July 4 – August 12, 2013 – NPA’s first year of wilderness adventure for at-risk teens. 66.8 miles hiked by participants. Two attempts at Mount Shavano – 14,229′. Being our first year, it was decided to keep the numbers low and manageable as we put to test this model of ministry. We wanted to offer the best and safest experience to these young people possible without treating them as our trail “guinea pigs”.
Our program staff was made up of myself, 4 veterans of the trail and 1 newbie. We all had a learning curve to pass as we applied concepts, dynamics, philosophy, and practice with real lives and varied personalities. Success! We saw great results in the lives of our guests on the trail as well as the staff itself.
We will take this year’s experiences and make improvements and adjustments as we have already begun working for 2014’s season. As part of next year’s plans, 5 of our program staff spent another 12 days hiking segments of the Colorado Trail. This trip was designed to be a survey trip and a time of vision casting as a team for the future of NPA.
This survey trip was originally planned to be a thru-hike attempt of the CT (486 miles) in 15 days. Let me just say this, everything looks flat and easy on a piece of paper. We were unable to complete the entire trail because of weather and physical challenges that ate away our small window for completing this monumental challenge. A shortage of finances later kept us from being able to stay out the full 15 days with the necessary support. But God used the time and exposure that we enjoyed, to give us a clearer direction and a greater passion for the future of New Path Adventures.
In all, 175.4 miles (10 Segments) and 14 miles of side trips were realized. We are pretty confident that we have chosen the right area of the CT for NPA’s activities and will now be working to find a base camp for this ministry near our chosen segments. Our staff desires to pick up the segments that we were not able to backpack this year and will include those in future plans for staff training/development.
I would like to share 2 moments on the trail from this survey trip that illustrate the heart and passion of this young staff for this ministry model:
1) segment 6 – a 32.9 mile segment completed by the survey team in 1 day (4:30am – 10:00pm) with the last 1o miles in the dark and pouring rain.
2) 27 hours of backpacking in rain,sleet, drizzle or thick cloud banks, always wet; all without a complaint or ever hearing the word “quit”. We used the words “crazy & insane” quite a bit, but never a negative word.
None of this could have been realized without a great support crew that included family members, Elevare International, Grimm Construction, TheMET, and many faithful individual supporters and church supporters.
Pray with us as we work hard to realize the goals and growth for this ministry that we have adopted as a result of this first year of ministry and our recently concluded survey trip.
If you are interested in partnering with us to help extend NPA’s reach and impact, feel free to contact us with any questions or comments that you might have. We trust that you have found a new path in your life that has led you to a restored and personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
You can view the rest of our pictures from this year on our Facebook page or by CLICKING HERE.