What a great day today. I had the opportunity at Dayton Christian School to talk in two elementary chapels about my hike. The kids were such good listeners and seemed to be interested in my adventure. I shared about the animals that I hope to see like the moose, porcupines, wild ponies, and black bears and the animals I don’t want to see like snakes. I was able to show some pictures of the Appalachian Trail that reflect the variety of landscapes and colors of the 14 states and the 2200 miles of adventure. I shared a map tracing the trail from Springer Mountain, GA to Mount Katahdin, ME.
I also talked about some of the fears that I have in walking the entire trail as a thru-hiker. I shared with them my apprehension of sleeping outside for 120 nights and carrying a 30+ pound backpack for thousands of miles; about the potential thunderstorms and lightning strikes that might visit the trail; about the rattlesnakes and copperheads that can provide a nasty bite on the hiker’s foot. At the same time, I communicated how faithful God is and how sure I am that He will protect me and provide for my needs. Just as Jesus calmed the storm, so He will calm my fears as I trust in Him.
One of the high school students made a funny video to introduce the chapels. The video will be posted very soon on this blog and on YouTube. I cannot say much more, but I fly and fight off obstacles in order to make it to chapel on time. It was so much fun to make and Hannah did an incredible job of editing the film. The elementary students loved it and laughed at all the appropriate times.
I have an opportunity to share in the Dayton Christian High School chapel tomorrow. I look forward to presenting my hike to these young adults. Some of the students have become very interested in my hike and have already started to raise money in support of the project. A couple of young ladies have been selling baked goods to their classmates as a way of supporting my efforts. The high school sponsored a “No Shave November” and the young men of the school (faculty members as well) could pay a fee and then could be free not to cut their whiskers (normally a requirement of the school’s dress code). I love the creativity of high school students and their zeal for life.