After praying a bit during lunch for some direction on afternoon activities, I decided to head over to Frontier Ranch, one of Young Life's camps in Buena Vista, Colorado, about 100 miles away. At the time I thought it was what is known as "work week," the week before camp begins where volunteer high school and college kids from around the country come to spruce up the camp before campers arrive. Turns out it was the last day of the first week of camp so that when I arrived the camp was buzzing with activity with kids and counselors running around all over the place.
Kept telling myself that I needed to get in a bit of a workout so I decided to climb up the mountain that overlooks the camp. Each camp week, all the kids from the entire camp go up the mountain together and plant a cross to kind of end the week on a high point. Turned out to be the high point of the trip for me as well. Wish the pictures could capture the moment better, but sitting there surrounded by crosses put there by kids that I could hear running around far below, laughing and having the time of their lives really put things into perspective. Was touching to see all the names and verses carved in the wood and the bandanas left behind and tied to the crosses by campers who had come before me. God didn't need me to climb that mountain to get my legs in shape, God wanted me up there to remind me why I was here. It's not about Stacy and me climbing a mountain, it's about giving more kids the opportunity to come to Young Life camp and experience God's love for themselves.
I walked down that mountain on a high that I didn't think could be topped. I stepped into the dining hall looking for a familiar face, and there I see my good buddy Steve Pickard. Steve was my Young Life leader in high school and was kind of my spiritual mentor. He came over and gave me a big hug and we had a great dinner and evening together. Turned out he had come over from Wichita to surprise his daughter Ashley, who is working at the camp, for her twentieth birthday. We all went to club together and then Steve gave me a big pep talk for the upcoming climb. He recently climbed to the base camp at Mt Everest and he happened to have his album from the trip along with him. We went through the album together and had a great time catching up.
God couldn't have planned a better day for me and I left camp that night charged up for what lies ahead.