We often have assumptions that were so engrained into who we think we are that we never seek to challenge them. We believe that if something is uncomfortable it should be avoided, and that we are our best, truest selves when surrounded by family, friends, and cultural contexts that are familiar. Although these are irreplaceable pieces of our identity, they can often end up becoming crutches that prevent us from getting to know the parts of ourselves that we can only become acquainted with when faced with a bowl of bugs.
For Summit Adventure’s most recent course, we teamed up with eight Bridgemont high school students, led by their principal, Evan Anderson. Bridgemont, a private Christian school in San Francisco, features a Field Studies program as a part of their curriculum in order to implement a well-rounded education that extends beyond the classroom. Students choose one of four outdoor adventure options to participate in for a grade.
A third-year student at Biola University and resident of the San Jose Bay Area, Jocelyn Horsager’s winter outdoor experience was limited to shredding slopes and kicking back in a cabin. But despite her anxieties regarding the winter camping course, she found herself pleasantly surprised by each day’s experiences. And when we weren’t calling her back from leaning over the edge of a cliff to snap some killer GoPro fisheye panoramas, she was being followed by a Yosemite-native coyote with a peculiar taste for her foam sleeping pad.
We arrived at Badger Pass after dark, a team of 12–seven members of the Biola University community with five representatives of Summit Adventure. Two days previous, I had just barely moved in to base as the fledgling intern–and now I was stepping out of a van full of backpacks crammed with bear cans and sleeping bags, into a freezing night sky speckled with winter constellations. Though camping and backpacking wasn’t uncharted territory for me, I had never experienced either in the snow–at least, not purposefully (let’s just say I’ve dealt with a few freak snowstorms in my life).
Let me start by saying what a wonderful time we had at Summit this past summer with my three kids. Rachel who is 16, Kyle (9), and Ryan (7) all loved our adventure. We had endured one of the toughest years and were embarking on our new life after divorce this past summer. I knew we needed time to get away and rebuild what we had left of our family. It all happened in such a timely way.
A Birthday in the Backcountry: Summit Social Media Intern Clare Adams Shares a Story About Her Birthday on Course
I didn’t quite know what I was getting into becoming an intern at Summit Adventure. A recent graduate of a private liberal arts university in Rhode Island, I moved to Bass Lake in search of adventure and experience—and that is surely what I have received. I have been learning to radically depend on the Lord and trust in His good and perfect plan.
Well, haven’t you been praying for this?” That’s what my mom asked, while laughing, after I finished telling her about my six-day stint on Summit Adventure’s College Semester Program 12-day backcountry expedition. I paused for a second. That wasn’t the response I was expecting, but God sure had been answering my prayers.