This last week was Pioneer Day, so today we had some people in our ward talk about what has come to be known as Trek. I kind of wished they wouldn't just call it that, because as someone who has never experienced it, I think something that gives a little better idea of what it's all about would be nice. At least "the Trek." But maybe they only call it Trek because there's more than one of them, and "the Trek" indicates that it's the be-all end-all of treks. Maybe Pioneer Trek. Yeah, that could work.
We were able to deduce what it was without too much thinking, because we'd heard about it before, and in fact Alice's parents are on a mission where they're running pioneer trek experiences for youth. They didn't start doing them until after our time and oh my goodness, I am so grateful. When we were pre-teens we thought camping was awesome and we were in Girl Scouts and stuff, but as we got to be teenagers, it lost a lot of its charm. And of course, we learned about the Mormon pioneers every July, so we knew about how hard it was for them to walk across the plains from Illinois to Utah. And we always talked about how that's exactly the kind of trial that I don't think I could live through.
And now, the thing to do is to have all the youth go on a Trek to relive the experience. I mean, it does sound like a neat experience, and I'm all about learning stuff. I am not, however, all about pulling all of my belongings uphill in a handcart. Sleeping under the stars might be nice, though.
Anyway, we had some people give talks in sacrament meeting about the experience, and it sounds pretty involved, and like they want to make sure the kids learn all the historical details. They wanted the kids to understand how hard it was to bring your entire family, so each of the groups got a baby doll to take with them. They wanted the kids to know about how the Mormon Battalion affected everything, so they had one of the leaders come and pretend to be from the US government saying, "Okay, we're taking all the men to fight in this war," so the girls had to push the handcarts all by themselves when the boys all went to train on how to march in formation and stuff. The speaker, who was one the adult leaders, said they all hated to leave the girls to do all the work themselves, so they felt bad (imagine the real Mormon Battalion, leaving their families like that), but as they left, all the young women sang, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." Awwww. (Of course, this brings up the question of how did they know that song? It's not exactly one that gets sung a lot, and they weren't allowed to have their phones to pull up the lyrics...)
The really cool part about is that they took the Mormon Battalion team to a spot where they could see all the women from their "families" pulling the carts all by themselves, and when the boys saw it, they asked if they could go help them. If I had been in their shoes, I would have just been glad that I got a break from pulling. We have some really good kids in our stake, wow. The leaders said no, they couldn't go help, so instead they encouraged the girls by singing Primary songs. What a sweet bunch of kids, man.
Today I'm thankful for getting to hear cool stories about the Pioneer Trek, not having to go on the trek myself, having much better success with our pancake adventures this time around, getting to read more Harry Potter (somehow whenever we read Order of the Phoenix, we feel like we're in a similar situation to Harry, although admittedly without the threat of evil wizards (that we know of?)), and having such lovely young people in our stake.