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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:19 pm
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Location: Carolina Conference, Southern Union Conference, NAD
It seems strange that most of my stories and experiences come from the companion unit. How ironic that the two biggest experiences and lessons should come first from being a companion myself and then, as a companion counselor. This story is the second experience.

My companion unit was going on its own camp out. We had decided to do a biking trip on the New River Trail in Virginia. I was to lead the group Sabbath afternoon as we road our bikes back to the campsite, while others were spaced throughout the group (Including at least one or two other pack leaders). Though we originally thought that the distance that we would be traveling would be around 17 miles, it turned out to be in the upper twenties or even the low thirties. I started out going at an extremely quick pace knowing that it would take us quite a while to finish the ride. I kept the same pace up for over an hour before stopping to wait for people to catch up. After waiting at least 30 minutes, I began riding back toward my unit. After about 10 minutes of riding, I saw an adult from our group riding towards me. We stopped and I figured out that he was a little ways ahead of the main group. We went back to where I had stopped in the first place. After another 15 minutes, at least, I told the adult that I wanted to continue on towards the camp again after having waited quite a while and that I would be going at a slower pace. He opted to wait longer for the rest of the group. I continued farther until a staff member called me on my cell phone and told me that I needed to wait at a check point and stop anyone else from my group from going farther. I had to turn around and go back to the last checkpoint so that I could stop anyone from our group. I was able to get people stopped at the checkpoint only to learn that we were missing three people. I had to continue back up the trail to see if I could find the stragglers. After almost a half hour of hard riding, I finally found the three people and notified the staff member that was picking people up to come and get us. As it turned out. As I was going to find the missing people I passed a friendly group of older cyclists. That evening I found out that the last person in that friendly group was struck by a boulder and killed just beyond where I had turned around to stop people at the check point. It is possible that I could have been the one riding beneath that boulder and killed or severely injured.

I was very fortunate to have to turn back to stop people and then go searching for the lost. Had that not happened, I might have been killed on the trail. I have always thought that the worst thing that could happen on a pathfinder event is for somebody to get lost. I never thought that by having to search for the lost, I kept my life. So I have indeed been blessed by the worst event.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:34 am
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Location: Upper Columbia Conference!
Wow, that is tragic. :(

Praise God he protected you, and the rest of your pathfinder group. If we could only know how often God has stepped in and kept us safe.

Going to the North Pacific Union Camporee last fall we had a miracle. My dad was driving my club's old cookshack. Coming over a mountain pass, the bus was behind, and all the kids were having lots of fun. We noticed the pathfinder cookshack starting to fishtail. It didn’t improve, and soon was jerking around the sturdy F250 ford. The wheels of the trail seemed to bounce up in the air from side to side. Of course, all the kids started praying. My dad was able to accelerate miraculously away from disaster. The bus driver said afterwards he had never seen a trailer fishtail that bad and recover. The way we had hurriedly packed it unevenly that morning. We were able to repack and it was fine the rest of the trip. I was very thankful that my dad was safe, and our camping gear and food wasn’t all over the highway.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:19 pm
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Location: Carolina Conference, Southern Union Conference, NAD
That is amazing. I'm glad everything was ok. Always pack the trailer carefully. I have experienced the end result of a trailer that wasn't packed so well. Now, I almost always pack the trailer "my way." I was instructed on how to do it once. Now we never have problems because I have passed on the "trailer packing knowledge" to others (Now I don't always have to pack the trailer myself.).

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"Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.' " John 13:8b


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