It was an understatement to say it was wet on the trip – we endured more than 5 inches of rain. However, nothing could dampen the enthusiasm and excitement of the young men! The group meals of breakfast burritos, spaghetti, and beef stroganoff were made even tastier with the constant supply of fish provided by the young men. During Skills Training we had the unique opportunity to portage the canoes from Ojibway to Triangle Lake on a roller portage…where OMM Leadership learned the lesson to tell the young men they were NOT allowed to ride the canoe down the rollers down like a roller coaster! We took a day trip to Indiana Lake, where just getting there was an adventure in itself! After two hours of paddling and portaging, the final 50 yards through a swamp where the young men had to wrestle canoes up and over an 8-foot high beaver dam, they were awestruck at the pristine beauty of Indiana Lake! Hammocks were stretched out between massive pines as a hearty shore lunch was prepared, hurriedly wolfed down so we could start fishing. And God definitely came through for us! In just a few hours of casting surface lures, several 21-inch bass were caught amongst the roughly 50 fish the group landed.
Braden was one of the remarkable young men on the trip and he brought a devotional written for teens by teens. He would read a few of them aloud at breakfast, often prompting great discussion about Christian masculinity. The grown men on the trip shared things they wished they’d known when they were teenagers. Future canoe trips will include the full set of “Campfire Talks” where biblically-based discussions will be held to help the young men begin to answer 4 questions: