By Amelia Luke, 2015 ALP Participant
The Adirondack Leadership Program opened my eyes to many things. It opened my eyes to see God and his creation, myself, and the greatness in other people around me. In the months following my trip, I have viewed the world in a different light and I am a better person because of it. Throughout the course of my journey with La Vida, my relationship with God grew to new levels. Being in such a beautiful environment everyday gives you a chance to see God’s work and really appreciate it. More than once a day my breath was taken away and I was just so amazed at the masterpiece that was in front of me. It’s something that we take for granted everyday, but during those ten days, I didn’t take it for granted. Through the beauty that surrounded me, I grew closer to God. Although it has been months since I have seen the spectacular mountain views that allowed me to deepen my relationship with Christ, the mornings when I see a beautiful sunrise help me to remember to keep God close.
I also learned many things about myself. Most importantly, I learned I am more capable than I think I am. One of the most powerful memories I have of this is when my group climbed the rock face on Owls Head Mountain. I was doing a difficult climb and I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it up. Getting to the top was the best feeling in the world, I was so proud of myself and it set the tone for the rest of the trip for me. Every day was long and hard and there were times when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to take another step but everyone in the group felt like that at some point. No one was getting left behind because we supported one another to keep pushing even when things got tough. At the end of the day, when my group was sitting around laughing and reflecting on the day, I knew that I couldn’t have done it without each one of them along side me.
I took away an abundance of memories and lessons from La Vida but what I took away most was what I call “marrow moments”. The moments in my life that I feel are the marrow or the center of what life is all about. Whether it was standing at the top of a mountain, sitting at a moonlit lake, talking around a crackling fire, laughing in the middle of the woods because the bear bag just won’t go up in the tree or singing along to a guitar with a group of other Christians, the marrow moments I took away are endless. La Vida itself is a program that teaches people what life should be like and how to live life to the fullest. It is an experience that I would do tomorrow in a heartbeat and one that I am forever grateful to have had in my life.