I began my morning by going for a run with a few other junior leaders through Palmer, Alaska, the city we’re currently staying in before heading to Denali tomorrow. While running did remind me of how out of shape I was, I kept telling myself that there was no better place than a city surrounded by picturesque mountains to get my butt kicked. After our run, we were treated to a breakfast of bagels and a variety of spreads. The jalapeÃ±o cheddar bagel was the obvious choice.
When the vans arrived, we headed to anchorage for groceries. My van full of otters (our van name, not real otters) decorated our van window with an erasable Expo marker. In addition to a caricatured otter and some mountains, we also drew a map of Alaska with all of the cities we were to visit in the coming weeks. Our plan is to connect the dots from city to city to track our progress throughout the trip, which I’m greatly excited about.
After the van ride back into Palmer, we separated up into our respective committees to do some work with them. I met with some journalism members to discuss who was writing what and when, and by the time we had everything figured out it was time for our first pool party at the Palmer pool. After a couple of hours of flips, tricks, and other aquatic festivities, we showered up (a rare and seizable opportunity) and headed back to the church.
When dinner ended, I returned to the junior leader room to do some last minute schedule checking and planning for the days ahead. The most prominent thing I’ve noticed about being a junior beader, as opposed to a regular participant, is the amount of responsibility that is bestowed upon you. You are responsible for not only the welfare of your committee, but also the welfare of those in your van. Giving them advice, encouraging them when needed, and reminding them of upcoming deadlines is all part of the job. Although there is much more work required of you as a leader on trip, I’m confident that will make my experience a much more rewarding one.