What is that smell I smell? Is that the visceral and distant calling of the wild upon my modern intellect, or is it simply the ancient practice of cooking meat over a campfire that brings the tendrils of feral game and burning wood to my flaring nostrils?
I called it the Baytown Hiking Fellowship and it is defined thusly on our website:
"Fellowship is offered to qualifying men through referrals by members to both young and older in support of their efforts to pursue mental health and higher ideals through fellowship with other men while hiking and camping within the borders of Texas. As a general guideline, members are those who have demonstrated a desire to better themselves through hiking, camping, men’s fellowship, hard work, personal devotionals, self-improvement, sharing and mentoring and again, must come through a referral by an existing member".
Many of those attending have lost one or more parents, close friends, or sibling(s) and are in desperate need of a certain amount of healing and this is the real goal behind our fellowship. Some just need others around them who care about their future and we will supply this as well and then there is the very real need for all of us to simply get outside and rediscover our American pioneering spirit.
Over the last year, I’ve been scouring the area for sleeping bags, old tents, blankets – anything I could find to ready us for this day, as well as looking for sponsors. It’s my goal that the fellowship will grow beyond me and become self-sufficient and by this I mean that it will not revolve around me, but develop those we mentor so they will carry this into their own maturity.
We are expecting the weather to be anywhere between 25 degrees F. to 60, so we are preparing for anything and everything and that is the luxury of Park camping over back-packing. We can carry a lot of gear. After all, our goal is not survival training, at least not at this juncture, but to get away from our routine and enjoy the outdoors, a roaring campfire and best of all – men who care enough about other men’s future to help them along.
*cartoon from The Far Side by Gary Larson
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