Some people say that reenacting a pioneer trek is something that you do once in a lifetime, but if there is an opportunity where you can do it more than once on your own motive God bless you! When we moved to the Princeton area and found out that the church here reenacts a trek we were pretty excited, because I know how much it will totally strengthen the youth!
So when I told Lexie that they reenact pioneer trek in this area she was shocked. Only because the area we lived in before in south jersey didn't reenact it at all! She was pretty excited for a minute, and then there was a moment of hesitation only because she remembered all the trying times she experienced when she reenacted trek for the first time last year in North Carolina. There she learned to endure and make new friends in familiar territory where they later on became- a family.
With having half of my family experience trek, I have witnessed firsthand how trek can build up ones testimony to truly understand and appreciate all that our pioneers went through in order for us to be here and to have the gospel in our life. Lexie was a good sport for wanting to do it again, and as the days got closer she was beginning to look more thrilled! She went down to the basement and got all the trek clothes out of the plastic bin labeled "trek attire" and then began gathering all the belongings that she needed to bring on the trek, and she was ready to go.
Carpooling was arranged, and then an hour later we heard the bad news.
Trek was canceled.
We received a mass Email stating that trek was cancelled due to severe thunderstorms, hail, and 60 mph winds. When I looked at the forecast for Harrisburg in Pennsylvania where trek was to be located all I saw was a lightning rod for one day out of trek.
And guess what?
The storm wasn't even that bad. A lot of rain, but there was no hail, and no 60 mph wind. That's jersey for you. School districts cancel school before it even starts snowing, and naturally our church cancels events in case of rain. Better safe than sorry.
When I had Lexie read the email one would think a teenager would be jumping for joy because it got canceled, but she was disappointed. Some of the youth in the church were also bummed because this would have been their only opportunity to experience trek.
Pioneer trek is for youth ages 14-18 and is done every four years. So if a youth is 15 or 16 they won't be able to experience it as a youth and my heart truly goes out to them. Only because I see what that experience can do for their soul, testimony, and love for the Savior. Hopefully when they're young adults in college, or when they have a family of their own they can experience a pioneer trek.
So with trek being cancelled the leaders created a "trek without the trek." Meaning that all the youth would still have a pioneer activity without actually camping, and walking for miles and miles a day. All the kids gathered at the church wearing their pioneer attire, played simple pioneer games, and had stew for dinner. Even though Lexie didn't get to reenact it again this year she had a good time hanging around her new "trek family", and making the best of "five hour Oregon trail" party! Just as the pioneers did when they trekked from the east all the way to the west!
Besides coming home with a bit of a southern drawl when she returned home last year I could tell that her testimony was strengthened, and that she was spiritually rejuvenated and exhausted at the same time! I noticed a difference in her spirituality. The way she described trek was that of appreciation and love, and I just loved hearing her stories.
I know that Lexie wanted to experience it again this year especially since we watched 17 Miracles the day before, but she will always be grateful for the experience she had last year, and for the memories she made. Ones that she recorded in her journal to remember for all the years to come.
For other trek posts you can read here, and here.