With a Chipotle burrito warming my hand, the bus driver turned the key to the ignition, and the grey hound bus was inching its way away from our families that we would see, after what we hoped to be a fun, action packed week. Six hours went by, my legs were beginning to cramp and the entertainment of the overhead movie was beginning to bore me. Our bus was packed to its’ gills with middle school students, and for some, including myself; this was the summer before entering the unknown high school journey. The moon came into sight and quickly vanished before any of us could catch more than two hours of sleep. Announced over the speakers we all were informed of our stop that was ahead of us; slide rock canyon, this attraction offered swimming down rivers and cliff jumping. I participated in the highest cliff jump; (standing at 35 ft) ignoring my conscience, resulting in welts all down legs and quite the embarrassing display of my suit bottoms around my ankles when I surfaced from my plunge. After all electronic devices were collected and stowed away for the week we were back on the bus for the last few hours of our road trip from Colorado to Arizona for a Younglife camp at Lost Canyon.
Right off the bus we were engulfed by several other bus loads of kids and leaders singing camp songs. We all were amazed at the sight of this camp, in the beautiful mountains of Flagstaff. Each day there were several activities and mingling of all the kids from different locations. Covered in mud from head to toe, trying to spy our friends in their mud disguise, we all headed back to our cabin to assist each other with getting all of the mud out of our hair, ears, etc. Once distinguishable again we all went to the worship hall for our last night there. I grew friendships with people and learned to never judge someone by the cover; you never know what kinds of hardships they have survived. The sun rose once again and it was time to say a bittersweet goodbye to the summer camp boys we had met and exchange addresses with the friends we wished to keep in touch with. Back on the busses we were re-connected with our cell phones and it was back to reality. Fourteen hours later, exhausted and in dire need of a shower we all were on our way home with our parents. In a blink of an eye our spectacular week had come to an end.
Stepping onto the bus I was afraid and timid of what was to come, but ended up having the most excellent experience I have ever had. I hope to be blessed enough to experience many more meaningful trips that touch me at the heart and soul level, as this trip did. Life is packed with countless experiences that all too often are passes by. This trip unfolded into an unforgettable memory of living life to its fullest, making me eager to embrace further adventures.
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