Bugs, Sweat, and Fears: Explore Wilderness Adventures

By: Matthew Peters, Explore! Program Director

Tiffany with the fish she caught.

Tiffany with the fish she caught.

The mystique of wilderness adventuring is one that can grip the hearts of people of all ages. We think it is especially exciting for youthful minds because of where they are in relation to discovering their own identity and purpose in life. Many youth are drawn in because of their peers and some have come because of adult encouragement or push. Some seek the challenge and drawn in by the glamour of storming the wilderness and wrestling with a sometimes hostile environment. Despite how these youth are drawn in, our hopes are that they will experience and gain something of the spiritual values of being in the wilderness.

This month we began our Explore! Wilderness Adventures journey as we took a group of junior teens out into the backcountry for a few days. There were a lot of bugs, we worked up a lot of sweat and we navigated through many personal fears.

I continue to be encouraged as young person after young person faces their fears and the unknown through outdoor adventures. I believe that young men and women need to realize that they can do much more than they perceive they can. This very trip was evidence to some that God answers prayers. This trip was also a place where many of the youth felt for the first time that they truly are a valued part of a community that must rely on each other to accomplish its goals.

I don’t have space to tell you all of the cool things that happened on our trip; but I can tell you that this is only the beginning. In one trip I saw some teens I have known for years come out of their shells and share with us some struggles and desires. This enabled us to connect with them on a deeper level. Our vision is to continue this type of ministry, which reveals to the youth our living saviour, Jesus, throughout the months to come. Check out the slideshow from our trip below!

We ask that you would continue to pray for us as we plan and prepare for our upcoming summer trips. In August we will be taking senior teens on a three night canoe trip as well as a weekend boys’ fishing canoe trip.

Lastly, please share our vision with others. We are looking for mature Christian volunteers for our fall and winter trips. We are also looking for fishing gear for the late summer and fall fishing trips we have planned. Any used spinning rods, lures, or tackle you may have would be put to good use! You can contact me (Matt) here.