My name is Maura Mahmood. This summer I’m going to be an Explorer, and I’m coming back for my eighth year at camp. So far, I’ve been on two backpacking trips and two canoe trips. This summer I’m going on yet another canoe trip.
My mom went on trip when she went to camp as a child. I always loved taking advantage of all of the great opportunities camp has to offer, so I decided to try it out. I went on my first backpacking trip when I was 11, and I enjoyed it. Since then I’ve gone on a trip every year, and it’s always one of my favorite parts of camp.
Every trip varies based on where you go, who your trip leaders are and the girls you’re tripping with, but each backpacking and canoe trip follows a basic schedule. On a typical trip day after waking up, campers do Morning Watch before breakfast and help wash dishes after the meal. You pack up the supplies as a group before heading out for a couple of hours. Groups stop for lunch, which is normally tuna or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or something of that nature. Then you set out on your journey again until you get to the place you’re staying for the night. Your group probably gets lost or runs into some problem, but it always works out.
Next, the group is tasked with pitching tents and getting dinner started. At that point everyone is exhausted, so after dinner, the group gets to chill and hang out for the night. This is easily my favorite part of the trip, bonding time with the group while playing cards or pumping water. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, days on trip end with stargazing, which is so relaxing.
When a group gets back from trip on Thursday night, they’re always welcomed back to camp at dinner. At this point, they’re always tasked with singing a song about trip. This song is written about the experiences you had on trip, sung to the tune of a popular song. A secret people who haven’t been on trip probably don’t know is that the car ride back to camp is almost always solely devoted to frantically writing the trip song and preparing it for that night. These songs have absolutely no rhyme or reason to them. They can range from the tune of the camp theme song to “Breaking Free” from High School Musical. The most memorable song I’ve ever helped write was to “Party in the USA.” I still have trouble remembering the real words to the song. It was super fun to write and also had great lyrics. It’s always exciting to work together with a group of people to create a song about what we’ve experienced together.
I’ve taken away so many great things from my various trips. On trip, you become extremely close with the other girls around you. You make long lasting friendships. I made friends with a girl on trip last year, and we still keep in touch, best friends a state apart. On trip, you not only grow closer to the people around you, but you also grow so much closer to God just by witnessing everything he’s created while you’re traveling through it. Trip is a great time to get to know God by spending time in his nature and time alone with him.
If you’re considering going on a trip, there are a couple of things you should consider. Always have an open mind going into the trip. Always have a positive attitude. And if you’re considering it at all, go for it. Whatever is holding you back means nothing. Trip is a great opportunity to step beyond your boundaries, make amazing friends, make new and unforgettable memories, and grow closer to God, all while having a great experience.
Trip is super fun, and I implore you to go on one if you have the opportunity!
Interested in signing up for a wilderness trip this summer? There is still space in our week 2 (July 7-13) Trailblazer backpacking trip and our week 6 (August 4-10) Challenger/Explorer canoe trip. We’ve also added a new Challenger/Explorer backpacking “Super Trip” this summer during our Two Week Experience (July 21-August 3).
Maura Mahmood (right, in the bow of the canoe) lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania; she’s been to camp for 7 summers. Outside of school, she enjoys singing, theater, and riding her bike. She is so excited to return to camp this summer to reconnect with the nature in the Adirondacks and delve into God’s word more!