Journal entry, grade 12 student – Day after 10-day North Coast Trail, Vancouver Island, May 2009
"I never understood why we went on these wilderness trips, but it was constantly on my mind. How would throwing us out in the woods for 10 days help me prepare myself for the world and give me a good education? On this last trip I realized something one day...
It had been a particularly hard hike that day and I was in a bad mood, depressed, and homesick.I was cold, tired, and hungry. I dropped all my stuff and was just ready to eat and go to bed. But my cooking group was arguing and this made a bad situation even worse.
I was overwhelmed because I still had dishes to clean, a tent to set up, and it was getting dark outside. Somehow I managed it all, and as I was falling asleep, I wished I had my mom and family here. Back in the city my, mom did everything for me and now I was fed up with doing things for everyone else. And then it hit me… Take a Hike put me in my mom’s shoes.
I had to hike for 10 hours that day. When I got to camp I had to worry about cooking for myself and the group, getting shelter from the rain, cleaning, and working out my groups’ problems. My mother works a full-time job, comes home, cleans, cooks, and does everything for me. I did nothing to help her, but instead got into trouble at school, causing her more stress and giving her more stuff to do. The hiking was like working a job and my group was my family.
It all made sense to me. Take a Hike had shown me how hard it was for my mom. And my mom had never said a word, she unconditionally loved me and provided for my every need.
I was speechless. So I did what my mom would have done. I took a deep breath, collected myself and pushed myself. I was more patient. I tried to be as happy and upbeat as I could. I tried everything in my power to remain this way. And I did. I can proudly say I remained like that till the end of the end of the trip (except for one particular moment). No matter how hard it got, I would keep going.
I am now back in the city and I can say Take a Hike changed me forever. I’ve been on three 10-day camping trips and numerous day trips. It took all those trips for me to realize it. But it was a lesson well worth learning. I’m proud to say I am part of Take a Hike for life.