Tomorrow begins our church youth pioneer trek. This is a Mormon tradition of re-creating the pioneer experience of going into the wilderness with just a minimum of worldly goods, dressed in long dresses and bonnets, or britches and suspenders, pushing a rickety handcart or walking. The idea is for the teenagers to gain spiritual and physical strength by sacrificing their own comfort and conveniences, and to bond with other teens and adults as they work together for a common goal. (i.e: surviving a few days without iPads, cellphones or video games.) It's awesome! There are also lots of trail activities and workshops for the kids and their 'families'. They didn't do this when I was growing up, I'm sure if they had, I probably would have found a way to wriggle out of it. Although I descend from Pioneer Stock, I'm not exactly a hardy outdoorswoman. But I think it's a wonderful program. When we were in California, my bluegrass band entertained at several Treks. Fortunately, we always met the trekkers at the end of the trail, and didn't actually have to plod along in the dust and rocks ourselves. This year, it looks like I have the same deal. I've been asked to bring my various instruments to the end of the trail Friday night, and do a little playing and demonstrating traditional music. I thought it would be fun to do a little sing-along of some typical folk songs of the era, mixed in with some Mormon pioneer songs, so I put together a little booklet of a dozen songs we might sing.
Bruce will be participating in the entire trek. He is called a 'Trail Walker'. He looks adorable in his straw hat and baggy khaki pants. He's got all of his gear ready, and is looking forward to immersing himself in the pioneer experience. Because I have to work, I was only able to participate at the tail end, but I'm excited about it too. I'll stop by later in the weekend and post my pictures of the experience.