Why all the hiking this summer?

We’ve been doing a lot of hiking this summer and felt that maybe parents needed to know why in order to help support their boys from home, so here’s what I sent to them in email:

10 miles in Coyote Gulch (Jun)
5 miles at Camp Steiner (Jul)
4 miles on Red Butte / “The Living Room” (Aug)
2 miles on the “Y” (Aug)
10 miles in the Uintas this weekend (Sep)
15 miles on Timp next month (Oct)

In case you’re wondering “why all the hiking” lately, I thought I should explain.

It started out with no specific intention – just wanted to explore a new place we heard about called “Coyote Gulch”.  10 miles was a lot that trip, but we took a chance and it worked out great.  Then at scout camp, the boys were kinda restless by Day 5 and bored with the merit badge routine, so we suggested spending an evening on the Lofty Lake Loop Trail.  The boys did SO WELL on these two hikes that it gave me the idea to go after the Hiking merit badge.  Only two scouts had ever gotten that badge before in our Unit (my boys) and I felt like we had some momentum here to get this group of boys to earn it too.

I’ve also been wanting to do Mount Timpanogos with the scouts for 2 years now but always a little apprehensive on whether they were up for the challenge or not.  So the progression of hiking we’ve done this summer has become somewhat of a test for me to see if they can… and more importantly, to show themselves that THEY CAN!  Now you might be curious why I’ve wanted to take them on Timp.  At first, it was for the fun of it because I love doing these kinds of things.  Then I read this that showed me a much deeper meaning.

So the real objective here is this:  For those who will serve a mission, I view this challenge as missionary prep.  For everyone else, including those who go on a mission, I see tacking that mountain as preparation for life’s future challenges.  I also want each boy who experiences this to look up at that mountain every time they see it and think, “I was up there once”!


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