Read part one here!
… We had exactly eleven minutes to wake up, put running shoes on and be ready for boot camp (In my case I already spent 5 minutes putting in my contacts). The leaders paired us up into two teams - We named our team the ‘fiery four’. I was with Kat, Lucy and Andria. The whole day contained of challenges. From finding eggs in the forest for breakfast, to memorizing a rhyme that we are able to find ‘yellow diamonds’ (that stood for corn), making fire and keeping the fire going throughout the day, shooting cans, finding also our lunch buried somewhere in the woods, solving an equation. The list goes on and on.
As you might see, we had many physical activities but also solid brain-work. It was difficult to split our energy, because we never knew what the next challenge was and how many challenges awaited us in the end. Everyone on our team had their time of break-down and their time to shine; we balanced each other out and motivated each other to keep going. During the day, we prayed a lot for each other. Two people, including me, were sick. That made all the physical activities even more challenging. After the last challenge, which was putting together the mission statement of STN, we had a three hour (!!!) quiet time. Before I am going into this, I would like to share our mission statement with you. This will give you a better idea, what Surfing The Nations is all about:
“Surfing The Nations impacts local and international communities through the sport of surfing and selfless service by meeting needs and changing lives.”
Back to the quiet time. It was the first time on this trip, where we were the master of our time. The leaders blessed us with this time to reflect on the past days and process all the experiences and feelings. I spent this time walking around, trying to take in the beauty of this campground. Then, I sat down at a picnic table and journaled. All of a sudden, there were two little kids running around, without having any worries, just enjoying themselves and nature. These two captured my attention and I came to this realization: I want to have this for my kids one day. Being outside, having a connection to mother earth, rather playing with sticks and stones than with phones. I loved how they just came up to me and told me that the little boy is ‘living on a big hill’ and the girl is ‘living on a road’ - so precious, open minded and free.
After these three hours, the leaders had the best surprise ever for us: They prepared dinner for us. BURGERS AND WATERMELON *yum*. After days of little/canned/tasteless food, this was heaven! We enjoyed this meal to the fullest. The day ended at the bonfire with all of us answering some random questions like “if you could find true love or a suitcase with 1 million $, what would you choose?” or “what is your favorite ice cream”. It was a really fun evening being in everyone's presence. The last night went by and we started to break down camp the next morning. At 8 am we left the camping ground. Guess what? The next challenge awaited us. No surprise anymore. Everyone was blindfolded, except two people were deaf and one person was allowed to speak. We had to make our way down the mountain safely. Obviously, that wasn’t enough of a challenge and the leaders put some obstacles in our way what we either had to go around or through. Some hours and good conversations later, we made it down! I couldn’t believe it! To our surprise, the leaders took us to a beach nearby. I was extremely excited to jump into the ocean after four days of no shower. Floating in the ocean and laughing about the past few days was the best feeling ever. I felt free!
OUR LTP CLASS MADE IT! I am so proud of each and everyone of us for getting through these days. I am thankful for all the challenges, kick in the butts, stargazing, garlic salt, views, doing things for the first time and just an unforgettable experience. Looking back now, I am so glad that I went through all the challenges, it taught me a lot. After a lot of reflection on this trip, I tried to put all the things learnt on paper.
‘Things that I learnt on ROCK’:
That was my last part of the Radical Ohana Camping Kickoff. I know, it took me a while, I am sorry about that. The past few weeks have been crazy. Our LTP class in the midst of organizing a big event the ‘Wahiawa Community Festival’, we are studying hard and constantly getting more equipped to be officially on staff in three weeks. I honestly can’t believe, that this leadership is coming to an end so soon! Where did the time go? I am so excited for the next season and I can’t wait to share more experiences with you all. The next post will be about the sailing trip that we got to be part of. It was the best five day ever, I am just in awe of the beauty of this earth. Be ready! Love, Isabel