Greetings from sunny Common Ground! As we approach the midpoint of the trips we want to take a moment to update you on the progress of our adventurers! To start- the weather has been incredible. Skies have been generally blue and the scattered showers we’ve seen have been few and far between.
All six of our trips have been seen at least twice thus far at various points throughout the region- and all have come with amazing stories to share. Rafts have been built, rocks climbed, mountains hiked and bikes biked.
Trip One successfully rafted down the James River on their homemade rafts! After a day of collecting found objects and supplies from local thrift stores (costumes included, of course!) they worked together to build five floating rafts for the journey. They are now off the river, excited to hit the trail and get their boots muddy.
Trip Two has been biking the Blue Ridge Parkway to the New River near Roanoke where they swap their bikes for canoes for a week on the river. They recently stopped in the Blacksburg Friends Meeting House for a service project and joined the community in Meeting for Worship. They even had time to enjoy the Blacksburg Fourth of July celebration!
Trip Three started off on a great adventure– hiking out of Common Ground towards Goshen mountain pass for the rock climbing portion of their trip. Equipped with maps, provisions and an incredible sense of discovery (and direction!) they were the first group ever to complete this journey, rolling into Goshen right on schedule! After enjoying their time on the rocks, they packed up and hit the trail- ready to put their navigation skills back to the test!
Trip Four is currently canoeing down the New River- the first group this summer to get in canoes! Seeing them at their transport was a joy- that morning they woke up at 4:30 for a sunrise hike up “Dragon’s Tooth,” a popular peak in the region with an incredible view. Tired but proud of their accomplishment, they were ready to get onto their next adventure– the river! No rain since they’ve started their river trip- we’re sure they have been loving this warm and sunny weather!
Trip Five started off strong- hiking “The Priest” mountain on the their first day. One of the most challenging hikes, the counselors reported it was completed in good spirits and with a lot of pride. Singing their way through the first week, Trip Five has completed a rainy rock climbing day and is ready to head onto the river to tackle the rapids, as they tackled “The Priest.”
Trip Six just completed a service project here a Common Ground. After successful hiking and climbing portions of their trip, they were excited to return “home.” Their labor in the garden was repaid with fresh vegetables for their meals and a dip in the beloved pond. They were joined at night by two trip managers for some lovely songs around the campfire– it was great having them here!
Their clothes are smelly, their devices are unplugged, and they are creating memories that they will carry with them for years to come. And as your teens continue having adventures of a lifetime we hope you too are finding time for meaningful adventures in your busy life! Enjoy the rest of July– we are looking forward to seeing you all upon the campers’ return to Common Ground in a couple weeks.
So, prepare your washing machine and get ready to listen to hours of adventure stories. Though, you might want to set aside that first hour when your camper gets home for a long shower!
On behalf of all the staff here, including those leaders hiking, laughing and singing with them daily, thank you all for the opportunity to work with such a beautiful group of young adults.
Jesse & Jen and all the staff at Teen Adventure Quaker Camp
Reminder: camper pick-up is between 10:30 and 12:00 on Sunday, July 20th