As they climbed a mountain, Tacoma’s Raining Hope Keystone Club discovered more than scenic beauty
By Katie P., BGCs of South Puget Sound: Henry T. Schatz Branch (Tacoma, Washington)
It’s that time of the year when we put away all the summer clothing and bring out the cozy sweaters and welcome the fall season. At the beginning of every new Keystone charter, our Keystone Club plans a day to bond and set the tone for the year. Some of us suggested we go bowling, play laser tag or even do something as simple as a dinner together. But our advisor had something different in mind. She really wanted to share something she enjoys in the outdoors and that’s hiking.
Many of us in our Club had never really hiked a trail, let alone left the city to hike up a mountain, so, naturally, we were all scared, but excited all at once. Working together as a team was the focus of the day because this was going to be a challenge for all of us. Our destination was the top of Rattlesnake Ridge. Our goal was to remain positive during the hike, encourage one another, have fun and finish as one.
Rattlesnake Ridge is located in North Bend, Washington. It is a 4-mile hike roundtrip. The elevation gain is 1160 feet and the highest point is 2078 feet. When walking the trail everyone was allowed to go at their pace, so no one was rushed to get to the top. I have never experienced being in such an environment where everyone wants to see each other succeed and conquer our goal. There were times some of us thought about giving up and turning around, but there was always someone there to keep us going.
The climb up was more challenging than I anticipated, but as I was reaching the top, I could see some of my fellow Keystoners in the distance and I could hear the Keystone Clap. Hearing them only motivated the rest of us to keep going until we were all together once again.
After an extremely intense two hours, we finally made it to the top on the ridge together. The view was breathtaking. The whole point of this bonding trip was for us to learn how to work together as a team and learn how to make healthy choices together as we enjoy what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
By the end of the day, we had learned how to work as a team and we understood that we are not just a Keystone Club, but we are a FAMILY. Tacoma’s Raining Hope Keystone Club has a family bond that will never be broken. Even though it took a trip to hike up a mountain for us to notice that, we now know that together we can conquer the world.