By Kate LaFranchi, 2008 LT Graduate
With the bright sun overhead and a breeze in the trees 12 Crystal Lake Leadership Trainees were walking down a narrow trail two by two. One of each pair was leading the other who was blind folded: We were learning how to trust each other. Each pair was deep in conversation, only interrupted by a burst of laughter when the blindfolded partner of the trail tripped on a rock or tree branch.
Blindfolded Hike of the Loyalsock Trail
This blindfolded hike of the Loyalsock Trail is one of the best memories that I have from CLC’s Leadership Training (LT) program. We hiked it at the beginning of the two-week LT program. So while I knew some of the people who where in our group, I still did not know about half. The minute we started out on the trail, we began to form groups and hike together. I was able to catch up with my friends on what they had been doing the past year but also to meet new people as we walked the three-day trail.
Of course, there were a few times when I felt like the morning was never going to come, like the night I went out into the woods alone for my solo overnight. I was a little concerned at first, but the skills that I had learned in the past week and knowing that my friends were out there doing the same thing as me, and that God was right there beside me, kept me feeling safe and helped me see that, as the hymn says “the joy cometh in the morning.”
During this training we formed bonds, whether it was from encouraging each other up the switchbacks and on other parts of the trail straight up the mountain, or while setting up and running our campsite together. But as much as we talked and laughed, we were also able to become closer with God as the whole group got quiet and reflected on the beauty that we were so blessed to experience.
The whole two weeks were filled with different activities; it was hard to believe that our time was up after two short weeks. Over all, the LT program was amazing. I formed incredible bonds and participated in exciting activities. I also came away with skills that I am using in my everyday life, like the ability to read a map, now that I am learning to drive!
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