Often times we get so wrapped up in the where we are going that we forget about how we are getting there.
We make plans for sending our kids to college, we forget about their high school life.
We plan for jobs and adulthood, we forget about friends and living.
We work to complete the requirements for the Eagle Award, we forget about the great camp outs, the times spent with friends, and the many life lessons that are learned.
We get so wrapped up in where we are going, what our goals are that we loose focus on the beauty of the trail that we are traveling on.
This last weekend, we had a shake down back pack trip with the Troop. Nothing to hard or long, 6 miles from one campground to the next, some pretty nice climbs, and some painful down hill stretches, but the hike was nothing to go down in the backpacking hall of fame.
We started out with a goal in mind to check gear, get things tight and fitting right, and then find our way (map and compass) to the next camp site.
With this goal in mind, we set out. After the first half mile, we had made adjustments to gear, repacked two backpacks, tightened up boots, and cross leveled some gear. The new Scouts were doing great, heads down they began to climb the first ridge that would lead us to trails unknown, but in the direction we needed to venture to find our way to the Tollgate campground.
As we crested the first ridge, day light peeked from the tall pine trees. A hard trail, compass check, we were heading in the right direction.
Then no more trail… we missed the Flag Mt. Trail… or did we?
Yep.. turn around and there it was… and climb.
Climbing up the next two miles to the summit of Flag Mountain there she was, in all her beauty, Mt. Hood. A view that if you were to busy huffing and puffing, or too excited by the sight of a cozy downhill slope, you missed it. Clouds parted and there she stood, in all her splendor. I could not help but think about the first sight of the Pioneers as they gazed on the magnificent Mountain. Lewis and Clark as they first saw Mt. Hood as they came through the Gorge. These thoughts took away all the pain of the climb. I snapped a few pictures and grabbed the first two Scouts that came whizzing by ready to launch into the downhill section.
Look!!! Mt. Hood!
“Jerry, we see that mountain everyday.”
Yes.. but not from Flag Mountain we don’t… and then it hit me. We had focused on the destination.. and not the Journey.
We spent to much time worrying about the next camp and not the view of the trail, the mountain, the Rhododendron bushes, the smell of the pine, the rush of the river below, the snap of twigs on the trail… we missed it.
We had focused on the destination and not the Journey, and it made me think, we missed it. Are we missing it elsewhere?
Are the Scouts enjoying their Scouting experience or are they moving so quickly to Eagle that they don’t remember funny stories from summer camps gone by, they don’t have a nickname because they never got caught in a wierd position on a camp out singing in an outhouse or flipping over a log because their pack was to heavy.. or getting chased by racoons.
Are the Scouts learning, or just trying to pass the test?
Are we seeing the forest for the trees?
Are we missing the Journey?
It caused me to pause and appreciate what we have, it was a time to focus on the Journey.
Saturday night in camp, we reflected on the day. I asked about the trek, the moments on the trail. What had the Scouts seen, heard, and remembered from the day?
What did they get out of the Journey? A campsite?
Reflect on your Troops Journey, your personal Journey. Enjoy the Journey, it will make the Destination all that much better.
Have a Great Scouting Day!