With our helmets in one hand and our kayaks dragged by the other, we make our way towards the wooden stairs that lead to the small riverbank. A mass of swarming bugs is directly in our path, and we lazily swing at them with our helmets as they bounce all around. At the stairs, we follow the guide’s instructions and let our kayaks slide down the hillside on our left. The kayaks go first, then we make our way down to meet them. The small, sandy bank is just large enough for us to make our final preparations before embarking.
This is my first look at the river. A casual throw could cross its width, but looking up and down its banks, I do not see another place to stand. The river appears calmer and shallower than I expected. My eyes gravitate towards visible rocks and sticks in the water. The guide’s instructions again come to mind, “If you’re looking at rocks, you’ll hit rocks. Look where you want to go, not at what you want to avoid.” My mind briefly notes how the guiding principle of this advice is applicable outside of kayaking. But my attention is quickly drawn back to the challenge at hand as my dad encourages me to get in first so he can push me away from the shore. The river looks so inviting, but I find myself nervous and unsure.
Did you know?
Trips to Enrich provide an opportunity to enjoy adventure such as canoeing, camping, and canyoneering. The purpose is to get the intentional care and meaningful conversation out of the counseling office and couple it with experiential learning according to the need. This blend of care with the experiential often effects change in the lives of the participants. We consider it a worthwhile investment to help people develop a deeper sense of connection in their meaningful relationships.
Fishing. Fellowshipping. Feasting. by Scott Dempsey
On my recent Reel to Real outing to the western tip of North Carolina, I was treated to some good fishing, some great hospitality, and some significant fellowship. This Trip to Enrich allowed each of us to unplug from our hectic daily lives and plug in to the beautiful Nantahala National Forest and other locales. I was well attended, cared for, and even catered to during my time on this trip.
As a director in a technical field, my day-to-day life is fraught with what my oldest son refers to as “slow tigers.” As humans, we’re well designed to deal with a stressor like an actual tiger; fight or flight is a typical response. However, that project deadline, that HR meeting, those budget calls are all “slow tigers.” They generate stress and all the accompanying hormones that just pile up without being able to fight or run from the pressure. Getting away for a few days and just focusing on the wilds and the folks you’re with does a great work in assuaging the waters of those piled-up stress hormones. I came back feeling lighter and renewed.
Scott Dempsey serves on the Trips to Enrich team as camp host and cook. He hopes to experience more fellowship in wild places with others who want that as well. If you ever go camping with him and his bride Elizabeth, they will likely transform your idea of “roughing it.“
Trips to Enrich Leadership Gathering
Battlefield’s Trips to Enrich leadership gathered in Robbinsville, NC at Paradox Lodge in June for a retreat to discuss the future of Trips to Enrich. Some of these leaders are Battlefield staff or from Rome, GA while others came from North Carolina, Arizona, and Missouri. All these folks have been involved in Trips to Enrich in the past and want to continue offering trips to the many people who request them. Adam Nash led the group in answering questions about the individual leader’s hopes, fears, and capacity. He also inquired about leaders’ desires to get more training and experience.
In usual Trips to Enrich fashion, there was plenty of adventure, daily Scripture reading, prayer, and discussion. Some of the adventures were as mild as hiking and enjoying a meal by the river at the campsite. Other adventures were found with the boat on the lake. Those who chose not to wakeboard or surf enjoyed watching those who did. On Sunday, part of the group rafted the Nantahala. The leadership spent much of the time between adventures planning how to involve others in the type of retreat they were currently enjoying.