What follows the Adventure?
I have a rare window into Hante Adventures. As a point person for these off-campus adventures, I’m frequently the person meeting them with resupply, shuttling around vans, or even making sure they have clean clothes waiting for them back at camp. This summer, I’ve had the delight of seeing Hante Rocks and Rivers twice, once after their canoeing section and once in Linville Gorge after their rock climbing section.
There’s enough literature about journeys, traveling to learn about yourself or working through challenges on the trail, that many of us are familiar with the Hero’s Journey. That is, we’ve heard narratives about leaving home and growing into a better version of yourself, then returning with your gained wisdom and experience. As a camper at Eagle’s Nest, Hante Adventures provided me with this very opportunity to step out and learn, and to bring my experiences back to my home community.
Indeed, after my first Hante, I became involved with Outdoor Programs in high school. From there, I took my received my Wilderness First Responder certification as part of another Eagle’s Nest Hante and started working for Outdoor Programs at my university. Little did I know that Outdoor Education would become part of my undergraduate degree, and that I would lead trips in Death Valley, Big Sur, and Joshua Tree National Park. And if you told me, the girl from Florida, that I would willingly choose to winter in Maine, camp on a glacier in Patagonia, or learn how to use an ice axe in the Tetons, I wouldn’t have believed a word of it.
The first journey makes room for the next; the first set of skills paves the way for the second. On Hante Rocks and Rivers, participants are exposed to different worlds: rock climbing, trekking, and white water canoeing, all while navigating group responsibility. I love meeting up with Hantes in the field, or working with leaders planning their trips. I love being a resource for all the wonderful adventures we have here at camp, and getting a chance to see our fabulous leaders create meaningful experiences for campers. For some people, the Hante itself is the journey, or the challenge. From my perspective, it’s what comes next, how we choose to integrate our new skills and confidence into front country living. Hante Rocks and Rivers will return tomorrow, tired, dirty, and full of tales.
Their presence at camp, albeit brief, will have an impact, as they’re returning having conquered the unknown. It doesn’t matter how hard their climbs were or if a canoe flipped, or even how wet their sleeping bags got the first time it rained. What matters is simple: they stepped out and learned. While they’ll have time to rest and tidy up, that learning will never fade away.
Mary Krome, Wilderness Logistics Coordinator