Morale was low. The sun was slipping into the west after a baking hot day, and my lungs were full of the smoke of the fires that won’t stop burning. My phone’s charger cable broke and my phone died, leaving me alone with my brooding thoughts.
I started worrying — I have no maps, and without my smartphone app to tell me what mile (exactly) I am at, I feel lost. How will I find my way? How will I assuage my impatience? How will I fill the hours and hours of silence until I get into town?
After an hour or so, I settled into it. The trees whispered around me, the smoke continued to obscure any semblance of a landscape. I was engulfed in a strange dream like state — furthered by the misty atmosphere.
And then I was shaken from my state of reverie by loud laughter. I was scared — there hadn’t been too many people about today. Then there came a plethora of chattering. Finally I saw them: a long line of people, extremely happy people.
They were some kind of teen group, off for an outing in the woods. There was a twenty something adult with a bunch of cool piercings at their lead and a twenty something adult with brown, preppy hair taking up the end of the caboose. In between were young teens talking as if they would never get to talk again.
They were vivacious, filled up with their youth and their joy and the magic of finding friends in the wild. It was 8pm, but they were hiking into the impending dark with a thrill that was contagious.
I was once again reminded of my mission, passing face after excited face.
“Your hair is cool!”
“How is the trail?”
“Going all the way?”
My mission remains to get kids outside, lots and lots more of them. Boomerang and I feel so strongly that the outdoors has changed out lives, we wanted to help pass it along to kids who might not otherwise have the chance.
Want to make someone’s day? Consider donating to GOLD/BOLD and helping create a scholarship to fully fund a financially strapped youth: Give.