Elementary Girls Backpacking Trip

Second, third, and fifth-grade girls backpacking?! Yes! UMA's elementary girls actually love going on backpacking trips with us! They are awesome helpers at the campsite, love playing in the creek, and are great at encouraging their friends through tough spots! But my favorite thing about these trips is getting to know the girls better and watching them individually grow through the challenges we face together as a group. 

In the Fall, the girls had backpacked to the exact same campsite. The hike in the Fall was extremely challenging to one of our girls in particular who had never hiked before, so when she told me she wanted to go backpacking with us again I wanted her to try the same hike knowing that she's successfully completed it once. On our initial trip, she would ask for frequent breaks while hiking, scream at the sight of a rock or root in her path, and refuse to carry her pack. Her leaders were very patient with her while also recognizing that she had the ability to do more than she thought she could do. Their patience and loving encouragement may not have seemed to produce fruit in the Fall but the trip this past weekend proved that that's exactly what she needed to succeed! I had the opportunity to be by her side again as we hiked and while there was still fear, she didn't let it overcome her! She trotted right through the streams and hopped over the roots with a smile on her face, she carried her own backpack, and even encouraged her friends along the way! She KNEW she could do it, just needed some encouraging reminders ... but then again, who doesn't?!

Elementary group leader,


Whitney Delaney