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Plain and Simple for July 24, 2014
SoVaNow.com / July 23, 2014I went zip lining this past Saturday with a bunch of Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts ranged in age from five to fourteen years-old. I guess that I was there to be the mascot. I was offered the opportunity to do a little zip lining but I deferred. Someone had to take the photographs.
The course was different from what I imagined. I thought that you would spend most of your time climbing up to a platform and zip lining down. That was certainly not the case. We went into this huge forested area and there were different climbing things all over the place. Some of them were only about eight feet off the ground while the very highest up were well over forty or fifty feet up. There were different rope bridges that you had to maneuver across to reach your destination between the trees and cable lines to cross. In other words, there were some devilish obstacle courses to overcome. In all there were six levels of courses and each level had two different courses.
Before you could even get on one of the courses, you had to be geared up. That gearing up process was much like getting ready to climb Mount Everest. Each person has a safety harness and then we had to hear instruction on how to snap the harness in on each obstacle. After that we underwent training on a short training run. Finally, it was off to the first course.
I was thoroughly trained and ready to take pictures. It was interesting and fun to watch the girls stumble through the first course. After the first course, though, they gained confidence and quickly began to learn how to maneuver through the more difficult obstacles. Even the smallest girls were whizzing along. What was perhaps most instructive was how protective the older girls were of the younger girls. They made sure that they knew what was going on and that they had what they needed. When they made progress, the older girls were just as happy as when they made progress.
By the time the girls had gone through several courses, they all were like pros on the course. But it was certainly a workout. All of them were dead tired by the time we quit for the day. Even I was tired out from all the picture taking. The girls noted that their hands in particular had taken quite a beating; most of them were swollen. They were happy to go for pizza and Coke. I had fun watching the girls gain confidence and work together. Surely the church can learn something from this. When we challenge kids, they often come through and have fun at the same time. Next time I might even get a little zip lining. Someone else can take the pictures.
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