Our ROCK (Radical Ohana Camping Kickoff) adventure started on the 8th of February. As our leaders didn’t tell us a lot about the trip it was hard for us to know what to pack. We got some equipment and food (one potato, one apple, half a can of chicken, some trail mix and nine liters of water per person) from our leaders that we had to carry in our backpacks. We realized that we will not be eating a lot during our trip and that we will be physically active. We were looking forward to this trip because this gave us the opportunity to get to know each other in a different way and to grow in ourselves. On our first day we jumped into the truck and drove to the Dillingham Airfield, where our hike started. Along the way to our first camping spot we had to do some challenges. First we had to measure how many steps one-hundred meters are so that we can find hidden supply packages along the way. At the same time we were tied together with a rope because we are a team and have to learn how to work together. The person in the front was the leader and two people were counting the steps. The first package that we found was our breakfast. We were so happy when we could find it because what would we do without breakfast? It was a steep hike but because we were so focused on counting our steps the time flew by and we reached the second stop sweaty and tired. Sadly we didn’t find the second package and had to keep going as we wanted to reach our camping spot before the sun sets. The third package was hidden really well but Isak found it. It was toilet paper and coffee. Everyone was stoked and motivated to keep going. We worked well as a team and it was nice to see that we all encouraged each other. Our backs were sore and our energy slowly decreased as we tried to find the last package without success. We were frustrated as it was the most important one – a fire starter kit. Luckily we could trade our toilet paper and coffee for the fire starter kit. Finally, after some hours of hiking, just before sunset, we made it safely to our camping place. We set up our camp with two tarps and made a fire where we talked story.

the view from our first camping spot The view from our first camping spot

Early the next morning we could have some time with God while looking at a beautiful view over the mountains and the ocean. God’s creation is amazing, isn’t it? After we tore down our tent and walked for two hours we found another amazing place to have lunch together. We were allowed to eat our apple and half of the chicken can. After a wonderful nap we walked on and our leaders gave us another challenge, called “The Dead Man’s Carry”. Isak had to pretend that he is unconscious and Isabel that she had a broken leg. As our bags were about fifteen kilograms, we came up with the solution that someone had to carry Isak, someone had to carry Isabel and the other four of us had to carry two of the backpacks. It was crazy heavy and tiring as we didn’t know how far we had to go. After about one kilometer we finally made it to our second camping place and were released from the pain.

taking a nap after lunch Taking a nap after lunch

The moment we got there our leaders got really serious and told us that adventure begins when things go wrong. They told us that another leader (Daniel) was supposed to be waiting for us as a surprise but his truck had gotten stuck with two of the wheels completely off the road. We saw that it was an emergency and Isak, Lucy and all the men went to help him. Our leaders had found a bird researcher that was willing to drive us to where Daniel was stuck with the truck. After about forty minutes of driving, the road got too bad for the researcher to drive with his truck. So Isak, Lucy and all the men set out on foot to find the truck. Phone reception was very dodgy and they had thus far only been able to get the GPS coordinates of where the truck was stuck from Daniel. After about six kilometers of walking up and down the mountain road, they finally met up with Daniel who had been running back to the main road for forty-five minutes. Together they set out towards the truck. They had to walk, and sometimes run, throughout the entire ordeal as they were trying to make it back to camp before sunset. After another hour of walking they got to where the truck was stuck. And to their surprise it was on the edge of a cliff with two tires hanging off the side! The only thing that had kept it from rolling down the cliff was a tree that the truck had slid up against. The situation was dire and they started talking about what they could do if they would not get the truck out. They decided that they had to try at least once before throwing in the towel and calling a towing company. After brainstorming and going over the equipment they had in the truck, they decided to tie a slackline to the front and pull it as tight as possible. Kevin then got in the truck and the four others stood on the side-steps of the truck on the side that was still on the road. To their surprise the added weight, combined with the slackline, gave the two wheels that were still on the road enough traction to pull the truck back onto the road. It was a moment of pure relief as they saw the truck standing with all four wheels on the trail. All of them got back in the truck and made it to camp just as the sun slipped below the mountain ridge above our camp.

In the meantime the rest of the girls had to set up camp and make the food. In the beginning of the trip our leaders had given us two chickens that were alive. We carried them with us the whole time and on this evening we had to kill the chickens. We knew that this moment would come. Jayde and I volunteered to kill the chickens as I wanted to challenge myself to do things I have never done before. This was a great opportunity to challenge myself. I had a moment of doubt right before I killed the chicken but the girls encouraged me to do it. I wanted to kill it by breaking the chicken’s neck. Our leaders didn’t really give us advice so I swang it up in the air and then whipped it down. As it was still moving after the first try I had to swing it again but this time it was a little to hard and the chicken’s head came off. I was shocked and tried to hold the body on the ground as it was still moving from the nerves. What a moment! What a challenge. It was a crazy experience and I am glad I don’t have to do this again. After we took all the guts out and pulled out the feathers we started cooking it. At this time the rest of our team made it safely back, just in time for the sunset. We were so happy that they could save Daniel and the truck. What a crazy day full of adventures, intensive moments and challenges.

junia and jayde with the dead chickens Junia and Jayde with the dead chickens (photo: Logan Jacobs)

“Six am, It’s time to wake up, you have ten minutes to get ready and put on some workout clothes.” This is how our next day started. Waking up fast, doing ten pushups and running up a little hill was already exhausting enough for us. It felt like the worst thing and then the leaders announced that this day will be a bootcamp. We had two teams of four people. The first game we played was an egg hunt. We loved this game as we were hunting for our breakfast and we wanted to get as many eggs as possible. Our team found two eggs per-person which was our whole breakfast for the day. As the day went on we had to keep a fire burning for the whole day, remember a rhyme while running for four kilometers to get a package, detangle our group while tied to ropes and search for our lunch in the woods. After a short lunch break we shot cans with an airsoft gun, did an exercise with math, played a memory game in a more difficult way and did some balance games. When the bootcamp was over we were exhausted and ready for bed at three pm. Our leaders were merciful and gave us three hours to debrief the ROCK trip and reflect on what had happened. That was amazing as Isak and I used the whole time to think about what we have learned, where we want to improve, what our thoughts are and simply enjoyed being together. When our time was over we headed back to our camp and got a big surprise from our leaders. They had made the fire, set the table, decorated it and cooked us burgers. This was the best moment and we were so happy. This is how our last evening ended and we slept with yummy food on our tummies.

In our last night it rained for the first time on the whole trip. Not everyone stayed completely dry but the next day was one of the warmest and nicest days since we are here on Oahu. We cleaned up everything and started heading down the mountain. However, our leaders had another challenge waiting for us. Some of the team had to be blind, some were not allowed to talk and the rest were leading the group on the way down without touching anybody. There was one exercise where only one person could talk and see, one person wasn’t allowed to speak and the rest of us were blind. It was really hard keeping everyone on the road. After some hundreds of meters we were released and had the best conversations while walking down. When we reached the bottom we quickly walked to the beach and, for the first time in four days, we could wash ourselves. It was an incredible feeling. What a great ending with lots of fun and joy.

our LTP team Our LTP team (photo: Logan Jacobs)

Looking back on our ROCK trip we have grown so much as a team. We have been challenged physically, mentally and spiritually. We were pushed out of our comfort zones and had an amazing time together. Getting to know each other in a different way helps us with trusting each other more and to be more open. It was totally worth it and we are looking forward to our next and last adventure in LTP, called SALT, which is coming up on the 28th of February.