One of my favorite elements of Moose River Outpost is our vision statement: Seek Christ, build community, and embrace adventure. To be truthfully honest, the “embrace adventure” component has always intimidated me. Despite this fear, the campers have been teaching me that each of our adventures are different, and that there is adventure in every aspect of life.
For some campers, seeking Christ is their adventure. In our Bible studies this summer, we’ve been diving deep into the book of First John. Last night we focused on the first half of 1 John 3:16, discussing what it means that Jesus laid down His life for us. Tonight we’ll be studying the second half of the verse, contemplating how we can best lay down our lives for others. We’ll be challenging the kids to take on the adventure of serving others while here, laying down our lives for fellow campers and staff.
Our Kennebec and Pamola cabins are off on their first overnight trips of the session — Kennebec to hike Burnt Jacket Mountain, and Pamola on a canoe trip. For many of our new campers at MRO, this is their first experience in the Maine wilderness. Beyond that, though, it’s a great chance to build community within their cabins, embracing the adventure of getting to know new people and form new relationships.
For other campers, embracing adventure has looked like trying new activities. It’s a beautiful day, and the campers have taken full advantage of that — learning to wake ski for the first time; mountain biking down to a part of the stream that we call “Jacuzzi,” then diving in for a swim; or playing paintball in the woods. Our program director, Joanie, watched a camper at rock climbing who chose to follow a difficult route on the wall. Even when it would have been easier to just rappel back down, the camper persevered (along with a little encouragement from new friends). After he made it to the top, the staff held a mock interview with him using invisible microphones and deep newscaster voices. The camper said that even though it was hard, the satisfaction that he felt once he reached the top was even better.
That’s the experience I desire for each of our campers. Whether they “make it to the top” or not, I hope that they learn here that they can do more than they ever imagined. I pray that they keep trying new things — and keep encouraging people like me to try new things as well. And I pray that they embrace all the adventures in their lives, whether they be spiritual adventures, community-focused adventures, or those that take place in the great outdoors.
Wherever the day may take you today, embrace your adventure. I know that up here at MRO, we will.
-written by Mackenzie Mahon, 2015 Office Manager