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Explore Anyway

As a young girl, I was a part of my church youth group called Pathfinders. Being a part of the Pathfinders allowed the youth to earn badges and merits for accomplishing goals and learning new skills. I remember working on a badge for nature. I thought it would be easy since I had a love for the outdoors.

One Sunday morning, I arrived at the site for one of our adventure tours. This was a hike into a wooded area that had sparse and densely packed trees, a stream and rocks of various sizes.

The event was my first-time hiking. I quickly realized I wasn’t dressed for the occasion. I had on a long skirt with flat shoes. It appeared that everyone else had on pants and comfortable shoes. Honestly, I am sure I didn’t own many pairs of pants, but I think I could have found some for this occasion.

As we trekked through the woods, the leaders taught us how to mark the trails, how to identify poisonous and edible plants and how to check for clean water. It was an amazing day.

I didn’t have the proper clothes or gear to hike. I was filled with a paralyzing fear of getting lost. Despite those barriers, I wanted to explore the forest anyway. I discovered turpentine in the pine bark. I was in awe of the lessons about smooth rocks and rugged rocks. My day was great because I decided to explore despite not having a sense of direction or proper clothing.

I realized what I really needed for the journey was trust. I had to trust my guide to lead to places where wearing a skirt wouldn’t place me in danger. Then I had to trust myself. I had to trust that if I looked past fear and stayed focused that I could remember how to stay safe.

I made it out safely with additional knowledge about nature. That was big win for a young girl determined to earned a nature badge for display on Pathfinder uniform.

Is there a place you’ve always wanted to explore? Are there new endeavors you want to try?

Start planning today.

Go ahead.

Explore anyway!

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