God has used the wilderness throughout all of history to tune up and shape leadership skills for his grand purposes in the world. One of the most straightforward texts in the Bible that illustrates the type of development a person can experience by spending regular time in the wilderness is 1 Samuel 17:34-37. We often […]
Do we love adventure for what we get out of it, or do we love it because it bends us more toward dependency on God? Leading others in the wilderness with attention to risk management requires hard skills to protect your group, but even more importantly, it demands having a shepherd-like heart.
Outdoor leaders are life-long learners who engage in a variety of wilderness experiences where they are pushed to be efficient in the midst of repeated realms of exposure.
The wilderness is just dripping with opportunities to learn how to be a rapid decision maker. I have a half-baked formula for how to develop rapid decision making skills. It’s a combination between 1) experiences, 2) efficiency, and 3) exposure.
This had been one epic trip so far. The group of high school kids were loving life as we had traveled deep into the heart of the Weminuche Wilderness area of southern Colorado. We camped that night high on a ledge in Snowslide Basin and after a great dinner and stories around the stove, we went to bed for a cozy night’s sleep. Yet unbeknownst to us, a crisis was foreboding.
It was one of the first backpacking trips I ever guided. We were halfway into our first day, the group was doing well as we plodded up some moderately steep terrain. I was in the back of the group, having some great conversation with a kid, trying to take our minds off of the physical challenge, when all of a sudden things turned south
As backcountry enthusiasts, guides, and spiritual leaders not only are we called to hone our awareness of outdoor dangers, but we are also in a position to help people learn lessons about spiritual realities from the wilderness terrain.
Talk about a crucial lesson in outdoor leadership skills. Our casual approach and over-confidence for a benign sounding excursion combined to get us into real trouble. Lesson learned. Pride swallowed.