STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 04/17/2014

A Break for Refreshment, Fellowship and Hard Work

By Nora Kirkham '16

Just six hours away from the stacks of textbooks and coffee-stained midterms are upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains, where many of Gordon’s La Vida expeditions take place. For the past three years, La Vida has drawn together campus volunteers—many of them alumni of the summer expeditions or of Gordon’s W.I.L.D. semester—for a weekend of service at the program’s base camp. I was one of 13 volunteers this past October, and I couldn’t have spent quad break weekend in a better way.

Working alongside park rangers in the Adirondacks, we tackled projects ranging from building and clearing trails on Hurricane Mountain to digging privy holes at campsites on Pollywog Pond. Volunteers hiked and canoed to work sites, and the last day of the trip was spent hiking the breathtaking Phelps Mountain in the High Peaks region.

In one short trip, I was able to experience the simple pleasures of community and the vastness of God’s creation. After weeks of running through the cycle of coursework and commitments, this was a breath of fresh air. While at times it was hard work, we not only learned new skills, but gained new friendships grounded in a common purpose: practicing environmental stewardship and experiencing fellowship rooted in a specific place.