone ate. He got the best spot in the whole place-- that's where I want to be.
Our lives are like the loaves and fish-- God has something so much bigger in store. We have to give him control of everything. It's not about bartering. When we give Him our all everything can change.
The adventure is just beginning. The adventure is going home and remembering who gives you life. It's about talking to Jesus every single day. We are small but He is big and there is no limit to His love for you."
20. Crying when we said good-bye to Alaina and Hannah for the last time and boarded the bus. We really, really didn't want to go back home.
21. There is something so special about this experience. I've been to YL camp so many times, but this brought together our group of girls in a whole new way. With 0 distractions around us, we depended on the Lord and one another like never before. Wilderness is a trip that none of us will forget. It was exhausting, smelly, cold to your toes, sweat on your face, dirty, laughter-filled, inspiring, breath-taking and Jesus-filled. Ah! The Lord!
Wilderness Packing List: 2 trail shirts/shorts, 3 pairs of socks, leggings, flannel pants, rain pants, dry fit long sleeve, Patagonia fleece, rain coat, light down coat, hat, gloves, 2 sports bras, 2 pairs of underwear, headlamp, 3 bandanas, fanny pack, blow up pillow, Chacos or Crocs, journal and bible, wipes, plastic ziploc bags, small caribeeners, sunglasses with croakies, chapstick.
Things you have to go on Wilderness to appreciate: seeing Cairn, a level 5 biff, LNT, princess socks, a clean two cup, blister care, sleeping on the inside, when your meal gets cooked, when the willows end, blue skys in the distance, water after 20 minutes of iodine
Honorable Mention Blog Titles:
"So I carried burritos all week for no reason?!" "... We just wanted to you know what it felt like to carry a burden."
"I'm not sharing my life story-- I'm on the run from the law."