One of the long-running themes I have visibly seen or physically felt from the start of the summer as a guide, not only in my own life but in campers as well, is the concept of perseverance – in life and in faith. At the beginning of each week; new faces, new personalities, and new struggles are presented before us as guides. We can choose to grasp on to the easy way out and go into “guide-mode”, shying away from diving deep into our camper’s lives. Or we can persevere, relying on the Creator’s strength for the next few minutes, hours and even days. Knowing full well that He is always working, proving faithful and using the weak, feeble words we may say to bring Him glory.
For campers, Eagle Quest is what they make of it, individually as well as group-wide. Integrity and perseverance play a huge role in their Eagle Quest experience. Without it, we as guides can only challenge them and spur them on, but when they themselves decide to say, “I can do it, I can make it through this next hour of hiking” or whatever it may be, they’ve helped make Eagle Quest what it is and they shape the trip. Concerning faith, many campers come here desiring to know more about God and why they believe the things they believe. Or like some, they come with questions, and lots of them. Either way, perseverance has continually made its round here – whether it be during a dry season or plentiful season in their life. Continuing to persevere in their faith despite the world still moving and despite questions.
Eagle Quest uses the natural, rugged terrain of the Texas hill country to challenge kids daily. We know full well that they won’t forget these experiences they’ve had here. To some, hiking may be more difficult than to others, but the feeling of accomplishment after a long days hike (with high ropes courses and other activities thrown in throughout the day) and being able to visibly see the distance walked, whether by map or by looking across the land here, has never failed with a group. Campers learn more about themselves. They learn that they can push their limits further than they have before and that their capability extends farther than they thought.
Through Bible studies and relationships built, they learn they have a community they can turn to and walk through life together when it gets rough. Ultimately, one of our main goals is that they recognize that Christ is at the head of all things and that He is with them through it all and humbly walked this earth to take the weight of sin upon himself. We also long to see life-change that lasts outside of this camp and that continues throughout the rest of their life.
“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” – James 5:11