Saturday, July 26, 2008


This week I was working on the Pioneer program. What is the Pioneer program? Well, that is a good question and it is what I spent my week learning. Neither I nor my co-counselor had done the program before so we did a lot of winging it. Sunday night, we headed straight out to Black Hawk park on the Mississippi, where we camped for the night. On Monday we loaded all of our stuff into canoes and canoed through some backwaters and a little bit of the main channel of the Mississippi until we got to a campsite where we set up for the night. On Tuesday, we canoed through some more backwaters until we got the Ferryville, where we were picked up and taken back to camp.

Upon arrival back at camp, we had about 30 minutes to get ready to get on the horses so we could ride up to the bluff, where we were spending the night. The ride up to the bluff was quite an adventure because my horse wasn't behaving very well. When we started heading up the road to the bluff my horse turned around and took off in the other direction. I fought with the horse for a while until the wrangle decided it would be best to switch horses because she could handle him better. Then, were just starting back up and another horse spooked and kicked mine. So my new horse turned around and ran back down the hill and started running circles on the challenge course. I managed to get him stopped, got off and walked him back into the line up. When I got back on, however, he turned around and ran back down. This time he absolutely refused to move, no matter how hard I punched him. Eventually, the wrangler came down and round house kicked him in the ribs, which got him moving. After that, the rest of the ride was pretty uneventful.

The night on the bluff went pretty well except that a girl got really sick, so I was up at 1:30 am and ran down the bluff with a flashlight to wake the nurse and somebody to drive us up to the bluff. We got the girl down to the nurse's station but neither Kathryn or I got back to sleep until 3:30, so the next day we where really tired. It worked out ok, though, because all of the campers were also tired, even though they hadn't woken up. Also, the sick girl was better in the morning, so she was able to rejoin us, which was nice.

Because everybody was so tired, we ended up taking it easy on Wednesday and spent most of the afternoon playing in the pool. In the evening we hiked out into the back of the valley where a new campsite had been mowed down for us. It was a great night. We where supposed to have gone for a long hike that afternoon, but nobody was up for it. Instead we ended up doing a night hike by flashlight, which was an adventure and was easier because it wasn't hot out. We got pretty lost because I only had a vague idea of the trails back there, so it was a lot of fun. While we were out, we came across a dry stream bed which we thought would be fun to hike up. We didn't want to do it in the dark because there was a high risk of spraining ankles and not everybody had flashlights, so we came back the next morning and hiked a ways up it.

That was the general extent of the weeks excitement. Last night, after all the campers left, some friends and I went to a local pastor's house to spend the night. He had put out an invitation to anybody that wanted to get off camp for a little while. It was really nice to get away for a little bit and to be in an actual house. I also got a chance to talk to him about baptism for a while, which I wanted to do because he seems like an extremely solid guy.

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