By Elaina Wagerman
Hola, friends and family! Greetings from Site 1 Guatemala! Late Sunday night we arrived at Camp Squeah in Hope, BC. Our 13-hour road trip through the Rocky Mountains and Fraser Valley was absolutely breathtaking. The combination of the need to sleep and wanting to stay awake to absorb the surrounding beauty left us utterly exhausted when we finally got to our destination.
We began our week on Monday with our first session with Kevin and Sharon, who spoke with us about healthy Christian relationships and sexuality. Site 2 South Africa joined us for sessions, and we visited Camp Kawkawa where they were staying.
On Tuesday, both groups split up and the women had a day of sessions with Sharon, while the men spent their day with Kevin. Between discussions about healthy sexuality and singleness, the ladies went for an epic hike up Mt. Lincoln. It was definitely challenging as a first mountain hiking experience. The forest-covered, rocky mountain was stunning, adorned with moss and hugely excellent pines. Despite the difficulty of the ascent, it was the most rewarding experience to finally summit and observe the river and neighbouring mountains from above. I’m already falling in love with the mountains, and pretty much all of British Columbia.
The adventures continued on Wednesday when we spent the afternoon mountain biking and kayaking around Kawkawa Lake, in between more sessions. Both groups spent the morning at Camp Squeah having a big group discussion; our site leaders formed a panel and answered any questions we had for them. Their wisdom and openness to share their stories and opinions was deeply appreciated. What a blessing it is to have such a diverse community of people to learn from and to have these important conversations in such an open and safe environment. In the evening, we gathered again with South Africa as one huge lively group of exhausted and enthusiastic friends and finished off our sessions with Sharon and Kevin by learning about marriage in a Christian context.
We said farewell to Camp Squeah on Thursday afternoon and departed for Copperdome Lodge near Pemberton, BC. Our site spent the weekend enjoying ourselves and having fun. We celebrated Halloween on Friday night by throwing a costume party. Everyone drew names from a hat and dressed as another person in our group. We spent the night pretending to be each other, laughing together, and eating Halloween candy.
Friday morning was kicked off by throwing ourselves off of BC’s highest bungee jumping bridge in Whistler! Despite our fears, every single student and leader was able to jump and we all made it out alive! It was both an exhilarating and terrifying experience, although it helped to have a huge group of encouraging friends cheering me on! After a thrilling morning, we spent the rest of the day winding down in Whistler Ski Village.
Overall, this week has been so very full. Full of learning and important discussions in our sessions, full of beautiful views and excitement about exploring British Columbia for the first time, full of adventurous hikes, biking and kayaking, and most importantly full of quality time together as an Outtatown family!