Being the Change
This semester the Explore 2 program had the privilege of heading to California on an extended trip in the rugged desert of Death Valley National Park. The park included a wide variety of terrain and climates – from dried up lake beds to snow covered mountain tops, to dense coniferous forests and winding canyons. Through it all we witnessed the incredible handiwork of our Creator, not to mention the spectacular night-sky view.
The trip also gave us various opportunities to step up in our leadership. One of these leadership opportunities included the preparation and enactment of our final expedition from the lowest point in the park, Badwater Basin, to the highest point in the park, Telescope Peak – an elevation gain of approximately 11, 300 feet.
The trip leaders had chosen the route but everything else was left in our hands. From the start of our final expedition planning no one really jumped up to provide leadership and direction for the group. This led to mass disorganization. The lack of organization and structure quickly became a source of irritation to me, but instead of doing something about it I settled for apathy. I expressed my frustrations to one of my team members who then took it upon himself to speak before the group to the situation at hand – pointing out that the instructors were not going to provide leadership for us and that it was up to us to make things happen. This boldness inspired me and encouraged me to be the change that I want to see. This principle and challenge will go with me wherever I go, whether I am amidst a group of peers, friends, co-workers, or within my family.
Matt is a second year student with Explore this year. He is from the Toronto area of Ontario, has worked carpentry with his three brothers over the summers, and consistently surprises his teammates with his humor!