Sunday, April 29, 2012

Real Life, Modern DayTrek Experiences

Handcart treks have been going on for years, but the experiences of each group are unique.  No matter how different the journey, each group, each person who attends trek comes away having learned something important and having grown into something more than they were before.

While the trail we will travel has been walked many times by many travelers, our experience will be personal to us and will expand our understanding and testimonies if we allow it to do so.

Watch this inspiring video put together by another stake from their trek.


Read about a couple other trek experiences at the links below.  Be ready to experience your own miracles as we trek together.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Trek Family Bonding Activity Ideas

Now that our trek families have been announced each family will have the chance to get to know each other and spend some time together before trek.  We hope that every trek participant will pray daily for his or her trek family and will do everything possible to help the group become a happy family.

Below are some "bonding" activites that are pioneercentric and might be fun for families to indulge in. 

* Tie a quilt to donate to someone in need of extra love (and a cudly blanket)

* Build your own edible handcarts out of grahm crackers and marshmallows.

* Come up with a family cheer that you can all shout together (complete with actions if you like) when things get tough or things get fabulous while on trek.

*Make homemade applesauce, homemade jam or can some fruit together as a family.  Deliver some to leaders, loved ones or children nearby.

* Get a bale of hay or straw.  Cut the twine around it and let it fall into a heap.  Hide several coins or trinkets in the hay.  Divide your group into teams and take turns one at a time racing to the hay to find one of the hidden objects.  The losing group has to clean up the mess (and everyone should get a treat afterward...maybe peach cobler that you can make in a dutch oven before hand as a family).

*Carve bars of soap into handcarts, wagons, horses, oxen or other pioneer images using a pocket knife.

*Make candles together.  One way to do this is to get a carboard cream container for each family member (you know, the size of school lunch milk boxes).  Fill the cointainer with crushed ice then insert your wick into the center (you can buy lengths of wick at most craft stores).  Pour melted parafan wax into the container and set it in the fridge to harden (it takes about 20 minutes).  You can even add a drop or two of food coloring or perfume to spice things up.  These candles turn out looking pretty cool or you can make candles another way.

*Allow each family member to make their own stick horse (a cardboard head on a wooden dowel with yarn for hair) and have a rodeo.

*Create a scavenger hunt that looks for items the pioneers might have had with them (a spoonful of flour, a piece of fabric, a bit of wood, straw, a holey sock, etc).  Have your family dress in pioneer garb and split into teams to fill the list. 

* Challenge another trek family to some friendly pioneer competitions like a tug of war, a stick pull, marbles, hop scotch or a three legged race.

* Have a family taffy pull (be prepared for sore hands, that stuff is HOT!)

*Arrange to visit a local farm and milk a cow.  Then head home and have a barbeque (eat hamburgers).

If none of these ideas tickle your fancy, take a look at this previous post with some other ideas to consider.  Good luck; we know you'll be a great family.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Break in your shoes at the 5K

We've already talked a little bit about the importance of a great pair of shoes while on trek, but just as important as having sturdy shoes is making sure they are well broken in and comfortable.

Lucky for you, the stake is doing a 5K walk/run this Saturday.  All youth are invited to attend, but if you are signed up for trek (which I really hope you are) then you have the chance to get those shoes good and comfy by wearing them to this activity.

The 5K is on Saturday, April 21 from 9am-12pm at the building on 6400 West 3500 South.  Eat a hearty breakfast at home and then meet at the pavilion for fun activities including the 5K as well as other competitions and exciting events. 

For those attending trek you will be introduced to your trek family at this activity so there is added incentive to attend. 

We look forward to seeing you there ... and to help you get your shoes all ready for trek.

Good shoes for trek:

NOT good shoes for trek:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"I Walked to Zion"

One fabulous resource you may want to indulge in before trek is the book, "I Walked to Zion" by Susan Arrington Madsen.

This book shares numerous true accounts of young pioneers who walked across the plains.  Some are children, some are teenagers, but each experienced struggles and faced fears that were difficult to bear.  Their real life stories of their miraculous journeys are humorous and heart rending. 

This particular book even has an entire section devoted to handcart pioneers, some who traveled the same paths we will walk in June.

From encounters with rattle snakes and frozen rivers to unlikely friendships and dealings with Native Americans this book has a story that will affect you.

Here are a few of pieces of stories just to whet your appetite.  These snippets are all from the lives of children who handcarted their way to the Salt Lake Valley.

"When one of the teamsters, seeing two buffaloes near the oxen, shot one of them, the meat was divided among the whole company.  My parents also got a small piece, which my father put in the back end of the handcart.  That was in the fore part of the week.  Father said we would save it for our dinner next Sunday.  I was so very hungry all the time, and the meat smelled so good to me while pushing the handcart, and having a little pocketknife, I could not resist but had to cut off a piece or two each half day.  Although I was afraid of getting a severe whipping after cutting a little the first few times, I could not resist taking a little each day.  I would chew it so long it got tasteless.

"When father went to get the meat on Sunday noon, he asked me if I had been cutting off some of it.  I said, 'Yes, I was so hungry that I could not let it alone.'  Then instead of giving me a severe scolding or a whipping, he did not say a word but started to wipe the tears from his eye."
-John Stettler Stucki, (9 years old at the time of his trek)

"The next day we had nothing to eat but some bark from trees.  Later we had a terrible cold spell; the wind drifted so much I knew I would die.  The wind blew the tent down.  They all crawled out but me.  The snow fell on it.  I went to sleep and slept warm all night.  In the morning I heard someone say, 'How many are dead in this tent?'  My sister said, 'Well, my little brother must be frozen to death in that tent.'  So they jerked the tent loose, sent is scurrying over the snow.  My hair was frozen to the tent.  I picked myself up and came out quite alive, to their surprise."
-Peter Howard McBride, (6 years old at the time of his trek)

Bringing a milk cow with them on the trail so that they could have milk throughout the journey, one family eventually decided to hitch the cow to their handcart with a homemade harness so that their mother (whose feet were severely swollen and bleeding) could ride.  It worked well for a while.

