BRX1 Coming to a Close

By Anne Mead

The BRX crew has returned from the Foothills Trail. Stephen and I had the pleasure of catching up with them on Tuesday night around the Reasonover campfire (and surprising them with some ice cream sandwiches!). The expeditioners were newly showered, full of pizza, and wearing smiles of exhaustion from their 5 day backpacking trip. One of our camp traditions is an evening round of Rose, Bud, Thorn. At base camp and expeditions, campers gather and share what their rose and thorn was for the day and what their bud is for the following day. We were grateful to participate in this nightly tradition and hear the expeditioners highlights from the trip.

Roses included: hiking 8 miles in one day and completing that daunting task, swimming in Lake Jocasee, staying out for 4 nights in the woods, becoming a closer group, pushing themselves, making it to the van at the end of the trail, showers, being back at Reasonover, how much they improved hiking wise form day 1 to day 5, and the pizza and ice cream sandwiches.

Thorns included: getting stung by bees (a few lucky expeditioners were inducted into the bee hall of fame), how hard the first day of hiking was, loosing a member of the expedition crew to a sprained ankle, and the heat.

Buds included: Canoeing, the final 3 days of the trip, pillow talk at the Reasonover shelters, hanging out with the group more, and eating tons of food!

At the end of this round of Rose, Bud, Thorn, Eli, one of the leaders, asked the Expeditioners to share one thing they have learned about themselves thus far on the trip and what they would like to continue once they leave this place. I wish you parents could have been flies on the wall and heard some of the responses from this group. As the directors, both Stephen and I were humbled and affirmed that these trips do indeed transform young people. Some of the things that were said included: I have learned to be more comfortable with who I am and who I want to be, I have learned how important my family is, I have learned how I take things for granted like cooking and what I am able to get when I open the refrigerator, I have learned I can push myself beyond what I originally thought I could do, I have learned about the importance of teamwork. Again, these were just some of the things they said and overall you all should be so proud of what your young adults have accomplished.

Yesterday and today, the group has been relaxing on the river! They took some water guns and frisbees to play some games while strolling downstream. Last night, they ventured to the farm and had a “from the fields” dinner with our farmers, Rachel and Phil. Most everything was collected off the farm and fresh from the fields. I heard is was a phenomenal feast. Tonight the campers will come to base camp and eat a meal with our session 2 campers. They will then attend our final campfire ceremony.

Tomorrow, the final day, will be a day of celebration for them. They will clean up the gear and prepare for a sweat lodge and final talking stick ceremony. It has been a wonderful trip with your teenagers. Thank you again for giving them this opportunity.