RezYouth:  Of Hiking Trails and Pool Noodles

Drawing by Grace Cedeno, 13
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14), 2023
Charcoal pencil on paper

Article by Livy Walker, 12

RezYouth Middle Schoolers camped at Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin, two weeks ago.  On our second day, we hiked to the beach for a swim. Our campsite, a clearing with a firepit and picnic tables, was about a ten-minute walk from the trail to the lake. When we got to the trail head, our guide, Caleb Logan, showed us the route and explained how to look over the edge of a cliff (safely). The trail led through the woods, and we could see boulders that had fallen from the overlooks, across the trail, and into the trees. The first overlook had several convenient rocks to sit on while exchanging riddles (a favorite pastime of ours). A little further down the trail was a niche in the rock, where, rumor said, a caveman lived. No evidence of said caveman was found, however. 

When we neared the end of the hike, we found ourselves faced with a descent from the heights. There were rock steps, meaning rocks that were positioned as steps, some of which were quite slippery. We learned to avoid the shinier rocks (some of us learned the hard way), and, when we finally reached the bottom, we found we had about a three-minute walk to the beach.

Once we reached the beach, we had to find the van that had driven our towels and other things (pool noodles and that sort of what-not). After that, we had lunch, then swam. Some of us saved lunch for later (it was a
hot day). We played several games involving dodgeballs and frisbees in the water before the pool noodles arrived. After that, there was only one thing to do. And that thing, of course, was to have a water war. 

All of the many uses of pool noodles were then displayed in flying colors. Naturally, those who simply tried to float peacefully (or not-so-peacefully) often found themselves robbed of their pool noodles. This created the perfect atmosphere for a pool noodle black market. Gradually, we tired of play-fighting, and things settled down. 

When the time finally came to walk back to the campsite, we all still had enough energy for another hour at least. That energy was spent on the hot, wet, tiring walk back along the train tracks. When we reached the campsite, we were ready for worship, dinner, and possibly even a shower. We all slept well that night.

ReadCamping with RezYouth Middle Schoolers: Scenes from two weeks ago” by Cameron Harro

Seventeen middle schoolers and nine adult leaders enjoyed hiking, swimming, worship times, campfire cuisine, and deepened friendships at Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin, June 23-25. 

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