Hello from Teen Adventure!
It is the ninth day for TA trips as we near the halfway point of each trip’s 19-day journey. It is hard to believe that so much time has past! — Camp Days always feel full to the brim and as long as the summer sun, but Camp Weeks tend to zip by. Those of us here at Common Ground have gotten to see each river and trail community grow over the days, with trips averaging three new inside jokes per day by our calculations.
The energy that swirled around Common Ground at the beginning of the month was exhilarating, to say the least. The fire-circle overflowed with people and singing, the crickets were drowned out by the chatter of friends, old and new, and you would think the pond was the only place to take a bath (which is true). It has been wonderful to see that energy shift as trips coalesced and headed out last Monday, and although the whole community shone brightly here, each separate trip is shining just as bright in their own way:
Trip 1 started off their trip with a couple days of hiking before expertly navigating Narrows and Shumate rapids during their adventures on the New River. They are now back on the trail, hiking the AT for the next four days, while debating the imponderables: for example, if a straw has one hole or two holes.
Trip 2 started off with seven days of hiking on the AT, starting at Dragon’s Tooth and ending at Laurel Springs. They are just now beginning to follow Trip 1’s water route, and most important of all the updates, each person on the trip has been given a dwarfen name from The Hobbit.
Trip 3 also hiked their first week on the AT. But instead of the water afterward, they took to the skies — rock climbing in Goshen, and will soon be hiking from there to Maurey River Friends Meeting. They also want parents to know how to prepare “Grum Grum”; save leftover grits and greens, let sit for two days, give as a gift to other trips.
Trip 4 traveled along the AT, winding along the Blue Ridge Mountains, before meeting up with several support staff for Leadership Day, where campers and staff learned together how to find opportunities to empower others and the various ways we can challenge ourselves. They are now building and testing their rafts and will be heading down the James River in their Goodwill outfits.
Trip 5 has had no transports yet! They hiked out of camp, spending their first night at a beautiful nearby reservoir, and continued to hike until Eagle Rock. There we dropped them canoes and some food, and they’ve been paddlin’ their way along the James River. Today they will prepare for their service project in Glasgow (VA) — leading games and activities at a local youth summer program for a day.
Trip 6 has explored new-for-TA trails, and impressively made better time than projected. The Allegheny Trail proved challenging but rewarding, and they are now getting ready to hit the water, again exploring new-for-TA lakes and rivers!
Trip 7 left Common Ground on foot and hiked the first couple days, before going Rock Climbing and doing service work; trail maintenance outside of Lexington. They are now on the water, taking on rapids on The New River, and even though they have managed many miles, they have found time for several magic spots (mini-solos in the woods), work crew skits, and Meetings for Worship.
On Friday, July 20th, trips will return to Common Ground and their unique lights they have created will intermingle for a short while before they depart on Sunday and bring that light to the rest of the world.
We’re so thankful that we get to spend a summer working with such a joyful and enthusiastic bunch. From the directors, staff, and trip leaders here at Teen Adventure, thanks so much, and see you on July 21st between 10:30-11:30am here at lovely Common Ground!
Jesse and Rosie