8/30: Reaching New Heights

Our first full day in the woods has been challenging, rewarding and full of new skills to learn! This morning we got to know each other better and see how well we work in teams through different games such as tanks and commanders and a variation on red light green light. The games depended on us working together in pairs or teams and we were really forced to trust each other and work together – preparing for our expedition mentality.

 

After lunch we were introduced to the student med kit where we can find essential supplies such as band aids and tape to prevent blisters. We’re going to be relying heavily on our feet over the next few weeks so it’s important to keep them in tip-top shape!

 

After all that talk about feet (and when we finished digesting our lunches) we decided to put our grips to the test at Quiet Rocks, Voyageur Outward Bound’s rock wall by the lake. There we had a lesson on essential skills like securing the harness, key terms to use with our belay partners, and even how to repel. Some of the Gapsters decided to really challenge themselves by climbing routes a second time while blindfolded! For many of us it was our first time rock climbing and it was a perfect day to be out on the wall – a fresh breeze was blowing and the trees are just starting to change color here. Beautiful!

 

We were all pretty hungry again after rock climbing so some trail mix was in order and we sat to reflect on our day’s activity. We had a group discussion on growth through challenge by exploring our comfort zones. We’re all on board to challenge our norms of comfort over the next few weeks with the hope of emerging stronger and more compassionate.

 

This evening we spent fitting our backpacks and learning to set up our brigade tarps under which we’ll be sleeping every night while hiking. We are truly looking forward to hitting the trail with packs on our backs tomorrow, ready for our adventure to unfold.

 

As we will be in the backcountry for the next 7 days or so we’ll be unable to update the blog but please check back later next week for another update on our journey so far!