Monday, July 2, 2012

You Always Do the Funnest and Craziest Things

This is what a friend of mine said when I explained to her that I would spend the upcoming extended weekend on Pioneer Trek.  Of course what she originally said was, "What is Pioneer Trek?"  So I gave her a little briefing which consisted of, originally the east coast was settled by those English escaping tyranny.  While some were content to stay there, others headed west either for land, gold, or to escape religious persecution, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aka Mormons were the bulk of that last group.  As we headed west it was under the strain of threats to life, property, and family.  So it was that the trek was made usually in poverty or next to poverty, in less than stellar traveling conditions, and with groups that traveled together known as Handcart Companies.  For more detail on this historical part, read here.

So what I was doing was reenactting this bit of history with the youth from all around this area.  Our church opens this experience up every four years to the youth ages 14-18.  They are then divided into pseudo families for the week, with handpicked "Ma and Pa's".  Adult members of our congregation who, when asked, willingly give up modern comforts and conveniences to teach the youth appreciation and respect for their Pioneer Heritage.  It is a very physically exhausting and emotionally intense weekend.  Both lead to great bonding oppurtunities and huge leaps of growth and maturity, even if temporary, of the youth.

Well Travis and I were asked to be Ma and Pa of a family. We had 12 children who also dressed in their period clothes wearing them for two days at a time, with no bathing, and making their own shelters at night and cooking their meals over a fire. Although now we do it so that no one is starving, freezing to death or generally in grave danger of anything. And we keep a doctor on sight for any health concerns. We then learn skills like: candle making, bull whipping, milking cows, pioneer games, rope making, ice cream making, get the point. And although I had done a Pioneer Trek when I was younger, doing it as an adult was so much more rewarding. Below is the picture diary of my family, the best family of course, and our experiences. 
Waiting to get our family assignments
Building our Handcart
the bag of flour wrapped in a blanket, center,
is our sick baby which someone had to hold the entire time

Getting Clean/Washing Hair 
Our Pioneer Family 2012 - The Fighting Whitings'

1 comment:

Jenny said...

That looks like so much fun!