The trek was held out in Blythewood on a horse farm that belongs to a member of the church and her generous neighbor. We hiked a total of 18 miles over be 3 day period and slept outside covered by nothing but a tarp. We were responsible for 2 handcarts of youth totaling 15 people. We had the greatest kids and had the best time with them. It was physically challenging as most would expect. Luckily, we weren't allowed to help with the 400+ pound handcarts unless necessary. I helped during the women's pull and that was all that was needed.
Each of our family units were given a baby that was to be carried and treated like a real baby for he duration. Each baby came with a name and a story of a real pioneer and we didn't find out until the last day if our "baby" made it to the valley or not. Our leaders gave us the rest of the baby's story on the morning of he last day and both of our people made it and had long healthy, happy lives. Coincidentally, one of the babies that we assigned to one of our groups was the story of our bishop's great-grandmother...so that was pretty special.
After we read the outcome of our babies stories we gathered for a funeral service to bury the babies that didn't survive...talk about heart wrenching! One of the youth stood up on the hi behind our crowd of youth and softly played "Come, Come Ye Saints" on her violin...there wasn't a dry eye! It was really a neat experience and definitely an emotional one. It was neat to see that the youth finally understood the sacrifices that the pioneers made for their religion.
Going on the trek as an adult was an exercise in patience in many ways...but at the same time, it gave me a greater appreciation for the youth of the church. These kids are strong and it gives me hope.
Some other tidbits worth noting- we got to have Jose (Bab and Roc's bonus kid) come on our trek and be a part of one of the families that we were responsible for. I also got to have one of my cousin's kids in my group which was neat. We ate good, were privy to portable potties (thank heaven!), were super hot, got sunburned and eaten up by bugs. Got to see the youth really shine...they had to dig deep sometimes but they never let us down. It was an amazing experience that I would do again in a heart beat.
Hubby helped design this temple that the kids built