"One day a group of Indians came riding up on horses.  Their jingling trinkets, dragging poles, and strange appearance frightened the cow and sent her chasing off with the cart and the small children (daughter age 2 years and son only six months old).  We were afraid that the children might be killed, but the cow fell in a deep gully, and the cart turned upside down.  Although the children were under the trunk and bedding, they were unhurt.  But after that, Father did not hitch the cow to the cart again.  He let three Danish boys take her to hitch to their cart.  Then the Danish boys, each in turn, would help Father pull our cart."
-Mary Ann Stucki (Hafen), (6 years old at the time of her trek)

"Just before we crossed the mountains, relief wagons reached us, and it certainly was a relief.  The infirm and aged were allowed to ride, all able-bodied continuing to walk.  When the wagons started out, a number of us children decided to see how long we could keep up with the wagons, in hopes of being asked to ride.  At least that is what my great hope was.  One by one they all fell out until I was the last one remaining, so determined was I that I should get a ride.  After what seemed the longest run I ever made before or since, the driver, who was Heber (William Henry) Kimball, called to me, 'Say, sissy, would you like a ride?'  I answered in my very best manner, 'Yes, sir.'  At this he reached over, taking my hand, clucking to his horses to make me run, with legs that seemed to me could run no farther.  On we went, to what to me seemed miles.  What went through my head at the time was that he was the meanest man that ever lived or that I had ever heard of, and other things that would not be a credit nor would it look well coming from one so young.  Just at what seemed the breaking point, he stopped.  Taking a blanket, he wrapped me up and lay me in the bottom of the wagon, warm and comfortable.  Here i had time to change my mind, as I surely did, knowing full well by doing this he saved me from freezing when taken into the wagon."
-Agnes Caldwell (Southworth), (9 years old at the time of her trek)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ma and Pa Training

Ma's and Pa's of our upcoming trek are invited (by that we mean STRONGLY encouraged) to attend an important training event this Saturday, April 14.  This event will be held at the LDS church building on 6400 West and 3500 South from 10am - 2pm.  Please come in appropriate casual clothes and remember lunch will be served (we would never starve you). 

This training will include essential information for trek including:

*Basic medical training
*Information about required clothing and dress
*Itinerary overview
*Rundown from food committee
*Rules/Requirements/Presentation from trek trail boss

Please make EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT to attend this event.  We look forward to seeing you there.  This activity is for leaders only, no youth will be attending.

If you have questions or concerns please contact the Marriots.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pioneers: Followers of Jesus Christ

Happy Easter

This day brings a great opportunity to remember our Savior and His life, example and atonement.  We strive to become more like Jesus Christ and, just as those who crossed the plains, we face trials and struggles that make our journey more difficult.

However, as we place our trust in our Father in Heaven and in our Savior, we will be strengthened and guided, just like the pioneers of old. 

We are modern day pioneers.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Come, Come Ye Saints


President Heber J. Grant’s favorite hymn was “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” an anthem of hope that inspired the early Latter-day Saint pioneers who journeyed to the Salt Lake Valley.
 This story of Jedediah Grant (President Grant's father), his wife Caroline, and their daughter Margaret exemplifies the hymn’s repeated message: “All is well!”
In 1847 Jedediah Grant led a company of Latter-day Saint pioneers from Winter Quarters, Nebraska, to the Salt Lake Valley. Not long before the company arrived in the valley, his six-month-old daughter, Margaret, contracted cholera and died. Her body was buried close to the trail, protected only by a mound of freshly dug clay. Soon after that, Jedediah’s first wife, Caroline, died from the effects of cholera and severe fever. She whispered her final words to her husband: “All is well! All is well! Please take me to the valley—Jeddy. Get Margaret—bring her—to me!” Her husband replied: “Yes, yes, Caroline. I’ll do my best. I’ll do my best.”
The company reached the valley three days later. Funeral services were held that evening for Caroline Grant. After a few days of rest, Jedediah set out to retrieve Margaret’s body. He was accompanied by his friend Bates Noble and by Brother Noble’s adopted daughter, Susan.
The three travelers reached the grave site the next morning. Susan recalled: “A few paces from the little grave we stopped hesitatingly, set down our things and stood with eyes fixed before us. Neither tried to speak. An ugly hole replaced the small mound; and so recently had the wolves departed that every sign was fresh before us. I dared not raise my eyes to look at Jedediah. From the way I felt, I could but guess his feelings. Like statues of the wilderness we stood, grown to the spot, each fully realizing that nothing more could be done. After several minutes of silent tears, we quietly withdrew, carrying away again only that which we had brought.” 2
About nine years later, funeral services were held for President Jedediah Grant, who had served as Second Counselor to President Brigham Young. President Heber C. Kimball, First Counselor in the First Presidency, addressed the congregation, telling of a vision that his friend Jedediah had received:
“He saw the righteous gathered together in the spirit world, and there were no wicked spirits among them. He saw his wife; she was the first person that came to him. He saw many that he knew, but did not have conversation with any except his wife Caroline. She came to him, and he said that she looked beautifully and had their little child, that died on the plains, in her arms, and said, ‘… Here is little Margaret; you know that the wolves ate her up, but it did not hurt her; here she is all right.’ ”