Sunday, March 20, 2011

Keep on Trekking On

It is official. The Summer of the Teenager is upon me. I will be both attending our annual church Girls Camp (as the congregation "ward" leader), AND as an assistant on the Youth Trek.
Let's talk Trek first. Every few years or so it is tradition that for the summer youth conference that the youth re-enact the trek west of our pioneer forefathers. Back in the 1840s (and then some) our pioneer Mormon ancestors were forced from their homes in Illinois (and Missouri- where an actual extermination order was put upon them), and they took both covered Conestoga wagons (if they had that sort of money) and teams of oxen or horses, OR they pushed handcarts. Most pushed handcarts all the way from the Mississippi River to Utah. That's a little over 1,000 miles, and not over the nicest terrain.
And now, in honor of our ancestors, and to learn more about them, every few years or so our church youth reenact a small version of the pioneer trek. We dress like pioneers, push handcarts, sleep under the stars, and cook over a fire.
The truth is, I missed out on my chance to do this as a teenager myself. I always wanted to do it when I was younger, but the opportunity didn't present itself. So when asked to go along as a helper this week, I said yes.
This is going to require some serious physical preparations. We'll be pushing handcarts in late June, in Virginia heat and humidity, in pioneer skirts, bloomers, and bonnets, across and up a mountain. I need to up my strength and endurance!
So my goal, starting today, is 5 miles a day either outside or on my treadmill. And maybe in a few weeks adding ankle weights. And then adding a few more miles a day.
Ay yi yi.
I got some work to do!


  1. good for you, I am happy you can do this! Two years ago our stake did the trek, they wanted volunteer couples. As I'm single I thought I could pretend to be a widow and be paired w/another sister.And a friend suggested I could go as an aunt. However I didn't get to go- they wanted only married couples! SO good for you!!! Have fun!

  2. Juanita-
    I was actually stunned when they asked me to go. I had always heard "no single sisters" as well. But I have been asked to go as the "historian" and all-around helper. There is another single sister going as the photographer as well. She and I will be known as the "aunts" on the trip. I am a stake rep, not a ward rep in this particular case.
    Personally, I'd love to see a "widow" serve as a ma for a wagon. Talk about making them learn the harsh realities of life!

  3. Interesting. Why not make it historically accurate and have single sisters be second or third wives?

  4. thanks for sharing more about your roles- I'm glad you and your friend get to go! I agree the widow idea would have been realistic, oh well.

    At the time I was glad my Bishop/Bishopric supported the idea of my going as a widow. But sadly the stake rejected the idea- oh well, I learned to be grateful for those who allow us to serve them.

    To LDS historian- I wouldn't have wanted to be a 2nd or 3rd wife, yikes!

  5. Anonymous3:25 PM

    I think most LDS youth activities are testimony builders.


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