A look back at Storm Mountain

posted Feb 26, 2016, 5:27 PM by Melissa Navratil
Feature writer - Dave Findell

Sunday August 2nd
I have only watched “The Amazing Race” a few times – but the 2015 trip to Storm Mountain made me think we had all signed up for the show.  We had the car trip out – with quick pit stops, plenty of snacks, books on tape, exchanging text messages (not the drivers) – plus many amazing challenges once at the camp – climbing Storm Mountain, staining siding, cleaning brush, weeding – and then finally mix in approximately 1,000,000 of our friends on motorcycles in town for the rally.  Yep, we counted.  Over 1,000,000 riders were all around us any time we left the camp.  They were nice enough to give us presidential escorts every time we left. 

Ok, seriously.  A work crew arrived at Storm Mountain, United Methodist camp outside Rapid City,
South Dakota on Sunday August 2nd.  The crew consisted of 6 adults, and 11 youth.  The mission was to help the camp with any chores that they had.  Many of you may remember, Oct 2013 – Rapid City was pounded with over 4 feet of snow, causing lots and lots of downed trees.  This caused a fire hazard throughout the camp and surrounding area.  Everywhere you looked around the 250 acres there were slash piles that needed to be moved to the top of the mountain.

Monday morning, after many cups of coffee and a huge breakfast, everyone went off to their assigned jobs.  Group 1 went off to clean up the first group of slash piles.  Group 2 went up to split wood.  Group 1 worked with a group from North Dakota – and together found what was believed to be the slash pile and a large patch of poison ivy.  Good news was that no one got poison ivy.  The bad news, lots of people had shorts on, and caused a quick trip to town for some special soap – just in case.  The rest of the day was filled with the trucks going up the mountain and the endless splitting of wood.  All in all – a great day!  One piece of bad news for anyone who has been there – the Green Monster is no longer there.  No, Melissa did not buy it and drive it home; it was moved to another camp that needed a work truck.

Each day was kind of like day 1.  We also stained siding for the main building, hauled insulation, weeded and took care of a few other odd jobs.  We also found time to do a few fun adventures with our presidential escort.  Some or all of us went and saw Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, local lakes and Crazy Horse.

Pastor Gary provided focus for us all, teaching us a bit about meditation and helping us focus on the Peace Lord’s prayer.  We got to work our brains AND our backs. Gary, Jessica, Aaron and Sophia also played a quick basketball scrimmage – where the highlight for most of us (other than the winners Sophia and Aaron) was when Joe shouted out – “Gary, you are our MVP….our Most Valuable Pastor!!”

Storm Mountain camp provided another great adventure – and a fabulous quote!!!