Like no one ever was!! (Pokemon anyone?)
This weekend I attended LeaderQUEST! Don’t know what that is? Neither did I! I received a letter in my mail box about two weeks ago informing me I was selected to attend LeaderQUEST in an effort to better my leadership skills as well as meet current or future leaders. I was skeptical at first. I had already went home once, thus missing a weekend to hang out with my friends, but then Zelda (she has a blog on here as well) told me it would be great if someone from MPB could attend. I have this issue, if someone asks me to do something for our group here on campus, I’m more than likely going to say yes. Then again that’s not really an issue so much as I’m too polite? Whatever the case, I decided I would do it, no harm in bettering my skills as a leader, and I love going to Four Mounds in Iowa. So I turned in my application and what not and waited. I was told a few days later (last week Wednesday) that I had in fact been selected to attend. The email informed us we would be CAMPING at the Mississippi Palisades and that they would provide us with tents and sleeping bags.
I don’t camp. I have never set up a tent in my life. I have never slept on the ground outside. And short of catching things on fire, I have never made a good fire without some help from an adult or starter fluid (or whatever its called!). I was also told we wouldn’t need “unnecessary electronics like laptops or ipads.”
Those are not unnecessary (yes, they really are, but look at the day and age we live in!). Frankly I love my internet and my computer. They are my babies and they pretty much come everywhere with me. (I decided not to bring it, it stayed with my roommate). So on friday I packed up my things and my pillows and a small cover (how cold can it get?).
So we went.
It took about two hours? to get there, I don’t remember, however when we did get there, Bobby, our retreat leaders tells us, “Tents are in the back, there’s some wood and some matches, you need those tents up and a fire before it gets dark.” (It was 6 in the evening, do you know how light its not?) Our group of five, Charlie, Adrielle, Victor, Cody, and I, begin to set up the tents and the fires. None of us have done this before, so needless to say it took quite a while. It was dark… we didn’t have a fire or tents up. Finally after we get one tent up , the other one went pretty quickly, thankfully. However, the fire wasn’t cooperating with us so we tried many different approaches. This includes using an entire notebook, cooking spray, and cardboard, and NOTHING WORKED. Finally A.J. (different group) gave us a hot log in which to get our fire started with. It took a while, but when we got that fire started, oh it burned!
After our success, we ate dinner. Nothing fancy, it was the woods after all, hot dogs, doritos and S’mores, it was pretty awesome. We decided to play card games so our group of twelve sat down on a picnic table and we played spoons. Except without the spoons. We call it knives, we’re pretty hardcore. I made it to the top five before I lost! Michelle (from the other group) ended up winning, congrats to her for psyching out Cody! We then played “Gomsha” (?) I don’t even know if that’s what its called, but it was pretty fun. Its like chanting and whatnot and then everyone starts saying different things, I’m unsure how to explain it, Bobby introduced us to it. Soon after that, we had to go to sleep for making too much noise. =P
We grabbed our sleeping bags and headed on over to our tents. Surprise, surprise, it was freaking cold! I woke up AT LEAST twenty times throughout the night cause my nose was so cold! I zipped up my sleeping bag all the way and scooted down to the bottom, oh it was freezing!!
When we woke up we had to cook breakfast. A nice way of putting it, we failed. The pancakes were burnt, cause the pans were lame, however the cereal and the sausages were awesome!! So that happened and then we were told we would be performing our next task for the retreat. This required we walk up a trail blind with only our group to lead us. Three of us were “blind” while the other two had to navigate us up the trail. It was hard, especially with the other group not far behind us! We made it up without too much injury (it was bumpy). The next part of the task was to have the other part of the group blinded and then walk again and look for sunglasses. (We found none.)
Eventually we made it to the beginning of the Mississippi Palisades and we decided to trick Tyrrell (retreat leader) into think we got lost. So we called him and told him we were by a river. Victor screamed out “Adrielle don’t jump in!” Tyrrell quickly replied, “Okay first of all NO ONE goes into the water!!” Then we saw the other group and got them in on it as well and we joked as if they were on the other side of the river. Maybe it one of those “you had to be there” moments. It was pretty funny.
Next we went to the look out points, and it was BEAUTIFUL! I didn’t take any pictures (unnecessary electronics) but Michelle did and if she posts any on facebook, I will share!
Then we headed the south part of the Mississippi Palisades and began hiking. It was pretty intense, I felt like the fat rhino at the end of jumanji. Yeah it was pretty bad, but I did it! I was very proud of myself =P
We headed back for lunch (sandwiches) then after wards we headed to Four Mounds in Debuque, Iowa. We did rock climbing! (I didn’t my wrists are horrible!) Funny story, A.J. decided to complete the extreme challenge (something Cody and Bobby made up on the spot) and rock climb blindfolded. It was pretty epic. The best line of the entire weekend would have to be when A.J. told Bobby, “Bobby! Give me something to grab onto!” Epic.
Then we ran around looking for stuff around Four Mounds, I forget what it was called, but we won because we were awesome with a map… and I was set on winning (I’m incredibly competitive!). Then we did the “low ropes” which is just tasks we need to figure out in order to move on. They had to discuss and try and figure our what to do (Bobby, A.J., Tyrrell, and I had done it before) so we stepped back and everyone else figured it our fairly quickly.
We went to dinner after at Pizza Ranch (amazing buffet and caramel pizza) then we headed back to camp. We got back and played the onion game. You sit in a circle and someone asks a question, each question gets deeper and deeper. The questions were pretty intense and I feel as a group we are definitely A LOT closer than I thought we would be. We went to sleep soon after. That night was not very cold at all and I slept well!
The next morning we woke up fairly early and ate breakfast (successfully) pancakes and all! We went to the lookout one final time and then discussed the overall retreat. I gained a lot from it I think. New experiences are always a good thing and getting to know new people is amazing. Especially on the level we all got to know one another. It was a great experience and I would definitely would do it again, it was amazing! We headed home soon after and then I was back at campus. A shower was needed then I slept for four hours cause the ground is not a very good place to sleep.
I honestly loved OSA and anything that involves being involved!
P.S. Not all my blogs will be this long!
Posted on September 19th, 2011 by Liz
Filed under: Elizabeth Perez