Hannah was there, happier than I've ever seen her and full of fun. She is 23 now, married with two kids. They're all going backpacking in Costa Rica at the end of August. Nikki then arrived with parents Kim & Jeanmarie, Venturers all. Nikki is starting her doctoral program at UC in neuroscience. She has more brains than anybody I know; of course, they mostly used to belong to lab rats. Zach arrived with fiancee Rachel. He, too, is in a PhD program. Rachel (the only non-Venturing veteran amongst us) edits craft books for a Cincinnati publisher. Deanne brought Sassafras, who behaved herself very well with all the company. We had regrets from Anna and Brian and from Tom and Kati (and, if I remember correctly, Derek).
We talked, we made a fire, we ate. There's not much more that you need than that. These are people I've been all over the country, in and out of the backcountry, and overseas with. These are also people I've worshiped and worked with. Not only were they all associated with past Venturing/Exploring programs, they've all helped with Conference Scouting Ministry. As I wonder about the fate of UM Scouting Ministry in our Conference and through the General Commission on UM Men, these old friends confirm for me what the ministry means.
Deanne, Sassy, and I had a quiet, sultry night in the cabin. This morning, they returned to E-ville, while I cleaned up and headed to Indy to see a parishioner in the hospital.
Rougher! Tougher! Buffer!