Our first day, we departed from St. Andrew’s with full bellies (thanks to Camp Hiawatha who gave their eggs and sausage leftovers to us!  The remainder of the day was full of driving (sometimes to the wrong place. (…because I’m navigationally challenged 🙄) and Whitewater Rafting and a Rope Adventure experience through Swiftwater Adventures!  It was AMAZING.  God’s grace was all around us!  From cheering each other on, to splashing each other in the water, to believing in each other and our guides for our own safety….we were provided with so many memories and God moments! 
After our adventures, we set up camp at THE MOST beautiful and gracious backyard of any church you can imagine – Zion Lutheran Church in Cloquet! We were greeted with cool refreshing beverages, given access to a kitchen and bathrooms and shown where we could set up our tents.  This amazing hospitality was provided us by Pastor CJ and their Director of Faith Formation, Katie Anderson (yes, Pastor David and Gayle’s daughter…
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!)  How could we get so lucky to be sleeping amongst sweet smelling apple orchards, the aromas of a community garden and the most beautiful flower pathway ever lining the parking lot!?!  PLUS we were in walking distance of a Kwik Trip and a Super Walmart…SCORE!
Dinner simply had to be at Gordy’s in Cloquet, by popular demand!.  The original Mr. Gordy had passed away the week before we visited, so we did our best to eat our weight in burgers and fries in his honor!
Our second day, was a long and extremely satisfying one!  We served with Pastor Doug Paulson and the Seafarer’s Center Port Ministry.  If you’d like to know more about their mission, I encourage to click HERE to learn all about it.  They have their servant hearts in the right place and I could not possibly say enough to sing their praises! 
At Seafarer’s Center we grouped into three main work projects.  Some of us spent our time on the top floor (HOT) and painted 2 different rooms.  One of our groups did all outside work – mowing, weed whipping, hand pulling weeds, trimming bushes and so much more!  Our last group worked on bringing donated clothes from the attic to the garage where their open thrift store is.  They provide donated used and laundered clothes to those in need at no cost.  This group spent their time hauling, folding, sorting and making the thrift store area easy to navigate!  Our day ended with some cooling off at Park Point beach and a cookout at Zion in the backyard!  It was a much deserved and needed BIG dinner!  
Our final day of our trip was “adventuring”.  We broke down camp and worshipped with Zion in Cloquet. Their staff and members were so hospitable and welcoming!  Next we gassed up and headed North.  I wanted an “unplanned” day (VERY against my natural instinct!) but it turned out perfect.  We found a wayside rest at Split Rock to eat most our our leftovers out of the cooler and right off Kory’s tailgate.  Then we hit our largest stop at Tetagouchi Falls. We visited Baptism River, Cascade Falls, and more.
If there was ever a time that you questioned your ability, comfort or desire to go on a short or long term service trip with our youth, please let this description help you to follow your heart and God’s call.  Ask the kids…they will be the first to tell you that everyone else should experience a break from the reality of everyday life in service to others and in peace with God!  It is a true blessing!!! 
Be watching for information regarding
our future trips!