Cathy Goes Backpacking: Part II
Synopsis of Part 1: After her first experience as a “Leader of the Day” on her first Explore backpacking trip, Cathy felt like she did a poor job of route-finding–getting the group lost more than once. To top it off, the one time she read the map correctly and knew the correct route to take, she didn’t speak up. After a long day of hard hiking, getting lost and discouragement, her team is about to give Cathy feedback about her performance as a leader. She expects the worst.
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After supper, we student leaders were reviewed by the followers–the rest of our team. After having the time to sit and stew in my own disappointment for a few hours, I was sure I would be torn apart by angry team members who would demand to know why I had gotten them lost so many times in one day. How incompetent can a person be? How could I even justify being a part of a team that I had let down so badly?
What did I even bring to this team?
Instead of criticism, though, I heard encouraging words from a community that had seen my insecurity and understood it. The focus of the conversation was not on the physical hiking component of the day, or on my lack of orienteering skills, but on how I and my partner had felt and expressed ourselves in relationship to the group.
The only true criticism I heard was that I needed to have more confidence in myself and my abilities. They told me that just because I was younger, or because I didn’t have any experience, or because others had more experience, that didn’t mean that I was any less important to the team.
Whether they knew it or not, these words were exactly what I needed to hear.
I have heard a lot about the ‘body of Christ’, but being in the Body isn’t all about how a diverse group of people can work together to efficiently accomplish a goal.
It’s also about living in a community that is based off of the love of God, rather than the love of humanity. This is a concept I’ve struggled with and learned about in this story and in many other stories about my time at Bighorn. It’s a concept that I’ll definitely be learning about for the rest of the year—and the rest of my life.
Cathy is a first year explore student from Alberta. She loves drawing, has a knack for telling vivid stories, and thinks that Zelda is the greatest princess of all time.